Crime scene cleanup without toxic chemicals
by Tommy Underhill
February 13, 2019
This post is a more technical and in-depth follow-up to Eliminate all sorts of odors with heat and focuses on the ability of GreenTech Heat to eliminate the source of odors at a crime scene without dangerous or toxic chemicals such as bleach, hydrogen peroxide, or industrial-strength deodorizers.
The GreenTech Heat thermal pest eradication process was applied to disinfect a postmortem bacterial contamination in June of 1999. Precision Environmental heat treated a Costa Mesa, California condo where the owner had died and the body had remained in situ for 25 days. On top of the biological island created by the decaying body, the owner had been a hoarder in life.
Bacterial samples were taken before and after heat treatment. I’ve included the bulk viable microbiological analysis report below.
Prior to the treatment, Forensic Analytical Laboratories determined 101 bacterial colonies and 129,000 cfu/g (Colony-Forming Units per Gram) of bacterial contamination. After treatment, the laboratory measured one bacterial colony with 2,100 cfu/g of contamination. The two-day heat treatment resulted in a 98.4% reduction in bacteria in the condo.
The smell produced by a decaying body is one of the most repulsive odors we can encounter. The GreenTech Heat process killed nearly all the bacteria (both odor-generating and scent-neutral bacteria) which would have prevented future odors from forming. The convected heat from a Titan direct fired heater penetrated all surfaces and furnishings at the scene which both denatured the odiferous molecules and caused the surfaces they had impregnated to offgas. Flushing the condo with two-day’s of 5,000 cfm of heated airflow generated by our Titan heater drove odiferous compounds from the structure and replaced the air within the condo many times.
My son took an in-depth series of forensic science courses last year. He read this blog over my shoulder (he’s 6'4"!) and was amazed with what our technology can do. He was intimately associated with the smells of death after these hands-on classes. “Unless I soaked my lab coat in bleach it continued to smell of decay.” He commented that most crime scenes need to be structurally remediated— where contaminated materials are cut out and removed— or treated with copious amounts of bleach or hydrogen peroxide followed up with ozone. “Your bed bug heaters will do that?!”
Yes, they will.
We developed the GreenTech Heat technology to be efficacious against all forms of insect pests. Dr. Mike’s statement that “every living organism has a thermal death point” applies to every living organism— insects, as well as bacteria. Give us a call. We are ready to help or consult with any unique applications.