Qld company cleaning up as virus spreads
THE deadly coronavirus, which has sent the stockmarket plummeting, could be forging a new industry in chemical cleaning.
Already more than six companies are listed in Brisbane and surrounds for cleaning up after contamination. And the industrial chemical cleaning sector is tipped to go viral.
Loganholme's Crime & Trauma Cleaning company is one of the Queensland operations cleaning up.
The team of 30, headed by ex-police officer Mark Ellis, has spent the past two months learning about COVID-19 and how to kill it.
After taking an online course with the US Center for Disease Control, the team was qualified to start operating.
Although experienced with cleaning up properties after meth labs, gruesome shootings, suicides and murders, a coronavirus outbreak is a new realm.
"Coronavirus is completely different - you can't just spray a chemical that disinfects - you have to clean down the surface and remove any waste first and then disinfect," he said.
"We don't need a full hazmat kit, we use a full suit with a mask and googles which is all taped down.
"But everything is changing every day and we take our cue from the US which seems to be at the forefront of cleaning up after the virus."
To hire the team, is not cheap.
Under the US-stipulated safety procedures, a site safety officer, costing $850, is required along with a security guard for $480 to stop entry and two cleaners at $1440.
Two people are needed to dress and undress for a job to ensure there are no rips or tears in the clothing.
After every job, all clothing is wrapped in plastic and sent to ACE Waste, a chemical disposal unit at Willawong.
A mixture of chemicals is used and varies depending on what type of surface is being cleansed.
Mr Ellis said only sections of infected houses would not have to be fumigated.
"It is only the areas where the virus will stick and are commonly touched," he said.
"Things like light switches, remote controls, handrails, stairs, toilet seats, doorknobs and gym equipment are the main ones - but we don't have to focus on carpets or walls.
"Contamination comes from coughing and from hands."
Mr Ellis said "the jury was still out" on the intensive fumigation and remediation measures taken at Parliament House this week after Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton contracted the virus.
"It's best to err on the side of caution but still nobody knows how far you have to go with this as it's a new virus and new process," he said.
More inquiries for coronavirus were coming in every day and Mr Ellis said he expected much of the work to be at offices, government offices, council buildings, pubs, clubs and schools over the upcoming Easter holiday shutdown.
Other operators included OzKleen, Brisbane Crime Scene Cleaning and All Aces Cleaning and Restoration Services.