Suicide Cleanup Information

 

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Most suicide cleanup anywhere in the United States must confront the power of fire arms. There's no getting around it, and as global warming's affects increase worldwide, suicide cleanup will become a more common activity for families. Not all families have homeowners insurance. Not all families will find direction to a suicide cleanup company as a result; only those remaining families with the income for homeowners insurance will find directions from crony sheriff-coroner employees. The other families will find the Internet and little else for help.

 
 
   
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Suicide Cleanup Information

 

Suicide Cleanup Narrative

 

I came to suicide cleanup through professional cleaning. Carpet cleaning, power washing, and natural stone polishing lead the way. Suicide cleanup became my first biohazard cleanup job.

Suicide cleanup  begins after the coroner leaves the suicide scene. The sheriff-coroner or county administrator pastes a seal on the door. This means that suicide cleanup must wait for a responsible party to open the door.

Only a responsible party, not the suicide cleanup practitioner, has the authority to break this seal. When the responsible party communicates to the suicide cleanup practitioner their understanding, and when the suicide cleanup practitioner responds with his or her understanding, the suicide cleanup begins.

Our cleaning first removes biohazard materials consistent on a suicide cleanup site; a suicide cleanup contains and decontaminates these materials (and seals them). Cleaning after a suicide includes scrubbing with abrasive materials, rinsing, and then cleaning again. Areas soiled by biohazard materials are sealed. At times we seal entire rooms. Our cleaning process reduces or removes the death odors. Suicide cleanup entails multiple cleanings for odor reduction.

Decontamination

Ozone gas and chemical fogs help to decontaminate and remove germs and odors. Both tools help to cover wide areas contaminated by flies and other insects. Decontamination requires removing the source material. Sealing the once blood soiled area ensures decontamination by encapsulating biohazard material. Decontamination is not the same as sterilization. Sterilization occurs in very few place in our Universe.

Sterilization

Clean rooms created for scientific research sometimes claim to have a "sterile environment," but even here the possibility for contamination remains high. Many hours of hard labor, thousands of dollars for filters, and millions of dollars for filtration equipment help to sterilize environments. Some authors point to boiling water and steam generated by boiling water as "sterile," which seems logical enough.

Using boiling water and steam to "sterilize" surgical equipment remains a common method of blood cleanup and recycling tools for surgery and scientific research. Otherwise, the use of boiling water has its limits. Boiling water exists under the earth's oceans as it mixes with cool sea water. Shifting continental plates create pressure under the surface and volcanic action releases the boiling water, which becomes habitat for life forms in some cases. This proves that boiling water will not always destroy organisms.

Chemicals like bleach destroy bloodborne pathogen (germs) like HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C, but claiming that areas treated with bleach become sterilized cannot be done on a suicide scene, given the equipment and tools available. Reducing micro-organisms and eliminating their conditions for survival, their habitat, is the best we or anyone else can do.

Reducing bacteria count to a level as low as or lower than the pre-suicide act calls for professional cleaning.

Protective equipment worn reflects the age of the suicide scene and possibilities for personal contamination.

Training and Experience

My experience includes military trauma cleanup and seven years of homicide, suicide, and unattended death decomposition cleanup.

In the military I cleaning equipment soiled by blood and other materials. Many times my own equipment needed cleaning after helping others injured. I have no fear of blood or death scenes, but I do understand today's bloodborne hazards.

In the active army I served for 3 years, and then 20 years in the National Guard and Army Reserve. During these years decontamination training remained a central part of training for all soldiers because of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.

My formal training derives mostly from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration, IICRC, classes. I took classes from Carl Williams (RIP) a number of times. Carl remains one of the most prolific writers in the Janitorial and Sanitation industry.

Other instructors also offered class work and hands-on work in carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, floor inspection, water damage and restoration, mold inspection and restoration (NAMP), crime scene cleanup, and house inspection (AHIT).

Formal Education

I hold an Associate of Arts, general education, Bachelor's in Sociology, and Master of Science in Educational Counseling. I have held many teaching credentials, including adult education, English Language Arts (High School), English as a Second Language, and more.

I have both public and private school teaching experience.

Prices

As a retired teacher without employees, my prices remain below my competitions' prices in most cases. I clean throughout California. If a suicide occurs in a Southern California home, you most likely will not learn about my services until too late because of cronyism. See Crime Scene Cleanup Cronyism for more information on cronyism in coroner, medical examiner, and county administrator offices.

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Suicide Narrative

White Male Suicides - White Female Suicides - Black Female Suicides

Note: I use the term "American" for US citizens while I understand that all of the North, Central, South American geographical areas have "American" inhabitants.

If you have wondered about which group of people in our society commit suicide most often, you will not be surprised that single, older, white males lead all other sociological groupings. This group leads older, white women, a group accounting for the second most suicides. By now you may have begun to piece together what's going on in your life and anyone's life that you have lost to suicide.

Of the various sociological groups studied for suicide, black women have the greatest number of suicide attempts, but the lowest rate of suicide.

If we were to consider the broader, more obvious conditions these three groups experience during their lives, we might look at what follows as something to contemplate, add to, and further discuss with others.

White Male Suicides

White American males in our society have some baggage others do not have when born into the world. Granted, white males have many privileges others do not share, but they carry expectations others do not share. I will not write on male privileges, which have only come into the social discourse during the last generation. Whiteness also accords privileges not part of the social discourse until the last generation, except in scholarly books and journals.

White males suffer emotionally at times from the dominant ideology's "competitive" drive and "individualism." Whether or not these individualized relationships actually exist in our American society misses the point.

The point shows that the dominant American ideology places males at the top of the power hierarchy while expecting the most from white males' performance. Not all males buy into this ideology, or at least do not accept this part as applying to them. For these fortunate few, life goes on without the unmentioned pressures bestowed on those American males indoctrinated to the competitive, acquisitive, individualism of the dominant ideology.

So for the majority of males life in the US means competition and individualism from boyhood to manhood. The strident individualism came across the Atlantic with the Pilgrims, especially the Protestants. (See Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.) With these colonialists came gun powder and firearms, which were used for game and dealing with indigenous populations.

Firearms happen to be the weapon of choice among American males choosing suicide. Most of my 14 years of suicide cleanup followed suicide by hand gun. Most of these suicide cleanups followed suicide by intoxicated white males.

Handguns take the prize as the preferred firearm. We should expect this outcome because part of the dominant ideology bases itself on the romanticized American Western story so popular in the middle of the last century. The detective and murder mysteries have replaced the western, but not its formula of individualism competition, and violence.

Popular westerns like "Have gun Will Travel," "The Rifleman," and others captured young males' imaginations. College courses on film began using The Six-Gun Mystique to explain the power of the western and handgun. Commercialized interests profited wildly from this "mystique" and before long it became deeply interwoven in the American consciousness.

Some will point to penny western novels like Lewis Lamore's work and Jack London's work, to name a couple. These two played a role, but nothing like commercialized television role fallowing the end of Edward R. Murrow's genuine news television for profit beginning with the "I Love Lucy" series.

The emerging western set the bar for masculinity, and that bar reached for guns, competition, and individualism, all components of the American Western.

Add the above social and cultural baggage to surviving as a white male, and the outcome becomes apparent during periods of social change. Economic hardship cuts into the white males' ability to maintain the image of the individual succeeding by their own wits and skills, like western heroes. Add the handgun to the floundering while males' picture of the world and the prospects for suicide increase.

Naturally, we look to older white males left alone in the world by divorce, death, and simple single lifestyles. These elements, variables, lead to so many suicide cleanup cases. Disease and other physical problems add to the burdens of life and that final call for a suicide cleanup practitioner's help. Old age becomes the last issue to consider here. Often older people become objects of derision and scorn among the young, especially now that Social Security and other social services appear to go forward on the backs of the young. Needless to say, environmental collapse adds to these hostile feelings toward older generations.

Whatever we might believe about the above, white males account for about 73% of suicides in the USA. The majority of these use handguns. In Europe, the noose remains the preferred means of suicide for white males.

White Females

White females survive in "a man's world" and patriarchy set the tone in almost all areas of American life. Women divorce abusive husbands and become the sole means of support for their children. Women remain married to abusive husbands "for the sake of the children" and survive as punching bags for a child in a man's body, their husband.

When these women become lonely in their older years, they become at risk for suicide, especially by overdose.

Black Women

Black women figure highest in attempts and lowest in suicide success. If we compare and contrast the two worlds of black women and white men we come up two staggering different worlds.

While white men bend toward individualism, competitiveness, and violence (football on Monday nights), black women bend toward community, cooperation, and religiosity. We find suicide cleanup opportunities among white families because of white male suicides, ironically enough.

What I've said about white women will apply to black women, and sometimes, many times, with sharper edges. Black women attempting suicide elicit concern from others in their community. The black woman's community usually has less wealth, fewer resources, and less social power in most situations outside of the government workforce.

In my 14 years experience, I've performed suicide cleanup for very few black families. Suicides occur in black families, and usually among males; it's still many percentages below while male suicide cleanup cases.

Because of their poverty in many cases, black women live more closely with others and find solace in the comfort of others nearby "in the same boat." In brief, it's loneliness and powerlessness for both white males and black females that leads to suicidal thoughts and action. It's the lack of social support that leads me to while male suicide cleanup rather than black female suicide cleanup.

Some suicide cleanup practitioners argue that it's the lack of funds that cause black families not to use suicide cleanup companies. Yes, in some cases, it remains so for some families not to use suicide cleanup practitioners. But there remain other reasons why these families do not even need suicide cleanup help.

It's the males' competitiveness, guns, and attitude toward violence that leads to their suicide cleanup. In some cases their family members may not have the discretionary money for a suicide cleanup. It's a shame too because many carpet cleaning companies could carry out a reasonably priced suicide cleanup.

It's the black women's shared experience as objects of derision in white culture, until recently, that gives them a sense of surviving together. It's the same in ethnic groups in general. But with our black population, the legacy of slavery carries the black stigma from generation to generation, mindlessly. In fact, crime scene cleanup following slavery in the US has not ended as a result.

 

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