OSHA fact Sheet
Cleaning and Decontamination of Ebola on Surfaces
Guidance for Workers and Employers in Non-Healthcare/Non-Laboratory Settings
Workers tasked with cleaning surfaces that may be contaminated with Ebola virus, the virus that cause Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EFH), must be protected from exposure. Employers are responsible for ensuring that workers are protected from exposure to Ebola and that workers are not exposed to harmful levels of chemicals used for cleaning and disinfection.
Guidelines for cleaning and disinfection
- Immediately clean and disinfect any visible surface contamination from blood, urine, feces, vomit, or other body fluids that may contain Ebola virus.
- Isolate areas of suspected Ebola virus contamination until decontamination is completed to minimize exposure to individuals not performing the work.
- Cover spills with absorbent material (e.g., paper towels), then pour disinfectant on to saturate the area, and allow bleach to soak into spills for at least 30 minutes before cleaning to allow it to kill any virus or other infectious agents that may be present.
- Treat any visible contamination or bulk spill matter with a suitable disinfectant (see section titled Disinfectants for Ebola virus below) before cleaning up and removing bulk material.
- Ensure adequate ventilation in areas where workers are using disinfectants, including by opening windows and doors, or using mechanical ventilation equipment.
- In some cases, the use of chemical disinfectants may require an employer to train workers about how to protect themselves against chemical hazards and comply with OSHA’s Hazard Communication, 29 CFR 1910.1200, and other standards.
Use appropriate protective equipment