What is the Process of Decontamination?


Decontamination is the process of eliminating or reducing the effects of impurities that have built up on employees and tools, which is critical to health and safety at hazardous waste sites. Decontamination shields workers from unsafe compounds that might pollute as well as at some point penetrate the safety clothing, devices, breathing tools, automobiles, as well as other equipment use on-site; it safeguards all site employees by minimizing the transfer of damaging materials right into clean locations; it helps avoid mixing of incompatible chemicals, and it protects the community by avoiding uncontrolled transport of contaminants from the site.

This article supplies basic guidelines for the strategy of decontamination as well as the methods to avoid the risks of contamination. This article does not cover the purification of radioactively infected personnel or tools. A health physicist should be sought advice from if this circumstance emerges.

Decontamination Strategy

A decontamination plan must be created as a component of the site security plan, as well as established prior to any type of worker or device might enter areas where the possibility for direct exposure to harmful materials exists. The decontamination strategy ought to:

  • Determine the number as well as the format of purification stations.
  • Establish the decontamination tools needed.
  • Figure out ideal decontamination approaches.
  • Develop treatments to avoid contamination of clean areas.
  • Establish techniques as well as treatments to decrease worker contact with contaminants throughout the removal of personal protective clothes as well as devices.
  • Develop methods for disposing of clothes and equipment that are not totally decontaminated.
  • The plan should be changed whenever the type of personal protective apparel or equipment modifications, the site problems change, or the site dangers are reflected based on new information.

Avoidance of Contamination

The initial step in decontamination is to develop a standard procedure that minimizes contact with waste, and hence, the capacity for contamination. As an example:

  • Anxiety work methods that reduce contact with unsafe compounds, e.g., do not walk through areas of evident contamination, do not directly touch potentially harmful substances.
  • Use remote tasting, dealing with, and container-opening strategies, e.g., pneumatic wrenches, drum grapplers.
  • Shield tracking and tasting tools by landing. Make openings guaranteed for sample ports as well as sensors contacting site materials.
  • Put on nonreusable external garments and use nonreusable tools where appropriate.
  • Cover tools, as well as equipment with a coating that can be stripped which can get eliminated throughout decontamination.
  • Enclose the resource of pollutants, e.g., with plastic bed linen or overpacks.

If you are unable to take care of decontamination yourself, please call for professional building disinfection services.