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Emergency and Disaster Response to Chemical Releases. Decontamination Module 8. Overview. Module 8 addresses decontamination, and provides information on how to: Decontaminate personnel properly after a chemical release response. Provide for non-ambulatory victim decontamination.

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Emergency and Disaster Response to Chemical Releases


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    1. Emergency and Disaster Response to Chemical Releases Decontamination Module 8

    2. Overview • Module 8 addresses decontamination, and provides information on how to: • Decontaminate personnel properly after a chemical release response. • Provide for non-ambulatory victim decontamination. • Identify decontaminants by type and applicability. • Safely establish and operate a decontamination corridor.

    3. Terminal Learning Objective • Upon completion of this module participants will establish a decontamination procedure appropriate for the level of response to the incident.

    4. Enabling Objectives • Select an appropriate decontamination procedure and determine the equipment required to implement the procedures for a selected chemical. • Identify the purposes and effects of decontamination. • Perform proper self-decontamination. • Differentiate between emergency decontamination and technical decontamination. • Identify steps taken to enhance safety of all personnel while conducting decontamination.

    5. Introduction • Decontamination ("decon") is the process of removing or neutralizing contaminants that have accumulated on personnel and equipment. • Decontamination procedures protect workers from hazardous substances that may contaminate and eventually permeate the protective clothing, respiratory equipment, tools, vehicles, and other equipment used on scene.

    6. Introduction • Decon procedures: • Protect all response personnel by reducing the transfer of harmful materials into clean areas. • Help prevent mixing of incompatible chemicals. • Protect the community by preventing uncontrolled transportation of contaminants from the site.

    7. Introduction • All personnel, clothing, equipment, and samples leaving the Exclusion Zone must be decontaminated to remove any harmful chemicals. • Decontamination methods may be either: • Physical removal. • Chemical removal (deactivation/neutralization). • Often, physical removal is used for gross decontamination, followed by chemical removal.

    8. Physical Removal of Contaminates • Aeration • Scraping, sweeping, brushing, or vacuuming • Hosing • Absorbent material • Soap and water

    9. Chemical Removal of Contaminants • In some cases, a particular chemical preparation can be applied to the contaminant that will react with it and convert it into something less toxic. • Using the wrong chemicals, however, may cause dangerous interactions.

    10. Types of Decontaminants • While there are numerous types of decontaminants available for use, they fall into three basic categories: • Commercial • Natural • Standard military

    11. Types of Decontaminants • Absorbents • Non-Aqueous methods • Isolation of Contaminants • Dry Decon

    12. Disposal Methods • All equipment used for decontamination must be decontaminated or disposed of properly. • All decontamination waste must be handled as hazardous waste unless it can be confirmed as non-hazardous. • Clothing that is not completely decontaminated should be placed in plastic bags, pending further decontamination or disposal.

    13. Pollution Prevention • An effective decontamination procedure will prevent pollution of the environment beyond the CRZ. • Proper cleaning and/or disposal of PPE and contaminated equipment along with containment of wash water helps to ensure that no additional damage is inflicted on the environment.

    14. Personal Protection • Decon workers stationed closest to the Exclusion Zone need more PPE than decon workers stationed near the Support Zone • Gross Decon usually requires the same level of protection or one level below that of the entrants. • The Safety Officer will make that decision.

    15. Decontamination Facility Design • The decontamination process should consist of a series of procedures. • Outer, more heavily contaminated items should be decontaminated and removed first. • Each procedure should be performed at a separate station in order to prevent cross contamination. • The sequence of stations is called the decontamination line. • Stations should be separated physically to prevent cross contamination, preferably in a straight line.

    16. Emergency Decon • Personnel must be prepared to conduct emergency decontamination and to set up a decontamination corridor. • Select and secure a large area upwind and uphill of the hot zone. • Provide protection for and be able to accommodate the decontamination of large numbers of victims. • Base an emergency decontamination operation on speed rather than on neatness.

    17. Accident or Injury Life-saving Procedures Required? Yes Contaminants Hazardous? Yes No No Grossly Decontaminate or Cover or Wrap Contaminated Areas! Perform Life-Saving Procedures! Decontaminate as much as possible! Additional Emergency Care Needed? No Further Medical Attention or Surveillance Needed? Yes No Report to Safety Officer! Yes Transport to Medical facility!

    18. Decontaminate Victims • Removal of clothing removes approximately 80 percent of the contamination. • For many chemical agents, rapid decontamination is critical because the agents can cause injury in a matter of minutes.

    19. Non-Ambulatory Emergency Decontamination of Patients • Emergency decontamination for non-ambulatory victims at spill and disaster events presents many challenges to response personnel. • Take precautions to prevent the spread of contamination to self or team, victims, and uncontaminated ground. • Control and monitor all workers’ activities throughout the incident for accountability and treatment in the event they become contaminated.

    20. Technical Decon • When setting up the technical decontamination corridor, establish it away from the emergency decontamination corridor. • Technical decontamination concentrates more on completeness and deactivation/neutralization. • The distance between the stations of the corridor is critical in minimizing the vapor hazard and cross contamination. • The distance is most critical at the last station where personnel remove their respiratory protection and move to the cold zone.

    21. Basic 6 - Step Decon Line 1) Equipment Drop 2) Gross Decon - wash / rinse boots & gloves 3) Air Tank Change 4) Boots, gloves, & outer garment off 5) SCBA Facepiece Removal 6) Field Wash

    22. ENTER EQUIPMENT DROP 1 HOT ZONE SHOWER STALL Field wash boots and CPC 2 5 GAL PAIL WITH WASHWATER SPARE AIR TANKS Get full air tank and return 3 RETURN WITH NEW AIR TANK Bag for SCBA OR Drop SCBA Leave SCBA facepiece on Bag 55-85 gallon Drum for bagged CPC 4 Step into bag and peel CPC off and into bag DIRTY SIDE CLEAN SIDE Tub for SCBA facepiece Remove SCBA facepiece and inner gloves 5 6 Wash face and hands SUPPORT ZONE Tub with wash water and towel

    23. Identify where the Hot Zone, CRZ, and Support Zone is located. Hot Zone CRZ Support

    24. Summary • Following are key points for personnel to remember when conducting decontamination: • Safety of all workers is of paramount importance. • Emergency decontamination of victims must be accomplished quickly. • As decontaminants: • Water is good. • Soap and water is better (best in mass decontamination).