One of the most important aspects of decontamination is the prevention
of contamination. Good contamination prevention should minimize worker
exposure and help ensure valid sample results by preventing cross-contamination.
Procedures for contamination avoidance include:
Do not walk through areas of obvious or known contamination.
Do not handle or touch contaminated materials directly.
Make sure all personal protective equipment has no cuts or tears
prior to donning.
Fasten all closures on suits, covering with tape, if necessary.
Particular care should be taken to protect any skin injuries.
Stay upwind of airborne contaminants
Do not carry cigarettes, gum, food, drink, etc. into contaminated
Equipment and Samples Prevention
Precautions to minimize contaminating equipment would be similar to
those for personnel. These precautions would include:
Take care to limit the amount of contamination that comes into contact
with heavy equipment and vehicles.
If contaminated tools are to be placed on non-contaminated equipment/
vehicles for transport to the decontamination pad, use plastic to keep
the equipment/vehicles clean.
If samples must be taken from a site, bag sample containers prior to
emplacement of sample material.