Specific Decontamination Procedures
As stated earlier, the specific situation and contaminates will dictate
the decontaminating procedure. Below are general decontamination procedures
based on the PPE level being utilized. Procedures for specific situations
Assessment/Investigation: If APHIS personnel are traveling from wild
or commercial sites to assess/investigate possible disease situations,
disinfectant should be sprayed on the vehicle and shoes of the investigators
before proceeding to the next site. This can be accomplished by use of
gloves and a spray bottle.
WMD- In a Weapons of Mass Destruction incident involving APHIS, decontamination
procedures will be set by the Command Staff. The APHIS Safety Officer
will work with the Incident Safety Officer (or designee) to assure decontamination
procedures are being adhered to.
Decontamination Area - A decontamination area must
be set up before any personnel or equipment may enter areas where the
potential for exposure to hazardous substances exist. Decon area guidelines
- Establishment within the Warm Zone perimeter, adjacent to the Entrance/Exit
and it should be at a safe distance from the contamination source.
- Personnel, equipment and apparatus shall not be permitted to
leave the Hot Zone without approval from the Decontamination Group
- The decontamination area should provide a corridor leading away from
the source of contamination toward the exit, with stations along the
way for the deposit of tools, equipment, protective clothing and other
- Monitoring personnel and equipment should be appropriately
placed along the path. A person traveling along the path should
experience a decreasing level of contamination along the way.
- When showers
or spray nozzles are used, adequate space must be provided to avoid
contamination of other areas or persons.
- All contaminated items must
remain within the perimeter of the Hot Zone until decontaminated or
safely packaged for removal.
During the decontamination process all personnel working in the decontamination
area must be adequately protected from contaminants. Decontamination
area precautions include:
- The Safety Officer will identify and require the appropriate protective
equipment to be used.
- The Decontamination Group is required to decontaminate themselves
and their equipment at the end of the incident.
- Any runoff or residue from decontamination procedures should be contained
within the perimeter of the Warm Zone and retained for proper disposal.
- Contaminated run-off should not be allowed to spread or escape. Diking
may be necessary and should be directed back to the Hot Zone. Decon
rinseate should be collected for proper disposal, and not allowed to
run over the ground to the hot zone.
Specific PPE Level Decontamination
Level D Decontamination (Normal or Modified)
Level D PPE consists of normal work attire, clothing that will provide
protection from physical work and thermal conditions. Modified Level
D is used to refer to conditions where an additional level of dermal
protection is needed. This includes clothes and boot coverings.
When full decontamination is necessary, it will consist of the following:
A decontamination station will be located at the "hotline" (the
edge of the exclusion zone) in the "decon area" of the contamination
reduction zone (also referred to as the warm zone) where personnel routinely
enter or exit the exclusion zone. When exiting the exclusion zone, personnel
will doff overboots, chemical-resistant boots, coveralls, and outer gloves
only at the specified decontamination station.
The decon area must be arranged in such a way so as not to contaminate
the ground under and surrounding the area. Use of pools, pads, tarps
and other such coverings can aid in this effort.
All doffed reusable PPE removed will remain at the decontamination station
pending personnel redonning the reusable PPE. At the conclusion of work
in the exclusion zone, all disposable and reusable PPE, will be placed
in separate plastic bags before disposal or transfer offsite.
Personnel will not be permitted to exit the "decon area" until
contaminated clothing and equipment are removed and they have washed
their hands and face with soap and water.
Partial decontamination that will always be required when exiting the
exclusion zone will include an equipment drop (hard hats, tools, samples,
etc.) in the "decon area" of the contamination reduction zone
on plastic labeled "EQUIP" and a glove and boot wash/rinse
at the "hotline" of the "decon area."
Gloves and boots will be scrubbed as needed while sprayed with disinfectant solution
and a clean water rinse while standing in appropriate tubs.
In those situations where disposable outer garments cover boots and
gloves, wash/rinse procedures may not be necessary, as determined by
the Operation Section Chief.
All disposable outer garments should be discarded in appropriately labeled
plastic bags before disposal or transfer.
Level C Decontamination
Decontamination will include the following:
A decontamination station will be located at the hotline in the decon
area of the contamination reduction zone where personnel routinely enter
or exit the exclusion zone.
When exiting the exclusion zone, personnel will doff overboots (if used),
chemical-resistant boots, coveralls, and outer gloves only at the specified
decon station. Air purifying respirators will be removed last.
Personnel will be instructed in proper decontamination techniques. This
will entail removal of protective clothing in an "inside out" manner.
Removal of contaminants from clothing or equipment by blowing, shaking,
or any other means that may disperse material into the air will be prohibited.
All personal protective clothing removed will remain at the decontamination
station pending personnel redonning the clothing.
At the conclusion of work in an exclusion zone, all PPE will be placed
in plastic bags before disposal or transfer.
Personnel will not be permitted to exit the contamination reduction
zone until contaminated clothing and equipment have been removed and
they have washed their hands with soap and water.