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 areas.
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.