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 include:
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 include:
During the decontamination process all personnel working in the decontamination area must be adequately protected from contaminants. Decontamination area precautions include:
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.