Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Mobile Decontamination Units—Room for Improvement?

  • Pascale Ribordy (a1), David Rocksén (a2), Uno Dellgar (a3), Sven-Åke Persson (a4), Kristina Arnoldsson (a4), Hans Ekåsen (a5), Sune Häggbom (a6), Ola Nerf (a1), Åsa Ljungqvist (a7), Dan Gryth (a8) (a9) and Ola Claesson (a4)...

Abstract

Introduction

Mobile decontamination units are intended to be used at the accident site to decontaminate persons contaminated by toxic substances. A test program was carried out to evaluate the efficacy of mobile decontamination units.

Objective

The tests included functionality, methodology, inside environment, effects of wind direction, and decontamination efficacy.

Methods

Three different types of units were tested during summer and winter conditions. Up to 15 test-persons per trial were contaminated with the imitation substances Purasolve ethyl lactate (PEL) and methyl salicylate (MES). Decontamination was carried out according to standardized procedures. During the decontamination trials, the concentrations of the substances inside the units were measured. After decontamination, substances evaporating from test-persons and blankets as well as remaining amounts in the units were measured.

Results

The air concentrations of PEL and MES inside the units during decontamination in some cases exceeded short-term exposure limits for most toxic industrial chemicals. This was a problem, especially during harmful wind conditions, i.e., wind blowing in the same direction as persons moving through the decontamination units. Although decontamination removed a greater part of the substances from the skin, the concentrations evaporating from some test-persons occasionally were high and potentially harmful if the substances had been toxic. The study also showed that blankets placed in the units absorbed chemicals and that the units still were contaminated five hours after the end of operations.

Conclusions

After decontamination, the imitation substances still were present and evaporating from the contaminated persons, blankets, and units. These results indicate a need for improvements in technical solutions, procedures, and training.

Ribordy P , Rocksén D , Dellgar U , Persson S , Arnoldsson K , Ekåsen H , Häggbom S , Nerf O , Ljungqvist A , Gryth D , Claesson O . Mobile Decontamination Units—Room for Improvement?. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2012;27(4):17.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence: Pascale Ribordy, MSc Stockholm's Prehospital Center Södersjukhuset / South Stockholm Hospital S-118 83 Stockholm, Sweden E-mail pascale.ribordy@gmail.com

References

Hide All
1. Okumura, T, Takasu, N, Ishimatsu, S, et al. Report on 640 victims of the Tokyo subway sarin attack. Ann Emerg Med. 1996;28(2):129-135.
2. Okumura, T, Hisaoka, T, Yamada, A, et al. The Tokyo subway sarin attack—lessons learned. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2005;207(2 Suppl):471-476. Review.
3. Houston, M, Hendrickson, RG. Decontamination. Crit Care Clin. 2005;21(4):653-672, v.
4. Nakajima, T, Sato, S, Morita, H, Yanagisawa, N. Sarin poisoning of a rescue team in the Matsumoto sarin incident in Japan. Occup Environ Med. 1997;54(10):697-701.
5. Burgess, JL. Hospital evacuations due to hazardous materials incidents. Am J Emerg Med. 1999;17(1):50-52.
6. Horton, DK, Berkowitz, Z, Kaye, WE. Secondary contamination of ED personnel from hazardous materials events, 1995-2001. Am J Emerg Med. 2003;21(3):199-204.
7. Edkins, A, Murray, V. Management of chemically contaminated bodies. J R Soc Med. 2005;98(4):141-145.
8. Nozaki, H, Hori, S, Shinozawa, Y, et al. Secondary exposure of medical staff to sarin vapor in the emergency room. Intensiv Care Med. 1995;21(12):1032-1035.
9. Cox, RD. Decontamination and management of hazardous materials exposure victims in the emergency department. Ann Emerg Med. 1994;23(4):761-770.
10. Okumura, S, Okumura, T, Ishimatsu, S, et al. Clinical review: Tokyo - protecting the health worker during a chemical mass casualty event: an important issue of continuing relevance. Crit Care. 2005;9(4):397-400.
11. Macintyre, AG, Christopher, GW, Eitzen, E Jr, et al. Weapons of mass destruction events with contaminated casualties: effective planning for health care facilities. JAMA. 2000;283(2):242-249.
12. Wester, RC, Maibach, HI. In vivo percutaneous absorption and decontamination of pesticides in humans. J Toxicol Environ Health. 1985;16(1):25-37.
13. Taysse, L, Daulon, S, Delamanche, S, et al. Skin decontamination of mustards and organophosphates: comparative efficiency of RSDL and Fuller's earth in domestic swine. Hum Exp Toxicol. 2007;26(2):135-141.
14. FritzGerald, DJ, Sztajnkrycer, MD, Crocco, TJ. Chemical weapon functional exercise—Cincinnati: observations and lessons learned from a “typical medium-sized” city's response to simulated terrorism utilizing Weapons of Mass Destruction. Public Health Rep. 2003;118(3):205-214.
15. Okumura, T, Suzuki, K, Fukuda, A, et al. The Tokyo subway sarin attack: disaster management, Part 1: Community emergency response. Acad Emerg Med. 1998;5(6):613-617.
16. Dellgar U, Persson SÅ, Claesson O, et al. Socialstyrelsen. NBC-saneringsanläggningar vid sjukhus—validering av rutiner och funktion [Test of decontamination stations in Sweden]. Translated from: Article number 2003-123-14. http://www.udr.se/CBW_Symposium_June_2004_Manuscript.pdf. Accessed June 10, 2012.
17. Törngren, S, Persson, , Ljungquist, Å, et al. Personal decontamination after exposure to simulated liquid phase contaminants: functional assessment of a new unit. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 1998;36(6):567-573.
18. Raber, E, Jin, A, Noonan, K, et al. Decontamination issues for chemical and biological warfare agents: how clean is clean enough? Int J Environ Health Res. 2001;11(2):128-148.
19. Louvet, A, Sinault, L, Mosset, F. Putting the Gold Standard into showers. CBRNeWORLD. Autumn 2010:52-56.

Keywords

Mobile Decontamination Units—Room for Improvement?

  • Pascale Ribordy (a1), David Rocksén (a2), Uno Dellgar (a3), Sven-Åke Persson (a4), Kristina Arnoldsson (a4), Hans Ekåsen (a5), Sune Häggbom (a6), Ola Nerf (a1), Åsa Ljungqvist (a7), Dan Gryth (a8) (a9) and Ola Claesson (a4)...

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed