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DECONTAMINATION DeconGel effectively

decontaminates a broad range of horizontal and vertical

substrates, including vehicles.

While training the civilian population at large in how to prepare for and decon from a CBRN event is near impossible, it is best to train the military and first responders in how to effectively and efficiently decontaminate civilians. Responders need to know the difference in decontamination methods as well as maintain familiarity in crowd management and panic control in order to provide the best possible care to the civilian population, which is always going to be highly situational. An out-of-control population can hamper any kind of advanced training and even the best of decontamination methods can be rendered useless by panic.

Going for dry For large-scale contamination, the most oſten currently used protocol is a wet decontamination method: the civilians’ clothing is removed and they are directed by soldiers to shower, usually with water and a detergent or concentrations of bleach. Today’s decontamination methods are still primarily water-based even though there is no empirical data that says showering every potentially contaminated person is actually necessary. Currently used detergent or bleach concentration many

believe may not be taken out of the mix any time in the foreseeable future. In addition, the use of bleach and detergents requires large volumes of water. Both the contaminated runoff water and the bleach byproducts can end up in the water table, causing issues for years to come. And while this form of decontamination can be effective in many cases, dry or damp decontamination may be the decontamination plan of the future, as it is much easier to deploy to large groups of untrained people. In addition, the advances in dry decon provide the potential to decontaminate people along with equipment and infrastructure. The detergents and bleaches used are not usually the

standard ‘off the shelf’ commercially available cleaners that civilians will be used to. These detergents can be dangerous and damaging to the skin. While most soldiers will be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), the vast majority of contaminated civilians will be wearing ‘street clothes’ and require a great deal of decontamination. In addition, during a CBRN event, time is of the essence and detection or identifica- tion of the contaminant may be difficult and slow, especially in a large-scale civilian attack or accident; therefore, a broad spectrum decontaminant is key. Dry and/or damp decon is quickly becoming the most effective method of decontamination for large scale, untrained, or sensitive populations of people, equipment, and infrastructure. Reactive Skin Decontamination Lotion (RSDL) is designed

Effective radioactive decontamination using DeconGel in Japan.

to be carried by warfighters and first responders worldwide and is cleared for use on skin by the US FDA (Food & Drugs Administration). A lotion-soaked sponge comes in a sealed packet for single use decontamination. The lotion-soaked sponge is wiped slowly on contaminated areas and while rinsing is not immediately required, the RSDL-exposed areas should be rinsed with soap and water when those resources become available, unlike many bleach concentrations or detergents (which require substantial usage of water and rinsing). Also unlike bleach concentrations and detergents, RSDL removes or neutralizes all known chemical warfare agents. Aſter decontaminating personnel and civilians, the next priority may be to decontaminate infrastructure in order to keep people from becoming re-contaminated. For infrastructure, vehicles, and equipment, DeconGel effectively decontaminates a broad range of horizontal and vertical substrates including concrete, steel, painted or unpainted surfaces, vehicles, glove

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