Decontamination Nation: Cleaning Up the Act

By: James Monahan

Decontamination for decontamination’s sake. But do you really know what decontamination can do for you?

We’ve all heard about germs being all around us all the time. Everywhere we go, we will always be faced with different kinds of bacteria.

If you have some super sense that lets you detect every bacterium on the planet, then I think you may be in for some distressing days. That’s because you will be seeing all the bacteria all around you. And that means they are EVERYWHERE, literally.

With your super sense, you will be able to see them on the floors that you walk on. You will see them on the walls all around you. You will even be able to see them floating on the very air that you breathe. Why, you will even be seeing them sticking all over your own body!

Being able to see all those creepy crawlies all around you will make you realize that your kind of super sense isn’t such a good idea after all. But you don’t have to worry.

Most of the bacteria that you “see” can actually do you more good than harm. They are essential to vital life processes that without them, humans will be having a very hard time living everyday.

But as with good bacteria, there are also some bad ones out there, lurking somewhere. These bad bacteria are the main causes of a lot of sickness and diseases all around us.

They are always on the alert for a chance to have a strike at you. And when they do, they can bring you lots of unwanted misery and problems. They can make you sick. These are the kinds of bacteria that you should look out for. They need a little decontamination.

Decontamination is the process in which you try to get rid of contaminants. In this case, the contaminants are the bad bacteria.

Decontamination is necessary to ensure that you won’t be in the midst of some bad bacteria or handling objects full of them. Decontamination of the surfaces or objects that you come into contact with can help in preventing you from encountering these bad bacteria.

Every decontamination process has their important prerequisites. One is the adequate cleaning of the surface of object first before its actual decontamination. Some organic materials like blood or soil may even shield the harmful microorganisms from the chemical disinfectants that you will apply during decontamination.

The actual physical removal by scrubbing is just as important as applying the anti-microbial agent in an effective decontamination process.

When you have done the initial pre-cleaning, there are still some things to consider prior to the decontamination process itself. You should try to choose a disinfectant that does not contain any corrosive agents or otherwise that will prove destructive to the objects or surfaces undergoing decontamination.

You should also try to follow the manufacturer’s directions in the proper application of the disinfecting agent. You should be aware of the correct concentration, contact time, and the method of application of the disinfectant.

You should also try to determine if the design of the equipment or the construction materials used on the surfaces would have an effect on the decontamination process.

Cracks, joints and pores may prove as barriers to the penetration of the disinfecting agent. You may need a longer contact time to accomplish effective decontamination, which may also depend on the complexity of the equipment design and the soil present.

And most important of all, any decontamination procedure requires you to wear the appropriate protective gear. You should not forget those gloves, goggles and protective clothing whenever you use disinfecting chemicals.

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James Monahan is the owner and Senior Editor of and writes expert articles about decontamination.

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