- Chemical (C): Industrial incident e.g. leaking battery, truck lorry accident, Terrorist attack e.g. Sarin gas attack Tokyo subway CWA, (chemical warfare agents).
- Biological (B): Diseases e.g. Avian flu, Mexican influenza, Terrorist attack e.g. Anthrax.
- Radiation (R): Nuclear plant e.g. radiation Chernobyl.
- Nuclear (N): Military, Radioactive dust.
Mass Decontamination is the decontamination of large numbers of people, in the event of industrial, accidental, or intentional contamination by toxic, infective, caustic, polluted, or otherwise un-healthful or damaging substances. It's also referred to as 'Mass Decon'. Mass Decon is similar to a car wash for cars. When huge accidents happen like a chemical fire on an industrial park, people may become contaminated by the fluids, fumes and smoke which escape from the incident.
Mass decontamination is performed by way of decontamination tents, trailers, or fixed facilities. Most of our Mass Decon tents with integrated shower system for hospitals and airports have at least 4 soap and rinse showers inside. The facility features pop up tents so that once soaped, the victims can file on either side of the rig (one gender on each side) to rinse in specially designed showers and first can remove all clothing, dry off, and receive replacement clothing or other suitable modesty garb (i.e., makeshift clothing such as bed sheets, tablecloths, or garbage bags with head and arm cut outs).
To keep spreading the contamination as limited as possible, it is essential to act as fast as possible
- The rescue personnel should be vaccinated and clothed in protective clothing.
- Isolate and/or quarantine people who have been exposed to the contamination, and decontaminate them.
- Vehicles and persons coming out of the contaminated zone must be decontaminated.
- Contact between contaminated and clean zone should be kept to a minimum.
- The least possible amount traffic between the zones.
- Rescue personnel are the first to come in contact with the casualties and/or the contaminated area, they must be protected against (secondary) contamination.
- Rescue personnel must be wearing protective clothing.
- Isolation: Contaminated people must be kept separated from the rest of the population to prevent spreading.
- Hot zone, area that is affected by contamination
- Cold zone, area where there is no contamination
- Warm zone, area in between hot and cold for decontamination, isolating or quarantine people
Cold zone: This is the area where there is no contamination.
Severely injured people are transported to the hospital with ambulances. People can be isolated or quarantined here as well, under certain circumstances, abiding special countermeasures. The cold zone is the area around the hot zone. The officials in charge states what the measurements of this area are. Distance from the hot zone to the cold zone must be at least 25 meters, because certain substances are able to advance 10 meters against the wind direction. In this zone, the warm zone people can be isolated or quarantined. Lifesaving medical treatments and the decontamination of people and vehicles will be carried out in this zone. Medical personnel can be also active in this zone. All rescue and Medical personnel wear protective clothing. Decontaminated people and vehicles can only exit to the cold zone. Decontaminating and leaving the warm zone will be in opposite direction of the wind direction.
In the Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) the requirements are set forth to reduce the risks to the public associated with the exposure to hazardous materials. The National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Asbestos Standard for the Construction Industry is requiring appropriate training and certification of persons employed in all aspects of hazardous contaminated areas, as well as those who supervise and employ them.
Mass decontamination is performed by way of decontamination tents, trailers, or fixed facilities. Most fire brigades, hospitals and airports have at least one mass decontamination facility. Some newer airports have a mobile facility that can react fast in large scale incidents.