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Guide for the Selection of Chemical and Biological Decontamination Equipment for Emergency First Responders, NIJ Guide 103-00, Volume I

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2001
98 pages
The primary purpose of this guide is to provide emergency first responders with information that should aid them in the selection and utilization of chemical and/or biological (CB) decontamination equipment. The guide is more practical than technical and provides information on a variety of factors that can be considered when purchasing decontamination equipment: functional application, capacity/throughput, and effectiveness.
This guide includes information to assist the emergency first responder community in selecting chemical agent, biological agent and toxic industrial material decontamination techniques and equipment for different applications. It includes a thorough market survey of decontamination equipment known to authors as of September 2000. Brief technical discussions are presented that consider the principles of operation of several pieces of equipment. This guide describes equipment for decontamination of personnel, equipment, and facilities, and it offers effectiveness in qualitative terms. It does not address detection methods or protocols for quantitatively determining decontamination effectiveness, nor standards for release of equipment or facilities for unrestricted use following exposure to a chemical agent (CA), biological agent (BA), or toxic industrial material (TIM) after decontamination. Due to the high number of CB decontamination equipment items identified in this guide, the guide is separated into two volumes. Volume 1 represents the actual guide. Volume 2 serves as a supplement to Volume 1 and contains the CB decontamination equipment data sheet only. Volume 1 is divided into several sections. Section 2 provides an introduction to chemical agents, TIMs, and biological agents. Section 3 presents an overview to CB decontamination. Section 4 presents an overview of the identified decontaminants. Section 5 presents an overview of the initiatives taken by emergency first responders for CB decontamination. Section 6 discusses various characteristics and performance parameters that are used to evaluate decontamination equipment in this guide. Thirteen selection factors are identified. These factors were compiled by a panel of experienced scientists and engineers with multiple years of experience in chemical and biological decontamination, domestic preparedness, and identification of emergency first responder needs. Section 7 presents several tables that allow the reader to compare and contrast the different decontamination equipment using the 13 selection factors.

Date Published: October 1, 2001