Biohazard Decontamination

Biohazard Decontamination

Decontamination of Biohazards and Infectious Agents

Decontamination is any process that reduces biohazardous material (infectious agents, recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules, human material, biological toxins, etc.) to an acceptable level, or one that is below the level necessary to cause infection.

Acceptable levels will depend on the biohazardous material in question and the type of work being done. To select the proper decontamination procedure, one must consider many factors including the biohazard’s concentration and resistance to disinfectants, chemical compatibility with other materials present, surface being decontaminated, and hazards to humans, animals, and the environment associated with the disinfectant. Ineffective decontamination can provide a false sense of security and spread contamination. Acceptable decontamination procedures must be determined before work begins and must be included in the Site-Specific Decontamination Protocols.

Chemical Decontamination
Tear Gas

Law enforcement agencies typically utilize one of three different types of tear gas. In some instances, law enforcement agencies will use a combination of two of these gases. The trio of tear gases most often used by law enforcement agencies in the United States are:

  • CS
  • CN
  • OC

When tear gases are used in combination, law enforcement agencies tend to deploy CS and OC in a mix. As will be discussed in a moment, these three different types of tear gas have different effects. In addition, these various types of tear gas call for markedly different cleaning protocols. In fact, as will be seen, a couple of these gases have cleaning requirements that are in opposition to one another.

Overview of the Effects of These Different Tear Gases

The three different types of tear gasses do have somewhat different effects on a person. CS sometimes is referred to as a “super tear gas” because of its effectiveness. Currently, CS is the most commonly utilized tear gas when it comes to crowd control and use by law enforcement in the United States.

CS tear gas works by causing irritation of the mucous membranes in a person’s eyes, mouth, nose, and lungs. The gas causes coughing, crying, sneezing, difficulty breathing, eye pain, and ultimately temporary blindness. Symptoms associated with CS tear gas typically arise within 20 to 60 seconds of exposure. The symptoms resolve in about 30 minutes from being removed from the area where this type of tear gas is being used.

CN tear gas isn’t as widely used and is considered more toxic than the CS or OC derivations. CN tear gas is said to work more directly on the nerves associated with a person’s eyes. As a result, CN tear gas is apt to cause a person to experience temporary blindness more quickly than is the case with the other two types of this “deterrent” discussed here.

Because of the direct impact that CN gas can have on the nerves associated with the eyes, when exposed to this substance, a person is wise to consult with a doctor to ensure that permanent damage did not occur. With that said, and as was noted a moment ago, this type of tear gas is not used as commonly in the United States as the other two derivations discussed here.

OC is the final type of tear gas. OC is most commonly known as “pepper spray.” There has been some debate in recent times as to whether pepper spray (or OC) is in fact tear gas. The reality is that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classifies OC or pepper spray as a tear gas in the same way that the other two derivations mentioned in this discussion are classified in this manner.

OC tear gas causes a person’s eyelids to swell, forcing the eyes closed. This process occurs rapidly after being exposed to OC tear gas or pepper spray. The net effect is temporary blindness.

OC tear gas can have some other effects in some cases. It can cause a person to experience discomfort or a burning sensation in the lungs. It can also result in a person experiencing some shortness of breath.

How to Clean Up CS Tear Gas

The first step in CS tear gas cleanup is to ventilate the impacted area completely. If tear gas impacted a business or home, open up as many doors and windows as reasonably possible.

Effectively cleaning up CS tear gas necessitates keeping the impacted area as cool as possible. Heat causes this type of tear gas to spread. CS tear gas leaves behind a crystalline residue. Items contaminated with tear gas residue should be cleaned with an agent like Unsmoke Degrease-All diluted. The agent is diluted at between two to four ounces for a gallon of water.

You will also want to clean and seal the HVAC system to eliminate any CS tear gas residue that ends up in the ductwork and other areas in that equipment. Soft goods need to be laundered when possible.

How to Clean Up CN Tear Gas

When cleaning up CN tear gas, the process also begins with ventilating the impacted space completely. Open up as many doors and windows as possible. When the ventilation is completed heat the contaminated space to 95 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit for four hours. You can also install a HEPA air scrubber that contains carbon or charcoal filters for added odor absorption.

At the end of the four-hour period, thoroughly ventilate the contaminated space again. When that is completed, clean surfaces and items contaminated with tear gas residue with an agent like Unsmoke Degrease-All diluted to two to four ounces of the agent for every gallon of water. The cleaning process needs to include the HVAC system, including the ductwork. Soft goods need to be laundered when possible in the same way as CS tear gas.

How to Clean Up OC Tear Gas or a Combination of CS and OC Tear Gas

OC tear gas and a combination CS and OC tear gas are cleaned up in the same manner. The tear gas cleanup course outlined for CS gas a moment ago is what is used for OC tear gas alone or a combination of CS and OC tear gas. Tending to tear gas cleanup can be a challenging task.

The ultimate objective is to fully remove any residue of tear gas from a business, home, or other location. This can prove challenging, particularly when it comes to remediating tear gas that has infiltrated an HVAC system. As a result, oftentimes a wise course is to engage the services of an experienced, tenacious tear gas cleanup specialist.­­

Fentanyl/Meth Decontamination

Meth Labs can leave behind toxic chemicals, residue, and actual meth. These contaminants can make residents sick; the elderly and small children are at the The production and use of methamphetamine (meth) across the United States continues to pose considerable challenges to our nation. Meth is easy to make, is highly addictive and its production and use can have serious impacts on both human health and the environment. Despite a decline in domestic meth production in recent years, vigilance is warranted not only because of the destructive nature of meth itself, but also due to the significant environmental hazards meth laboratories (labs) generate.



Sandia National Laboratories, a multi-program laboratory for the United States Department of Energy developed the most advanced, full spectrum solutions for chemical and biological decontamination. Sandia’s patented DF200 formula can effectively neutralize one of the country’s most aggressive modern menaces: Fentanyl.

With a mission to prove the efficacy of DF200, A Fentanyl Working Group was assembled, which included chemists from both third party and government labs, and numerous decontamination experts from local, state, and national agencies across the US. This collaborative effort resulted in the establishment of test standard protocols for the efficacy of decontamination agents against the fentanyl family of synthetic opioids for application in tactical environments.

During the initial run of tests with these high standards, DF 200 was able to eliminate over 97% of certified fentanyl in 5 minutes. These new test results add to the already broad-spectrum efficacy of (DF 200) against blood-borne bacteria and viruses (HIV/AIDS, MRSA, Tuberculosis, Ebola, Avian Influenza), chemical and biological warfare agents (CBWs), toxic industrial chemicals (TICs), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Artemis Bio-Solutions LLC has been granted a license from Sandia (No. 00-C02678); to utilize this patented technology (DF 200) to formulate our Bio-Oxygen® Chem Decon for commercial and professional use. Bio-Oxygen® Chem Decon meets Sandia’s quality standards and is tested for performance and efficacy.


The cleanup man

After police find meth inside a property, homeowners are left to deal with the toxic mess. Ryan Weaver is the one they call to make those houses livable again.

Decontamination Protocols

Writing effective decontamination protocols can lead to more efficiency and more profitable business.

In this presentation, Clay Hernandez lays out the steps you need to take to articulate your decontamination protocols.


Learning Objectives

  • Adopting a specific, well-orchestrated decision-making process to adapt and respond to each unique cleaning and disinfection job.
  • How to develop an accurate, site-specific assessment of a facility to create an accurate scope of work.
  • Develop the site-specific protocol for disinfection and decontamination.
  • Possess the tools and knowledge to properly implement the site-specific protocol, resulting in proper disinfection and satisfied customers.

The Three Key Steps for Writing Effective Decontamination Protocols

  1. Initial Assessment
  2. Developing the Protocol
  3. Implementing the Plan
Forensic Restoration

Forensic Restoration is the comprehensive and complete remediation of microenvironments (buildings and structures) that are contaminated or suspected to be contaminated from biological materials.  Forensic Restoration returns structures to pre-event conditions.  Forensic Restoration covers, but is not limited to, incidences of: 

  • Crime and trauma situations 
  • Unattended death
  • Infectious disease
  • Unsatisfactory dwellings 
  • Hoarding
  • Bioterrorism
  • Contaminations from animals, including nests, carcasses, and fecal matter

REFERENCE LINK ABTA/MWE: Artemis Bio-Risk Training Academy


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