VII Possible Contamination – Seafarers




Decontamination facilities are always needed, when there is a possible risk for exposion to HNS. No action should be executed with the risk of getting contaminated until the means for decontamination are established. The basic requirements for decontamination should be confirmed and at minimum, it can be emergency water hoses.

Decontamination station should be established upwind (as far as possible) and between the warm and cold zone. Entry (warm zone) and exit (cold zone) points should be controlled and it should be taken into account, that the areas around the entry and exit could be contaminated such as railings, doors and door handles, hatches etc. Therefore, areas which are clean and unclean should be clearly marked and guided.

Picture: Kirsi Laitio
Picture: Kirsi Laitio

There are limitations in the DV for establishing a decontamination station, especially in case of mass decontamination. However, external help might not be always available immediately and decontamination is needed if any crew members are planning to do emergency response actions within warm or hot zone or if any persons have been exposed to the HNS. In general, all that is within the warm or hot zone should be considered to be contaminated.

All equipment needs to be washed with appropriate detergent/agens, brushes and warm water. Remember to ensure personal safety!

Decontaminated waste should be handled carefully and stored in separate containers. This how ever might require consultation with a chemical expert as the opportunities to store contaminated equipment, water and other substances can be quite limited in the DV.


Exposed / injured persons

Emergency decontamination should be carried out as soon as possible to minimize the effect of the HNS. Emergency decontamination inludes phases like:

  • removing and bagging the contaminated clothing

    Picture: Kirsi Laitio
    Picture: Kirsi Laitio
  • slow rinse with water (injured parts of the body needs to be protected)
  • emergency medical care/ first aid
  • clothes, blankets or any other means to keep warm.

Decontamination facilities should contain, as far as possible:

  • entering procedures
  • place for leaving contaminated equipment and personal belongings
  • place for additional protective equipment, respiratory filters, SCBA and other breathing supply
  • blankets and other covers to keep warm.

Please notice! Only patients who have been decontaminated will be transported.