Vertical Gear decontamination

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Vertical Gear decontamination

Postby submassabielle » Nov 8, 2016 6:08 pm

Hello everyone,
I am making an adjustment in my caving location and would like to reliably decontaminate my vertical gear. How is this most safely done? Is a sanitize cycle on a dishwasher sufficient for ascenders and carabiners etc? Would it melt the plastic parts? Could I put my harness, cows tails, foot loops etc. in the dishwasher too? (I don't have a washing machine with a sanitize cycle). Are there chemicals that are reliably safe? Chemicals on vertical gear kinda freaks me out.
Thanks!
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Re: Vertical Gear decontamination

Postby ohiocaver » Nov 8, 2016 6:49 pm

The US Fish & Wildlife WNS protocol that NSS follows is on the link below.
https://www.whitenosesyndrome.org/resou ... april-2016
Basically, it recommends following manufacturer's specs. Of course, I've never purchased a carabiner (locking or not!) with a WNS de-con recommendation. Neither my less-than-one-year old caving suit nor my fairly new Petzl helmet came with such a recommendation....and both were manufactured well into the WNS era.
So, do your best. It is unlikely, unless you deal with bats, that you will be a vector. However, better safe than sorry. Bottom line is to remove all dirt and gunk (which you would, anyway) and use Dawn or Woolite...or whatever the harness/rope/jumar manufacturer says to use.
When you're done, let us know what you did and how it worked out.
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Re: Vertical Gear decontamination

Postby Squirrel Girl » Nov 10, 2016 10:07 am

I seem to recall that Hazel Barton (or someone) did studies and found that dishwashers weren't hot enough and would cause the fungal spores to sprout.
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Re: Vertical Gear decontamination

Postby submassabielle » Nov 10, 2016 5:46 pm

So far I have heard what not to do. Does anyone have advice on what to do? My gear include a GGG seat and chest harness, webbing for qas and footloops. And cows tails that appear to be static rope. I am thinking hot water is probably best. However, this requires 131 F for 20 minutes, which will probably require me to start with water at 145 F (cause there is no way I'm gonna simmer it on a burner). I don't have my original packaging but have noticed that websites explaining how to clean static rope suggest max temperatures lower than that. Does anyone have any advice on how I can decon this stuff? It isn't something I plan to do regularly. I just want to do it once now that I won't be WNS positive caves for a while.
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