Page 1 of 1

Current WNS decon procedures??

PostPosted: Jan 2, 2016 10:25 pm
by Rick Brinkman
I quit caving a few years ago. I'm considering getting back into it.

The last I knew, in order to be a "good" caver...I had to bleach all of my gear. (NOT going to happen with me)

I was wondering if that had changed (seems like I read something about using hot water in the washing machine to clean gear).

I didn't find an easy/quick link to current decon procedures.....anywhere. If it was there, I missed it.

I'd appreciate a link.....


Re: Current WNS decon procedures??

PostPosted: Jan 2, 2016 11:21 pm
by GroundquestMSA
Reasonable and informed scientists, cavers, and even some government agencies have by now realized that WNS decon is essentially a waste of time. Further, the USFWS decon procedures are impractical and were largely ignored/amended accordingly. It is interesting that the NSS decon page, while it still links the 2012 USFWS protocol, does not strongly encourage a specific standard of decontamination, saying simply:

Caving Clothes and gear used within WNS-affected regions should not be taken outside of that region. Local agencies can implement their own clean caving or decontamination protocols, please see the USFWS page for guidance."

So, while cavers must still act, or appear to act, in accordance with government protocols when on government property, they should otherwise feel free to clean their gear however they see fit.

If you still want to disinfect your gear to the accepted standard for killing pd, submersion in hot water, effective at sustained temperatures ≥50ºC (122ºF) for 20 minutes, has been shown to be effective. Follow the links on the above referenced NSS page for more details.

Re: Current WNS decon procedures??

PostPosted: Jan 2, 2016 11:40 pm
by Rick Brinkman
I know that your answer can't be taken as "official" in any way. ....but, thanks. That helps.

Re: Current WNS decon procedures??

PostPosted: Jan 2, 2016 11:54 pm
by GroundquestMSA
Nope, not official, just the observations of a borderline recalcitrant. :big grin:
There has never been any such thing as an all-encompassing "official" standard. Government agencies have made their rules for specific bits of land, and bodies like the NSS have made various recommendations. Ultimately though, it has always been up to the individual caver.