WNS nylon decontamination discussion

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Re: WNS nylon decontamination discussion

Postby ArCaver » Apr 3, 2009 7:35 pm

Is there a possibility that the isopropyl alcohol would kill the fungus if used alone?
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Re: WNS nylon decontamination discussion

Postby ek » Apr 3, 2009 9:09 pm

Isopropyl alcohol, used alone, is consistent with the current Fish and Wildlife Service protocols, as of the time that I am posting this message.

See the official protocols for details on how to do it.

Of course, just because the FWS protocols say to do it doesn't mean it works. But that's the best we've got. If you can be consistent with the protocols by decontaminating everything with isopropanol, I say go for it.

I decontaminate my hardware, helmet, lights, and some other items with isopropanol. I use other modalities for other gear, primarily due to cost concerns.

Please note that I cannot ensure (as of now) that isopropanol will not harm load-bearing textiles. The NFPA recommendations suggest it is OK for nylon and polyester. But I cannot vouch for that claim personally. Due to cost, I have not pursued the issue of the safety of isopropyl alcohol on load-bearing textiles with any manufacturers, as of this time. PMI does endorse the NFPA recommendations for disinfection against bloodborne pathogens, which means they approve it for drying, after decontaminating with 1.5% concentration of household bleach for 10 minutes followed by thorough rinsing. (This use of bleach is not consistent with the current FWS protocols because the concentration is too low.)

If any person or organization (caving or scientific) can actually practically decontaminate all their load-bearing textiles with isopropyl alcohol, then I'd be pleased to look into the issue with manufacturers as to whether or not it's safe for nylon, polyester, and other materials. Please let me know.
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