Decon Experiences

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Re: Decon Experiences

Postby ArCaver » Mar 13, 2009 1:51 pm

NZcaver wrote:I usually avoid cross-posting, but the information I just added to the WNS nylon decontamination discussion is also relevant here.

So paraphrasing my other post... when helping with WNS surveys in the northeast a year ago, I used Lysol and/or chlorine dioxide to decontaminate some of my gear. Both were recommended by some of the cave/bat biology people. One northeast caver and bat researcher concocts his own chlorine dioxide, which is apparently quite effective against the WNS fusarium/fungus, and is safe for your gear and for humans to ingest (mmmm, yummy). The EPA also says it's effective against anthrax, but it can be a little tricky (and potentially explosive) to concoct.

Apart from my caving in Hawaii (no bats and no mud), my standard cleaning still involves a combination of subjecting my gear to the high pressure hose at a DIY car wash and/or scrubbing and soaking in a plastic tub. I also usually machine wash my suit and clothing. In actual or potential WNS areas, the additional chemical treatment comes after the standard cleaning - and in some cases also immediately before entering a cave.

There was a related discussion a few years ago about gear cleaning with lots of good information, which later spawned a discussion about contamination of the cave from a dirty cave suit. Amazingly, some of us regularly cleaned our gear even before WNS was on the radar. Imagine that!


I'm no chemist but one would assume the publishers of this are: http://www.huntingdonfusion.com/downloa ... stance.pdf
I'd avoid anything with chlorine in it as far as nylon gear is concerned. As for Lysol, as mentioned in another thread does it contain phenol?

I've also been fastidious about my caving gear for years. Not to prevent cross-contamination but because I think it lasts longer if you keep the crud cleaned out of it. I do resent being told to destroy expensive gear because it may or may not carry spores of a fungus that may or may not be killing bats. Honestly, if they want to be serious about this then we should be seeing researchers in full biohazard suits.
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Re: Decon Experiences

Postby NZcaver » Mar 13, 2009 2:01 pm

ArCaver wrote:I'd avoid anything with chlorine in it as far as nylon gear is concerned.

Fair call. Certainly deserves more investigation.

Honestly, if they want to be serious about this then we should be seeing researchers in full biohazard suits.

Honestly, one of the two times I've entered caves wearing an *almost* full biohazard suit... it got ripped up pretty quick. The other cave was basically a walk-in, and the suit actually survived. But certainly with northeast caves, easy walk-ins are the exception rather than the rule.
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Re: Decon Experiences

Postby ArCaver » Mar 13, 2009 3:25 pm

NZcaver wrote:Honestly, one of the two times I've entered caves wearing an *almost* full biohazard suit... it got ripped up pretty quick. The other cave was basically a walk-in, and the suit actually survived. But certainly with northeast caves, easy walk-ins are the exception rather than the rule.


I'm not familiar enough with the caves in question to say. I do believe that the investigators who found bats to be the host for Marburg wore full suits when in cave. Since the extinction of bats has the very likely end result of leaving our species susceptible to everything from starvation to pandemic I would think the investigators in this case would come up with a better plan than barehanding the little buggers and telling everyone to scrub the strength out of their gear.
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Re: Decon Experiences

Postby hewhocaves » Mar 13, 2009 6:03 pm

I would honestly think that the best 'decon suit' would be a trip to the thrift store for a pair of two dollar jeans and a flannel shirt. Then a trip to the dumpster after the cave trip ended.

I've done those kinds of things at OTR for when i couldnt bear to put disgusting muddy clothes on and have been surprisingly comfortable.
The NSS and WNS: Cooperation, not confrontation.
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Re: Decon Experiences

Postby George Dasher » Mar 13, 2009 6:28 pm

You should have used your washing machine, on gentle cycle, not your dish washer.
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Re: WELL HERE YOU GO!

Postby NZcaver » Mar 17, 2009 12:49 am

Squirrel Girl wrote:Image

NZcaver wrote:Honestly, one of the two times I've entered caves wearing an *almost* full biohazard suit... it got ripped up pretty quick. The other cave was basically a walk-in, and the suit actually survived.

Speaking of suits, I found one of my photos from NY a year ago - check out these 3 manly northeast cavers! :woohoo: :tonguecheek:

Image

We weren't handling any bats this trip, we were just looking. My Tyvec suit survived, but the gentleman on the left tore out the backside of his suit. :shhh: I won't post that photo :big grin: but at least all of our clothing underneath was clean too.

Unfortunately yes, the site proved to be positive for WNS. However we didn't see any dead bats.
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Re: Decon Experiences

Postby PYoungbaer » Mar 17, 2009 1:47 pm

Jansen,

The gentleman on the left deeply appreciates that discretion. Is it light yet in Alaska?
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Re: Decon Experiences

Postby NZcaver » Mar 17, 2009 3:16 pm

PYoungbaer wrote:The gentleman on the left deeply appreciates that discretion. Is it light yet in Alaska?

Ah, I see you took the bait. Luckily discretion is my middle name. :big grin:

It just passed the "12 hours of light per day" mark here and it's getting brighter all the time. I'd better get in some local caving before all the caves melt. At least contamination won't be an issue in this part of Alaska. :wink:
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