WNS Decontamination Procedures

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Re: WNS Decontamination Procedures

Postby Smells_Familiar » May 7, 2012 5:53 pm

I don't know what the details of the customers complaints are; I don't know if anyone's been injured. It could even just be a handful of people contacting Petzl after deconing their gear with Lysol a number of times and being scared that it's weakened (for fear of "unknown" after reading things online) and wanting replacements. I wouldn't be too scared until we learn the conclusions of their tests. The more people that contact them, the more fire under their butts.

I know that my Vertex Vent version 1 and 2 are rated to 50*C+ so I may start with water at 140*F in my huge stock pot and see the temp results after 15 minutes and adjust from there. I may have to add a little flame but I'm kinda scared to do that since almost all my gear is synthetic. I haven't found any temp. specifications for my harness or webbing so good luck with that. I'm just going for it when I need to and thanking God I won't have to decon every month consistently.
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Re: WNS Decontamination Procedures

Postby Chads93GT » May 7, 2012 10:33 pm

Nylon melts at ugh. 460 degrees? The water will be non existent at that point. I think you are safe. Unless the laws of physics don't exist in your neck of the woods heheheh
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Re: WNS Decontamination Procedures

Postby Smells_Familiar » May 7, 2012 11:50 pm

I'm not worried about melting it, I'm concerned about prematurely aging it though.
My and my son's breadbasket's are involved here, see.

I'm not overly concerned, but I anxiously await more testing results. It's a valid concern, especially with all the dings, smashes, gouges, and scrapes that our helmets and other gear all have. What happens to the gear if we have that chance accident we all try to avoid? Will the gear be significantly weakened by repeated hot temps in a solvent (H20) or a chemical (lysol)? It is WISE to raise that question and demand some testing without getting grey hair over it or caring if other people think your a pansy for caring.
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Re: WNS Decontamination Procedures

Postby wyandottecaver » May 8, 2012 5:26 pm

wow, dunno how I missed the replies on this thread.... anyway.

I do decon, when I am required by a permit to do so. Otherwise it is a fools folly IMHO.

As for decon, I say it doesnt work because the point of decon is NOT to kill the fungus. It is to prevent the spread of WNS. Decon doesn't, and I argue CANT work in its intended purpose.

As an example, If I could magically kill every scrap of WNS in Indiana, and prevent every human from caving in the state, I am positive it would be back in the state by winter and we would gain..maybe... 2 years before we were right back where we are right now. Decon simply does not work. Dont degrade your gear or the environment for a dead idea.

I do agree we should not take ANY gear including caving clothing, outside WNS caving areas to distant "clean" areas if at all possible. (I am talking crossing states, not counties) Not that I think this matters a lot (if people spread WNS very well it would be very well spread), but if I am going from Indiana to Colorado its a reasonable precaution. If I am going to a neighboring county, dont bother.

I do agree you should regularly clean your gear. (though I sometimes dont, but thats lazy not science)

I would tend to differ with Peter on Indiana being saturated. While WNS has only been confirmed in a big handful of indiana caves, virtually all the major cave areas have WNS (and most of the major hibernacula have it or are VERY close to those that do), and as Smells observed at bryants, there are many hundreds of other caves near confirmed sites. I consider Indiana functionally saturated with WNS.

As for the helmets, maybe the lysol made them brittle. I KNOW they arent as durable as the ecrins. Maybe Petzl just found a nice scapegoat, but I dont want to use volatiles on plastic composites either.
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Re: WNS Decontamination Procedures

Postby PYoungbaer » May 9, 2012 6:39 am

wyandottecaver wrote:I would tend to differ with Peter on Indiana being saturated. ... I consider Indiana functionally saturated with WNS.


This may be a matter of semantics. As with most of the WNS-affected areas, officials have not put out mortality or baseline bat population information, with the exception of the Indiana bat figures - mostly because they are unknown. For the Indiana bat, that population actually increased by 4.5% from 2009 to 2011: (213,170 to 222,820). Now, that data is from last winter; the biennial survey will take place again next winter, and those figures should be very telling on the effect of WNS on at least that species.

While Indiana's first WNS confirmation came last year, and several more this year, we haven't seen or heard of mass mortalities. Thus, it seems to me that WNS is still on an upward curve in Indiana, and not yet "saturated," unlike West Virginia or Virginia, for example.

I wouldn't disagree with wyandottecaver's description of WNS caves being affected in most of the major caving areas, and thus infected bats being within easy flying distance of the others, so saturated by anyone's definition may simply be a matter of time.
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Re: WNS Decontamination Procedures

Postby MUD » May 9, 2012 10:06 am

:laughing: DECON IS FOR DUMMIES!
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Re: WNS Decontamination Procedures

Postby Helect0r » May 9, 2012 10:52 am

Fungus killed the bat. Politics killed the caver. :sadbanana:
Keep yourNOSEclean. :twisted:
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Re: WNS Decontamination Procedures

Postby wyandottecaver » May 9, 2012 6:42 pm

Just a clarification that I was talking about all the major caving areas in Indiana, not in the US. If you look at the current WNS map and look at the main cave counties in Indiana...pretty good match. Since WNS is a bat disease, not just a cave disease the fit gets even better and covers 90% or more of known hibernacula of any size. If thats not saturated....

As you say it might be semantics, because I consider presence not mortality to be the primary indicator of spread.

As for the increase, The recent surveys also broke the long established baselines by using mostly new personnel rather than the folks who had been doing it for decades, and switching to photo interpretation which they had already shown would give higher estimates. Finally, several of the largest sites were never completely surveyed. We could actually see counts go up for a year or so as bats from remote areas move towards the entrances under the influence of WNS.
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Re: WNS Decontamination Procedures

Postby BrianC » May 13, 2012 4:59 pm

wyandottecaver wrote:
We could actually see counts go up for a year or so as bats from remote areas move towards the entrances under the influence of WNS.


I will refrain from any more speculation on bat counting as the estimates themselves created to understand mortality, have already exceeded any remote conceivable liberal estimates by hundreds of percents. What a crew that can create such nonsense!
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Re: WNS Decontamination Procedures

Postby Smells_Familiar » May 14, 2012 4:25 pm

Cavemud wrote::laughing: DECON IS FOR DUMMIES!


Thanks genius!
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Re: WNS Decontamination Procedures

Postby Smells_Familiar » May 14, 2012 4:29 pm

BrianC wrote:I will refrain from any more speculation on bat counting as the estimates themselves created to understand mortality, have already exceeded any remote conceivable liberal estimates by hundreds of percents. What a crew that can create such nonsense!


...Just tryin' to wrap my head around that first sentence there. Brian, I look forward to your refrain.
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Re: WNS Decontamination Procedures

Postby BrianC » May 15, 2012 8:27 am

Smells_Familiar wrote:
BrianC wrote:I will refrain from any more speculation on bat counting as the estimates themselves created to understand mortality, have already exceeded any remote conceivable liberal estimates by hundreds of percents. What a crew that can create such nonsense!


...Just tryin' to wrap my head around that first sentence there. Brian, I look forward to your refrain.

Takes all kinds! Glad you read my remarks though.
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Re: WNS Decontamination Procedures

Postby Anonymous_Coward » May 15, 2012 12:07 pm

BrianC wrote: Takes all kinds! Glad you read my remarks though.


We read 'em.....we just don't always understand 'em.
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Re: WNS Decontamination Procedures

Postby PYoungbaer » Jul 1, 2012 9:11 am

USFWS revised their protocols again on June 25:

http://whitenosesyndrome.org/sites/default/files/resource/national_wns_revise_final_6.25.12.pdf

There were issues with the manufacturers' labels for killing the fungus. Rather than a detergent (cleanser) they stressed it was being used to kill a pest, and was thus a pesticide and subject to FIFRA (Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act).

This affects the approved use on porous materials (e.g. coveralls, cave packs). It's not that it doesn't work to kill the fungus, but one government agency can't override another in terms of "off-label" use.

Note the increased emphasis on the hot water method for decon (122 degrees F submerged for 20 minutes.
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Re: WNS Decontamination Procedures

Postby Cheryl Jones » Jul 2, 2012 8:51 pm

So it could be read to mean that suddenly the chemical solutions are no longer "effective" against WNS, or perhaps safe to use! :laughing: :panic: Even though the change of protocol is due to bureaucracy and legalities, it still hurts the credibility of the USFWS. I'm surprised that the research was undertaken, protocol adopted, and chemicals recommended with apparently no thought or effort for acquiring gov't approval to use the chemicals in the way the agencies and scientists recommended.

Peter, do you know why the hot water immersion time was extended from 15 to 20 minutes? When can we expect to read the about the research not only to support the original immersion time but also the increased time?

Previous research on killing G.d. with high temps: http://forums.caves.org/viewtopic.php?f ... =15#p71488 What changed? Research this time around on G.d. specifically?

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