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Title: Decontamination  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Contamination control, Triage tag, Air shower (room), M17 gas mask, Chemical Agent Identification Set
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Decontamination is the process of cleansing an object or substance to remove hazardous materials, including chemicals, radioactive substances, and infectious diseases. Decontamination is sometimes abbreviated as "decon", "dcon" or "decontam".

The purpose of decontamination is to prevent the spread of micro-organisms and other contaminants[1] that may threaten the health of human beings or animals or damage the environment.

Decontamination is most commonly used in medical environments, including dentistry, surgery and veterinary science, in the process of food preparation, in environmental science[2] and in forensic science.[3]


Methods of decontamination include:[4]

A variety of decontaminants may be used, including physical processes such as distillation and chemical decontaminants such as alcohols and detergents.

See also


  1. ^ Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust: Decontamination Policy April 2012. Accessed 16 August 2013
  2. ^ [1]"Water Decontamination", in McGraw Hill Yearbook of Science and Technology 2004, p 372)
  3. ^ , Volume 94, Issues 1–2, 8 June 1998, Pages 65–71Forensic Science InternationalEls Jehaes, Anja Gilissen, Jean-Jacques Cassiman, Ronny Decorte, "Evaluation of a decontamination protocol for hair shafts before mtDNA sequencing", . Accessed 16 August 2013
  4. ^ Health & Safety Executive: Methods of decontamination. Accessed 16 August 2013
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