Article Abstract

Decontamination of Individuals Exposed to Chemicals
Aton, E.A and Stehlin, V.R.;

The microelectronics industry is characterized as a large volume user of chemicals. These materials include caustics, corrosives, oxidizers and many other chemicals with hazardous properties. While engineering and administrative controls prevalent today in the microelectronics workplace have reduced the potential for exposure to these materials, some activities may still present a splash or spray hazard to employees. These include chemical transfer and other materials handling activities, spill and leak response activities and exposures that occur due to failure to implement the required engineering and administrative controls. It is also possible that a terrorist or terrorist group may target a microelectronics facility with dissemination of a chemical weapon.

Chemical exposure to an individual that occurs within a facility will usually be managed by usage of a chemical shower within the workplace. When exposure occurs to a group of employees or at the building perimeter of a facility then it may be necessary to use first responder procedures to decontaminate the individuals. This paper describes the results of an experiment to characterize how effective such group decontamination is.

This experiment was performed because of the lack of published resources for this information. The available literature is generally limited to in-vitro studies of hazardous agents, validation of personal protective equipment, or data gathered in a military setting. None of these reference points is valid for interpretation in a civilian victim population in a hazardous materials or chemical agents event.

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