Decontamination showers act as a quick and effective method for first responders and others needing to rid victims exposed to harmful fluids or corrosive materials of such harmful contaminants or neutralize the substances. While these units might appear much like regular showers but with larger heads, their unique, precise features influence their effectiveness. An American National Standard, ANSI/ISEA 113-2013: Fixed And Portable Decontamination Shower Units, lays out the specific requirements for assuring that decontamination showers sufficiently cleanse victims of exposure.
Requirements for Decontamination Showers
ANSI/ISEA 113-2013 specifies a variety of concerns pertinent to the performance, use, maintenance and training for fixed and portable decontamination showers. Decon showers need to be free of bacteria accumulation problems, operate at a reliable water flow, and emit water that can be neither too hot nor too cold, among other essential interests.
In fact, ANSI/ISEA 113-2013 addresses these needs, covering the need to use only noncorrosive materials in the construction of decontamination shower units, shower head placement, specific water pressure requirements, and the use of a “tepid” flushing fluid temperature conductive to promoting decontamination (60-100º F).
The ANSI/ISEA 113-2013 standard is intended for use by first responders and receiving medical facilities for the initial decontamination of victims of contamination and possible exposure. With requirements for decontamination showers for one or more persons simultaneously, this standard fulfills the need for classification and testing criteria.
While the issue is not specifically addressed in ANSI/ISEA 113-2013, consideration should also be given to the proper disposal of waste flushing fluids after use.
For emergency shower requirements in workplace settings, users should refer to ANSI/ISEA Z358.1-2014: American National Standard For Emergency Eyewash And Shower Equipment. You can also learn more about this standard in our post ANSI Z358.1-2014: Emergency Eyewash and Shower Standard.
Removal of Decontaminated Clothing
Decontamination showers typically provide private undress, shower, rinse, and redress areas per victim. For aid in this area, information pertaining to decontamination protocols can be found in numerous resources, such as: