What is Decontamination?

Decontamination is the procedure of removing impurities in an area or object, which includes hazardous materials, micro-organisms, chemicals or radioactive materials. This can be done either by physical removal, chemical reaction or biological removal. When a hazardous material such as a chemical, biological or radioactive material is exposed to air, it emits a gaseous substance known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).

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When these compounds come in contact with the eyes or skin of humans or animals, it results in irritation, stinging or swelling. In addition to this, the compound’s particles are carried away through biological processes such as metabolism and transport. It can also be contaminated with airborne elements such as ultraviolet light or ozone. The chemical or biological waste that has come into contact with living organisms is known as a bioaccumulation and, as it is exposed to air over time, will build up in places where it can harm living things or bioaccumulate other organic material. For a Land Remediation Company, visit Soilfix.

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For instance, biological contamination can occur when biological agents are introduced into the workplace or used for laboratory or pharmaceutical purposes. VOCs, as mentioned above, are one of the most common causes of bioaccumulation and so they need to be controlled. Other methods of decontamination are mechanical and chemical disinfection. Mechanical decontamination involves removal of airborne contaminants using low-pressure systems, such as mechanical air purifiers, and mechanical decontamination of solid materials, using high pressure. Chemical decontamination uses different techniques to reduce the presence of VOCs, but most commonly uses organic materials that cannot be converted into VOCs.

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