Each ship has a special area designated as a
decontamination (decon) station. Personnel exposed to
CBR agents are processed through these decon stations.
Aboard ship, the decon stations are shower rooms, one
forward and one aft. Large ships have more stations.
Each decon station is divided into three parts
1. A contaminated or an unclean area
2. A washing area
3. A clean area
Whenever practicable, the clean and unclean
sections have separate access routes and entrances.
Undressing is done in the unclean area, and containers
are located there for the disposal of contaminated
clothing. A box containing a mixture of sand and bleach
may be located at the entrance to the undressing area; if
so, scuff your feet in the box before entering the station.
The following are some general decontamination
procedures you should remember:
1. Enter the undressing area after scuffing your
feet in the box. Then, sit on a bench with both feet on the
unclean side. Remove your shoes, swing your legs to the
clean side of the bench, and remove your outer clothing
only. In case of a BW or CW attack, keep your
protective mask on. (Remove your protective mask only
when told to do so.) Carefully remove your clothing to
prevent the possible rise of a secondary aerosol. After
placing your outer clothing in the containers, proceed to
another section, remove your underwear and socks, and
place them in the appropriate containers.
2. Proceed to the washing area. You should spend
at least 5 minutes soaping, scrubbing, and rinsing. Give
special attention to the hair, nails, skin creases, and ears,
using a brush on the nails. You should rinse, soap, and
scrub; then rinse again.
3. Proceed to the dressing area and dry off. (If
nuclear contamination is involved, you will be
monitored and required to repeat the shower until you
are free of contamination.) Dress in clean clothing and
proceed as directed.
Remember that showering doesnt destroy nuclear
agents or many of the BW agentsit merely washes
them away. Therefore, you should immediately report
any illness (however minor) to medical personnel.
Figure 13-11.A decontamination team at work.