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Cooled PPE Decontamination Shower

Cooled decontamination shower for use with overhead full length PPE gear (pictured) to cool and disinfect medical staff. Pros: Cheap, easily transportable, reuses already short supplies and provides out of the way places with disposable decon chambers. Bleach/agent can be chilled so it acts as a cooling down system also. Step in - cool down, decontaminate. Cons : Possible vapors in enclosed space. Advice and input most welcome, Ideo is after all a group project. Please point out any flaws, upgrades, questions or proposed modifications in the comments below

Photo of Anthony Davis
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Simple and cheap is what I'm aiming for.

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Photo of Edward (E. Barry) Skolnick, M.S.
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Anthony, here's something that would be "simple and cheap(er)" -- maybe...

Please see my OpenIDEO "Research" phase contribution at URL: "https://openideo.com/challenge/fighting-ebola/research/the-epa-has-adopted-a-better-bleach-innovation-of-acid-neutralized-ph-adjusted-bleach-replacing-the-usual-alkaline-water-dilutions-for-facility-surface-and-ppe-disinfections-during-anthrax-incidents-and-decon-exercises-why-not-then-for-ebola". An acid-neutralized ("amended" or "pH-adjusted" chlorine bleach) formulation would have much higher concentration of the germicidal hydrochlorous acid (HClO) molecule near neutral pH, than does the typically water-diluted and alkaline (pH>11) bleach, so would be predicted to deactivate Ebola virus much more rapidly (perhaps in seconds) under misting-spray treatments of PPE before doffing it, than does the conventionally water-diluted alkaline bleach.

Also (notionally), because the "enveloped" Ebola filovirus is regarded as being highly susceptible to inactivation by disinfectants (i.e., very low on the "Spaulding hierarchy") substantially more-dilute bleach solutions could be used for reliable Ebola virocidal disinfection than may be needed with alkaline bleach (or "chlorine water"), thereby both improving Ebola disinfection cost-effectiveness, and reducing risks to healthcare workers from handling larger quantities of toxic chlorine in more concentrated alkaline bleach solutions.

Too good to be true? Maybe, because chlorine bleach solutions generate highly-toxic chlorine gas, more-so in more acidic solutions; so higher dilution in water -- if shown to be effective against Ebola virus -- would need to offset this risk of chlorine gas emission from pH-adjusted bleach disinfectant formulations. Also, unlike alkaline bleach, acidified bleach is chemically unstable, reportedly only effective for some hours after preparation; so a practical application against Ebola would have to provide for rapid consumption and/or frequent replacement of amended solutions, frequently prepared as-needed on-site from concentrated stocks.

The innovation of pH-adjusted bleach as an improved sporicidal disinfectant has long been adopted by US EPA (but without the higher dilution) for anthrax-spore bioterrorism response preparedness, but needs some R&D to adapt it optimally, safely, and effectively, to global public health virocidal needs, like for reliable Ebola disinfection.

Note also the Medicin Sans Frontieres' standard practice of spray-disinfection of PPE before removal, according to its illustrative poster available at URL: "https://d3gxp3iknbs7bs.cloudfront.net/attachments/edbd3865-4698-4f4e-bf04-a45ecdaff57e.pdf", as linked to the OpenIDEO's "Fighting Ebola Challenge" Brief at URL: "https://openideo.com/challenge/fighting-ebola/brief.html". Unlike your more automated spray, such manual "buddy system" spray disinfection may be more likely to reach all of the "nooks and crannies" in PPE worn by healthcare workers, before it is removed. -- ebskolnick

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