Floodwaters may be contaminated with sewage and decaying animal and human remains. Disinfection of hands, clothing, tools/equipment, and surfaces in work areas is critical in disease prevention.
- Wash hands completely with soap and water.
- Rinse completely; dry with a clean towel or air dry.
Clothing, Tool/Equipment Decontamination
- It is preferrable to use soap and clean water when available.
- If only contaminated water is available, mix 1/4 cup bleach per gallon of water.
- Immerse objects in solution for 10 minutes; if clothing, gently agitate periodically.
- Transfer objects to hand wash solution for 10 minutes; if clothing, gently agitate periodically.
- Allow clothes and tools/equipment to thoroughly airdry before re-use.
Severe Surface Decontamination
- Use for decontaminating only the most seriously affected surfaces.
- Mix 11/2 cups bleach per gallon of water.
- Douse surfaces with heavy contamination and allow to sit for 3 minutes.
- Wipe the contamination from the surface with a paper towel and douse the surface again but use the hand wash solution.
- Wipe off residual contamination with a paper towel.
- Use gloves and eye protection.
- Prepare bleach solutions daily and allow to stand for at least 30 minutes before use.
- All containers should be labeled "Bleach-disinfected water, DO NOT DRINK." CAUTION: Do not mix bleach with products containing ammonia.
- Do not immerse electrical or battery operated tools/equipment in solutions; clean exterior with a rag soaked with soap and water or disinfectant solution.
For more complete information:
U.S. Department of Labor
Safety and Health
www.osha.gov (800) 321-OSHA