Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Industrial Hygiene


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Jeremy Slagley, PhD


This work describes a literature review which was conducted on publicly available literature on chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) decontamination to understand the body of knowledge and gaps in this body of knowledge, including the assumption that disrobing after a CBRN incident will remove 90% of contamination. Also included is a description of the design and characterization of an aerosol test chamber which was constructed for use in this research. Finally, the bulk of this work describes the development of a semi-quantitative methodology for visualizing contamination. This method uses an ultraviolet fluorescent aerosol (to simulate contamination by a chemical warfare agent) and leverages image analysis to determine the difference in contamination from one step to another. This method was shown to be highly repeatable, with deposition area variability being less than 40 in2 (total area 230 in2). The claim of 90% contamination removal by disrobing was evaluated using this method. Several experiments were conducted which concluded that disrobing can remove up to 95% (mean 93.9%, with 95% confidence intervals of 91.0-96.8%) of contamination in situations such as when Tyvek suits are well-sealed. In situations when Tyvek suits have open cuffs, it was shown that disrobing may only remove 70% of contamination (mean 69.2% (64.9-73.6%)). While disrobing may not always remove 90% of contamination, at least 65% removal was demonstrated.

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