Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Jeremy R. Slagley, PhD


During a mass casualty medical evacuation after a bioaerosol attack, a decontamination method is needed that is effective at both decontamination and preventing the secondary hazard of biological particles reaerosolizing from contaminated clothing. However, neither the efficacy of current decontamination methods nor the risk of biological particle reaerosolization is significantly explored in existing literature. The goals of this thesis were to develop a repeatable methodology to quantify the reaerosolization of a biological contaminate off Airman Battle Uniform (ABU) fabric swatches, and to test the efficacy of one decontamination method (high-volume, low-pressure water) using 1 mpolystyrene latex (PSL) spheres as a surrogate. Four major methodologies were developed: Contamination using a Collison Nebulizer; Reaerosolization using a laboratory mixer and collection using an air pump and inhalable air sampler with a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) filter; Decontamination using a gravity-fed water shower; and Quantification using ultraviolet (UV) microscopy techniques via both human eye and computer techniques. All results for control samples showed little to no presence of PSL sphere-like particles, while the experimental trials showed a ~73 reduction in reaerosolization before and after decontamination via water, at the 99 confidence level (p-value = 0.0081), along with a change in deposition patterns from aerosol-like (before decontamination) to droplet-like (after decontamination).

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DTIC Accession Number