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THMG164a – Interview with Chris Hodge


In this episode, we explore decontamination technology with industry expert Chris Hodge from First Line Technology.

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Complete Show Notes

1:05 Introduction to Chris Hodge

  • Developer who has spent years doing research in the area of chemical and biological decontamination
  • Inventor of Dahlgren Decon
  • Has been in the national and international hazmat community for 15-20 years

2:25 The Evolution of Decontamination

  • International community has been working on understanding the chemistry behind decontamination for many years
  • Chris is focused on getting the word out about how decontamination has changed and what that means in terms of optimizing processes
  • One example is the shift towards dry decontamination
  • Cost is important when it comes to decon – departments are concerned about the cost incurred when switching to new methods
  • Important to consider personnel and how much chemistry (ability to destroy more stuff) you’re getting with each type of decon
  • Think about how much surface area coverage you get with a decon, not just the cost per gallon

11:05 Figuring Out the Most Effective Way to Decon

  • Every decontamination is a little bit different – you have to figure out what you need to do while also minimizing storage, hardware, manpower, etc.
  • You have to be on target quickly and effectively – use available technologies to help you achieve this
  • Treat an unknown like the worst case scenario – a thick agent that isn’t volatile but involves a lot of chemistry/product
  • If you have the ability to absorb with a powder or wipe, you’re in a good position for a variety of reasons
  • Always think about your desired outcome – what do you want to happen by the end of the decontamination process?
  • You need to be able to simply and clearly state what you want – there’s no one-size-fits-all solution

21:05 Cost and Waste Associated with Decontamination Process

  • These factors both vary based on the original design and intended use of the decontaminant
  • If you want lower inventories, you need concentrated solutions that can be reconstituted in the field
  • If you want limited over-spray, you only need to constitute it to the base level that’s still effective
  • Many modern decon solutions have components that are completely biodegradable
  • We all want lower cost, lower environmental impact, less equipment, and a solution that’s easy to use
  • Dahlgren Decon is designed for simplicity, which is the goal of any decon solution manufacturer
  • You can control some costs, but others can’t be controlled – i.e. pollution and damaging the environment
  • Litigation can also be very costly if we damage someone’s property during the cleanup process

26:40 Chris’s Key Takeaways

  • Cost per coverage is the biggest factor to consider when selecting a decon, rather than unit cost
  • Speed is important – it’s a race against time when we’re dealing with contamination – the best decontaminants work deeply and quickly
  • Talk to people who have already used the decontaminant you’re considering

30:40 How to Contact Chris

Have a question? Send an email to feedback@thehazmatguys.com or leave a message on our Haz Mat Guys comment hotline: 843-628-1484

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