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THMG164a – Interview with Chris Hodge

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

Thank to our sponsors, CavCom, Inc. and First Line Technology.

Our hazardous materials training manual, National Emergency Response Hazmat Drills: 50 Drills for Use with Hazardous Materials Personnel, is finally available on Amazon!

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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