Analysis of Expedient Field Decontamination Methods for the XMX/2L-MIL High-Volume Aerosol Sampler
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING AND MANAGEMENT
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The XMX2L-MIL is a high volume air sampler used by the Air Force Bioenvironmental Engineering community to collect biological aerosols. Without a verified decontamination technique, however, the XMX cannot be used effectively. The objective of this study is to evaluate several proposed methods for expedient field decontamination of the XMX. This study centers on the inactivation of Bacillus atrophaeus spores and vegetative Erwinia herbicola organisms from the XMX inner canister. The goals this investigation sought to achieve were two-fold 1 to verify the antimicrobial efficacy of a 10 bleach solution and 2 to determine if wiping the components with a bleach-soaked paper towel or submerging the components directly in the bleach solution represents the optimal decontamination procedure. Data was gathered at the Dycor Technologies facility located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Their Aerosol Test Chamber was used to disseminate the surrogate agents and then sample the aerosol using three XMX devices. Counts of the microbial population were calculated at each stage of the procedure to assess how effective the two proposed methods were. It was observed that 10 bleach solutions resulted in approximately 102-fold decreases in aggregate microbial contamination on XMX components. Of the methods tested, the submersion in a 10 bleach solution plus a 15-minute air purge showed the most efficiency. Contamination levels were consistent between all three devices during the trial and were measured at or below background levels after decontamination.
- Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare