Another effective nonabrasive decontamination method involves placing the contaminated
hand in a cotton glove and then a Latex glove (causing the hand to perspire).
The decontamination factor is the ratio of the initial contamination level to the
contamination level after decontamination methods are applied, as determined by survey
instrument readings. Nonabrasive methods should be repeated until the decontamination
factor between washes drops below 2 or 3 with significant contamination still remaining.
If contamination persists on the skin, a more abrasive decontamination method may be
necessary. The decision to proceed with a more abrasive method should be based on the
effectiveness of the decontamination. An abrasive soap should be applied with a moist
gauze sponge or soft handbrush while rubbing the skin to develop a soapy lather. Care
should be exercised to prevent damage to the skin surface. If contamination persists after
using the abrasive soap, potassium permanganate (KMnO4) and sodium acid sulfite should
be considered. Page 196 of the 1970 edition of the Radiological Health Handbook gives
details on the use of KMnO4 and sodium acid sulfite.
Liberal irrigation with lukewarm water or saline solution is recommended for eye, nose,
and mouth contamination. These procedures are performed by the medical staff to remove