the presence and the extent of radioactive
Decontamination operations should be carried out
as required. Food items in glass or metal containers or
sealed in barrier-wrap packages are the least likely to be
These should, nevertheless, be
monitored, and care should be exercised upon opening
such packages to avoid contamination. The fresh water
supply should be monitored. Food items should be
monitored in their dry state because dilution with water
will substantially lower the beta readings and the
presence of alpha particles may not even show up on
radiac instruments. All food items, when they have been
monitored, must be clearly marked as Contaminated or
Safe for Use. All food items should be cleared for use
after monitoring if found to be within acceptable limits
established by the local command according to the
Radiation Health Protection Manual, NAVMED
When materials (cleaning agents) specifically
designed for the removal of radioactive contaminants
are available, they should be used according to
instructions and the material safety data sheet (MSDS).
When they are not available, the following solutions are
suggested for the general cleaning of galley surfaces:
Detergent general-purpose, liquid, water-soluble,
type I, 1/2 pound. Military specification MIL-D-16791.
Sodium phosphate, tribasic, technical (trisodium
phosphate), 1/2 pound. Federal specification O-S-642,
Water, hot, 12 gallons, 100 pounds.
The sodium phosphate should be
completely dissolved by stirring it into hot water. The
liquid detergent should be added and stirred until it is
There are various methods of removing
contamination. They differ ineffectiveness in removing
the contaminant, in applicability to given surfaces, and
in the rate of operation. These, in general, fall into two
classes, gross or rough decontamination and detailed
decontamination. Gross decontamination consists of a
rapid washing down with large quantities of
uncontaminated water from a fire hose or nozzle system.
This class is generally not suitable for use in galley and
messing areas except for decks.
decontamination procedures are more thorough. These
procedures use more time, manpower, and material, but
they are also more effective. Detailed decontamination
will be necessary in galley and messing areas. Efforts
to decontaminate with heavily contaminated water will
obviously be ineffective. However, water contaminated
to a lesser degree than the surface contamination to be
removed may still be used. Water used for
decontamination must be allowed to drain freely from
contaminated areas. Water from tightly covered storage
tanks should be safe and potable, provided the
circulating system is tight. Water from open reservoirs
cannot be relied upon to be free from contamination.
Seawater in the neighborhood of an aerial burst to
windward will be contaminated at the surface. A
subsurface burst will heavily contaminate seawater in
the vicinity. General knowledge of the local situation
and a monitor survey should provide data on which a
decision regarding the water supply will be based.
Dishwashing compound, machine, granular, free
flowing. Federal specification P-D-425a (specify
whether hard or soft water will be used).
Directions: The compound should be dissolved in
hot water to make a 0.5 percent (approximate) solution
(1 pound per 25 gallons of water).
The solution should be hot when it is used.
Citric acid, monohydrate, granular form. Military
specification MIL-A-11029 (Cml), Change No. 3223.
Citric acid should be dissolved by
stirring to make a 3 percent (approximate) solution (3
pounds per 12 gallons of water). In use, utensils should
be immersed and metal surfaces should be sprayed.
Except for citric acid, the previous materials are
commonly used and are readily available. The
suggested formulas are not intended to take the place of
agents specified in existing decontamination
They constitute the bare minimum as
substitutes and should serve to meet immediate
emergency requirements. All chemical cleaning agents
function most efficiently when hot. The choice of
method and cleaning agent to be used should depend
upon the nature of the surface to be decontaminated, the
kind and degree of contamination, and the time,
manpower, and materials available to do the work.
All these cleaning agents are hazardous materials.
Always wear goggles and protective gloves when