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Thread: Homebrew Decontamination Chamber

  1. #1
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Homebrew Decontamination Chamber

    This is a first attempt at something like this, entirely of my own device so if things go sideways it is entirely on my own head.

    Years ago I read as much as I could about the 1918 Spanish influenza, with an eye toward dealing with Avian influenza (bird flu) if it became a problem.

    In fact, that period of self-education spawned my interest in preparedness in general. It's definitely been a learning and doing process, putting learning into action and making my fair share of educational mistakes along the way... this one could be a success or a failure, we'll see.

    One thing that stuck with me from that time was the account of one whole village that was spared because they sealed off the town... until they accepted a mail delivery.

    We may have to bring things into the house while self-isolating, such as mail or things we just can't avoid. I wanted a way to sanitize things before letting them in the house that didn't require us to keep a huge stock of chemicals... you can't really spray the mail with bleach.

    So I threw this together out of a few odds and ends. The central part is a couple of sanitizing fixture elements that produce UV and ozone and run on plain old house current. Housing is a trailer tongue box (steel) that I changed my mind about using on my camping trailer. I used some spray can adhesive and aluminum foil on the interior to maximize the UV effectiveness. There's an electric timer with 15-30-60-120 minute settings. I think 15 minutes ought to be fine, the whole box fills up with ozone in nothing flat... in fact I may turn off one of the elements and save it as a spare. You should not look at the UV or breathe the ozone, they aren't good for you. There's a wire rack so the ozone and UV can get to all sides.

    Comments, criticism, words of wisdom or rebuke? I hope this does some good, but have basically nothing to go on here except my own reasoning. Input welcome.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by bruss01; 03-09-2020 at 09:22 AM.
    "The thing about smart people is they seem like crazy people to dumb people" - Stephen Hawking

  2. #2
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    Mar 2007
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    Wire rack

    There were 4 pre-drilled mounting holes in the bottom, so I used one each for a bolt/nut to mount the fixtures, and one for each cord. Didn't have to drill anything out, which is good because I may want to use it for something else eventually. This was a really quick and dirty project because we're trying to get locked down asap with only going out when necessary, we definitely have coronavirus circulating here. The ozone fixtures were ordered a week ago but took that long to arrive.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by bruss01; 03-08-2020 at 08:03 PM.
    "The thing about smart people is they seem like crazy people to dumb people" - Stephen Hawking

  3. #3
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    99% of my mail handled and bothered with is mass processed bills - slather the hell out of the envelope >>> good to go

    any rare packages get the same treatment and the contents hand wiped ...

  4. #4
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    May 2011
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    I just drink the homebrew, kills anything that gets past the decontamination flaws.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2009
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    East TN Smokey Mountains
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    I like it
    where did you get those lights / ozone generators?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by explo72 View Post
    I like it
    where did you get those lights / ozone generators?
    Found them on Amazon. They put out light in the UV-C range which is ionizing, and about 20x what is found in sunlight at noon on a summer's day. So with two, 40x? I'm not sure the math here should be linear but more is more anyway. Ozone has a half-life of about 30 minutes, so in an hour 3/4 of it will have broken down. The elements aren't exactly "cheap" but there's no stockpile to maintain or run out of, as long as the wall socket has juice.

    UV Germicidal Light Bulb 36 Wattage Self-Ballast E27 110V Screw Socket Lamp (UVC with Ozone Replace Bulb)
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Found the timer there too. In retrospect I wish it had a dial to allow shorter times and to see the time remaining. I think in a small enclosure like this 5 minutes of power is going to be adequate, with an hour for the generated ozone to do its thing.

    Cords
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Sockets
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Timer
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Spray adhesive
    https://www.amazon.com/3M-Multipurpo...s%2C253&sr=8-3
    Last edited by bruss01; 03-09-2020 at 09:58 AM.
    "The thing about smart people is they seem like crazy people to dumb people" - Stephen Hawking

  7. #7
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    Can UV Light Be Used to Kill Airborne Flu Virus?
    https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/n...rne-flu-virus-
    Researchers say a certain spectrum of ultraviolet light -- called far-UVC -- easily kills airborne flu viruses while posing no risk to people. It could offer a new, inexpensive way to eliminate airborne flu viruses in indoor public spaces such as hospitals, doctors' offices, schools, airports and aircraft, said the team from Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.
    ...
    As the researchers explained, broad-spectrum UVC light kills viruses and bacteria, and it is currently used to decontaminate surgical equipment.

    Know Your Ozone: It's Good, Bad And Bacteria-Blasting
    https://www.acsh.org/news/2017/10/16...blasting-11968
    Ozone is produced when O2 is energized and split into two monatomic (O1) molecules," explains the Centers for Disease Control. "The monatomic oxygen molecules then collide with O2 molecules to form ozone, which is O3. Thus, ozone consists of O2 with a loosely bonded third oxygen atom that is readily available to attach to, and oxidize, other molecules. This additional oxygen atom makes ozone a powerful oxidant that destroys microorganisms.
    So in theory this should work. This is sort of an experiment but based on known principles.
    Last edited by bruss01; 03-09-2020 at 09:59 AM.
    "The thing about smart people is they seem like crazy people to dumb people" - Stephen Hawking

  8. #8
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    Dec 1969
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    Lake LBJ, Texas
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    Should be good to go. I'm pretty sure UV sterilization or sanitizing is USDA approved for meat industry. I have no idea what rate or frequency to run at.

    On another note, I've never been to Vegas and have no desire to go to the concrete jungle, but thought I had read that O3 was pumped into casinos to keep the gamblers spending.
    Once on safari in deepest darkest Afganistan we ran out of Gin, and were compelled to survive on food and water for several days.


    I typically carry a flask of vodka for snakebites. I also carry a small snake.- W. C. Fields

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
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    48

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    It seems like a lot of fancy equipment to do something a simple heater could do.

    15 minutes at +135 kills Coronaviruses.

    The light has to shine directly on it or it doesn't work, and the ozone would have to permeate the envelopes completely.

  10. #10
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    Heat is an option Snyper... so, how would you rig something up for that?

    It would have to get to that set temp... for a certain time...

    It would need to be safe for paper and ok to use on packaged goods like food (cans, bottles etc). Refrigerated stuff included at least for surface decon. And plastics.

    It would need to be something that can be outdoors... don't want to bring things indoors to sanitize.

    I'm sure there are a lot of workable alternatives to what I've got going here... chemical, heat, "other".

    I'd be very interested to see what solutions others come up with and their experience in using them, pro's and cons.

    You are right about permeating envelopes. The bigger concern is the envelope I think which was handled by the carrier, who is in contact with the post office and through them to every other carrier and every household those carriers serve. Like Illini says, much of what comes is processed by automated systems with relatively little if any human contact inside the envelope. Things that appear personal (hand addressed) should be easily separated for special handling. Just my thought process on the issue.

    I appreciate all thoughts and viewpoints on this... it's new territory for most of us and there are a lot of angles from which to approach it.
    Last edited by bruss01; 03-10-2020 at 07:57 PM.
    "The thing about smart people is they seem like crazy people to dumb people" - Stephen Hawking

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