Definition of decontaminate in English:



[with object]
  • Neutralize or remove dangerous substances, radioactivity, or germs from (an area, object, or person)

    ‘they tried to decontaminate nearby villages’
    • ‘York-based Persimmon Homes wants to build 148 flats and a three-storey office block on the former gasworks site in Heworth Green, and is willing to foot the bill to decontaminate the site.’
    • ‘The British government donated #20 million to decontaminate the sites, a process finally declared complete last week.’
    • ‘Fire engines, ambulances, police and emergency services officers in full body biological protection suits with breathing apparatus are at the Embassy decontaminating the site.’
    • ‘This equipment will be vital for decontaminating people who have come into contact with toxic or chemical materials.’
    • ‘The emergency services sealed off the area and decontaminated the affected staff.’
    • ‘Three patients have caught a superbug in Kingston Hospital's intensive care unit, forcing staff to keep new patients in isolation while the area was fully decontaminated.’
    • ‘The plants were growing well, and no one was allowed in the lab without wearing a full body clean suit and being decontaminated by special showers.’
    • ‘Firefighters exposed to smoke and debris from the burning block had to be decontaminated, with their firefighting clothes sealed and sent away to a specialist firm for deep cleaning.’
    • ‘Numerous hazardous sites around New Zealand have to be decontaminated at considerable expense, but the people who have gained from producing those toxins have incurred no cost.’
    • ‘Clothing and bedding should also be decontaminated.’
    • ‘About 94 people were evacuated from the mail distribution centre, four of whom were decontaminated and placed in hospital for observation.’
    • ‘Staff at Broomfield Hospital's accident and emergency department are being given special training on how to decontaminate victims of any biological, chemical, radioactive or nuclear incident.’
    • ‘During the Clinton years, about 358 toxic sites were decontaminated each year.’
    • ‘Contractors are currently working to decontaminate the site, which has chromium and cadmium residues from the former foundry.’
    • ‘The box and the depot area were decontaminated and the powder removed for testing.’
    • ‘Health workers should remove casualties' clothes and decontaminate their skin then give them clean clothing, such as paper suits, to wear.’
    • ‘If contamination is suspected, decontaminate the patient and environment following the facility's decontamination policies and procedures.’
    • ‘There's not much that wildlife health officials can do to prevent this, but they could try to decontaminate high-risk areas or dissuade wild birds from visiting them - for example, by draining lakes.’
    • ‘The area has not been decontaminated at all, and no environmental studies have measured the quantity of chemicals remaining in the soil and water.’
    • ‘The smaller objects are taken to a row of tents where they are decontaminated and picked over by detectives wearing protective suits and respirators.’
    sanitize, sterilize, disinfect, clean, cleanse, purify
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