Pathogenic micro-organisms can easily transfer from the surface of a diver’s skin onto the surfaces of a protective suit. A long-term stay in a hyperbaric chamber during a saturation dive increases the risk of infection if in the chamber there is even a single carrier of disease-causing pathogens.
The conducted research has confirmed that the diving equipment located in Diving Centres is a place of many different bacteria and fungi, including pathogenic ones. The vast majority of microbes found on the surfaces of wetsuits, etc. are commensals (with some being opportunistic organisms). This fact allows us to realise that the surfaces of diving equipment are an excellent “transmission route” for various dermatoses and other diseases. In order to reduce the risk of infection the diving equipment used by various people should be subject to the process of decontamination. The authors recommend decontamination with the use of gaseous hydrogen peroxide which does not cause damage to equipment.
If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.
1. Wang J Barth S Richardson M Corson K Madera J. An outbreak of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus cutaneous infection in a saturation diving facility. Underaea Hyperb mad 2003 Winter 30 (4) 277-284;
2. Hind J Attwell RW The effect of antybiotics on bacteria under hyperbaric conditions J. Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 1996 Feb 37(2)253-263;
3. International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene 2011 The chain of infection transmission in the home and everyday life settings and role of higiene in reducing the risk of infection. Accessed at http://www.ifh-homehygiene.org;
4. Noble WC. Dispersal of skin microorganisms. British Journal of Dermatology 1975;93:477-85;
5. Neely AN Maley MP. Survival of enterococci and staphylococci on hospital fabrics and plastic. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 2000;38:724-6;
6. Brady MT Evans J Cuartas J. Survival and disinfection of parainfluenza viruses on environmental surfaces. American Journal of Infection Control 1990;146:47-51;
7. Neely AN Orloff MM. Survival of some medically important fungi on hospital fabrics and plastics. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 2001;39:3360-1; DOI: 10.1128/JCM.39.9.3360-3361.2001
8. Sattar SA Springthorpe S Mani S Gallant N Nair RC Scott E Kain J. Transfer of bacteria from fabrics to hands: development and application of quantitative method using Staphylococccus aureus as model. Journal of Applied Microbiology 2001;90:962-70;
9. Dąbrowiecki Z Dąbrowiecka M Olszański R Siermontowski P. Decontamination of diving suits. PolHypRes 201657(4)45-54. DOI: 10.1515/phr-2016-0025