Questions have come up in the dive community about disease transmission, especially COVID-19, when using rental equipment, such as regulators. With the threat of COVID-19 on everyone's minds, divers want to know what precautions are being taken against the spread of disease.
According to the CDC, household cleaners are as effective against COVID-19 as they are against the common cold and flu viruses. Therefore, cleaning and disinfecting equipment meant for personal use (such as regulators, masks and snorkels) is very important.
Diving equipment can be sanitized by submerging it in a 10% bleach solution or using a cleaning product such as Steramine™ tablets or any other ammonium compound. Please keep in mind that it is very important to use these products according to the manufacturer's directions. When finished thoroughly rinse the gear with fresh water.
Cleaning products that are commonly used to clean dive gear but are ineffective against COVID-19 include antibacterial and chlorhexidine mouthwashes or sprays.
If you're a diver using rental gear and would like to take extra steps to protect yourself from transmissible diseases, thoroughly wipe the rental equipment, such as, regulator mouthpiece, snorkel, etc., with a household disinfecting wipe and then rinse with fresh water before using.
For a list of household cleaning products effective against the coronavirus, see the American Chemistry Council Center for Biocide Chemistries' list of products that have an "emerging viral pathogen claim" from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Some of the best ways to stop the spread of COVID-19 include, frequent hand-washing with soap for at least 20 seconds, regularly cleaning high-traffic objects and areas, such as bathrooms, door handles, countertops, etc., avoiding contact with people who are sick, and last but not least staying home when you are ill. For more information, see the CDC's coronavirus page
You can also check out the EPA's diving safety manual for its guidelines on decontaminating scuba equipment, HERE .