Contaminated Water Diving

Ansell Protective Solutions (formerly Trelleborg Protective Products) has a wealth of knowledge and experience of manufacturing dry diving suits for contaminated water use, whether it is chemically or biologically contaminated.


Our knowledge of protection comes from more than 100 years of working with polymeric materials, from being in control of everything from materials development and rubber compound mixing to making high quality rubber based products.

Our diving knowledge dates back almost as far. The first diving suits produced by Trelleborg were made in the 1920’s. Somewhat 25 years before Scuba even was invented. The journey has taken us from the earliest suits for old-style hard hat diving to the vulcanized rubber dry suits of today, and more recently into TPU light weight dry suits.  We don’t plan to stop the journey here. We are always researching for new materials and processes to improve safety in contaminated water diving.

We co-operate with universities, training colleges and diving schools, take part in the standardisation work on both national and international levels and keep continuous contact with distributors and divers all over the world.


WARNING! Diving in Contaminated Water is extremely hazardous and requires special training.

Sadly there is no arguing the fact that there are many thousands of hazardous substances available worldwide today. For most of these, far too little is known about the effects on human beings resulting from skin contact. Chemical protective clothing has the obvious purpose of protecting the wearer from direct contact with hazardous substances in all of their various forms. But you don't have to be a fire fighter or any other kind of emergency responder to risk encounters of this sort. A professional diver has to deal with basically all chemical substances existing on land, since everything can, and probably will, eventually end up in the water.

There is a need within the professional diving community to have access to as much information as possible about for instance, how long it is safe to dive in chemically contaminated water before any particular contaminant may pass through the dry suit material.

Within the European standard for diving suits, there is a requirement for additional chemical permeation testing to be performed if a dry suit is to be used for contaminated water diving. The results of these tests are included in warning and information labels which are fixed inside every VIKING diving suit.

Additional information is now available regarding biological contaminants against VIKING dry suits , and is also an option within the European standard.

The information provided by way of these tests is by no means a complete picture , and does not include all of the neccessary information to plan a dive operation in contaminated water > It is ultimately the diving supervisor who must take responsibility forthe safety of the diver based on a risk assessment of the actual conditions at the dive site, and in certain circumstances , the best decision may be to not dive at all.



Decontamination shall be performed on the scene when a dry suit has been exposed to, or has been potentially exposed to, hazardous materials. On scene decontamination shall be performed while the suit is still being worn to minimize potential contamination of the wearer during removal. 

Due to the vast number of chemicals and their different properties, no guaranteed decontamination procedure exists. The best way to decontaminate must be decided for the specific chemical encountered. This decision may only be made by people educated for this task and with a good working knowledge of chemistry. 

In the absence of such knowledge, the minimum decontamination shall consist of rinsing or spraying the garment with water and scrubbing lightly with a soft bristled brush using a decon detergent, and then thoroughly rinse with plain water. This process shall be repeated at least twice. In case of light contamination , it may be acceptable to clean the suit using a non oil based soap and cool water.

The health and safety of the diver, both during and after the decontamination process, and the health and safety of the personnel applying the decontamination agent, must be taken into consideration. After removal, the dry suit must be placed in a suitable container for subsequent cleaning, additional decontamination, inspection, or in the worst case, disposal.

  • Last updated 7/20/2018
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