The first decontamination centre opens at Ljubljana Airport



In cooperation with Fraport Aviation Academy and Electrolux Professional, Decontex SI opened its first centre for the complete cleaning and decontamination of firefighting protection equipment at Ljubljana Airport. The latest technology of cleaning and decontamination with liquid CO2 puts the newly established centre at the top of its field. The two-day event was attended by approximately 80 guests from Slovenia and abroad, including senior representatives of firefighting organizations and development partners.

Last week a new decontamination centre was opened at Fraport Aviation Academy, an extremely welcome innovation not only in Slovenia, but also worldwide. The opening represents an important milestone in the development of the maintenance of firefighting equipment, since it offers cleaning and decontamination of complete firefighting equipment (i.e. clothing, gloves, jackets, boots, helmets and SCBAs). The trial operation of the centre began at the end of June and so far, more than 1000 pieces of equipment have been cleaned.

The centre was created as a response to the topical problem of the development of cancer, which is twice as prevalent in firefighters as in the rest of the population. “Firefighters’ protective equipment is often exposed to various combinations of hazardous substances which cannot be removed by ordinary washing and cleaning. Hazardous substances accumulate in the membrane of protective clothing which, when in contact with the skin, can transfer into the bodies of firefighters,” said Gorazd Štebe, Project Manager of Decontex SI.


Numerous studies conducted by independent institutions in Europe and the USA have shown that the substances to which firefighters are exposed during their interventions pose a serious risk to their health. Up to a few years ago, there was no technology available that could completely decontaminate the equipment without damaging its mechanical and protective properties. We are proud to announce that from now on, with this decontamination centre in Slovenia, this is possible,” added Štebe.

Thomas Uihlein, the Director of Fraport Aviation Academy, also expressed his satisfaction with the opening of the new decontamination centre, emphasizing that he very much welcomes individuals and companies who are “aware of the current and future challenges in the field of firefighting, and are investing their broad knowledge, resources and ideas for better working conditions of firefighters not only in Slovenia, but all over the globe. The Aviation Academy does this primarily by raising the awareness of our training participants of all the dangers that firefighters face on a daily basis during their work.” 

The centre is based on the latest technology from the world-renewed washing machine manufacturer, Electrolux Professional, a pioneer in the manufacture of liquid CO2 decontamination machines. Eugenio Filoni, its Global Segment Manager, said that the company “has been developing cleaning technology for firefighting equipment for more than a decade, thus ensuring healthier working conditions and a better quality of life for firefighters around the world.” 

Decontamination with liquid CO2 is currently the only suitable solution, since as it is an extremely thin liquid with low viscosity, density and surface tension which can easily penetrate and clean the pores of the membrane without damaging it. Due to its properties, liquid CO2 dissolves impurities very well. The new processes can effectively decontaminate, clean, disinfect and impregnate police, military and sports equipment.