Procedures that remove foreign substances such as contaminants, pollutants, toxins and radioactivity. Decontamination does not eliminate microorganisms but is a necessary step before disinfection, sterilization or environmental clean up. In public health safety, decontamination involves the use of physical or chemical means to remove, inactivate, or destroy bloodborne or other pathogens on a surface or item, to the point where they are no longer capable of transmitting infectious particles, and the surface or item is rendered safe for handling, use, or disposal.