DAN is occasionally asked about the risk of divers acquiring disease or infection from the diving environment and shared scuba equipment. While we are aware of unpublished anecdotal reports related to a variety of infections and diving, there is no documented proof that diving equipment has been responsible for bacterial, viral, or fungal infections. Although a theoretical risk exists in the arrangement of the mouthpiece and second-stage of the regulator, the risk is considered exceedingly low.
Nevertheless, a theoretical risk remains and divers are encouraged to properly disinfect equipment.
There are commercial products available through your local dive shop. Most of these products have been tested specifically for compatability with dive equipment. Cleaning products that are not specifically for dive equipment are not recommended.
To clean scuba regulators, use a scrub brush and a non-ionic detergent (contains no hydrocarbons)making sure to include the inside of the mouthpiece. Remove any gross contamination like mud, dirt, sand, seaweed or saliva from the regulator. Rinse thoroughly with fresh water.
Use the same procedure to sanitize snorkels and the oral inflation tubes of buoyancy compensating devices (BCDs). If the BCD bag needs to be cleaned, pour several ounces of one of the appropriate solutions into the bladder and agitate it for 10 minutes. Then empty the bladder and rinse with fresh water. Before storing it, allow the BCD to air-dry.
Recommendations are based on studies conducted by the U.S. Navy's Experimental Diving Unit (NEDU). An entire article was written by Daryl F. Stanga USN which can be found in the Feb. 01 edition of "Alert Diver".