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(covers information from several alternate timelines)
Decon was used for decontaminating crewmembers after exposure to the potentially dangerous environmental conditions, lifeforms, materials, airborne bodies, or other contaminants found in alien environments such as planets or spacecraft. Aboard NX-class ships, decon was located adjacent to the launch bay and a locker room. It was not much larger than a turbolift, featuring two benches and a window looking out into a corridor. Utilizing a combination of ultraviolet radiation and various topical skin gels to achieve its effect, the chamber offered very little privacy, requiring officers to disrobe and remain in the cramped chamber for sometimes extended periods. While the decon chamber was inordinately small, Enterprise armory officer Malcolm Reed likened it to a spa he once visited in Mexico. (ENT: "Broken Bow", "Sleeping Dogs", et al.) The decon chamber was located on D-Deck of an NX-class starship. (ENT: "Bounty")
The first use of the decon chamber aboard Enterprise NX-01 came in 2151, when Commander Trip Tucker and Vulcan Sub-Commander T'Pol were exposed to protocystian spores after visiting a trading complex on Rigel X. (ENT: "Broken Bow")
In the year 2152, Tucker was protected from a sedative gas released by Ferengi pirates while enduring an overextended stay in decon and was therefore the only crewmember left conscious during the initial stages of that crisis. (ENT: "Acquisition")
In 2153, T'Pol suggested placing a pair of Borg-assimilated Tarkaleans into the decon chamber, but Doctor Phlox dimissed this suggestion because he was unable to examine them there as extensively as he could in sickbay. (ENT: "Regeneration")
In 2154, Enterprise crewmembers Hoshi Sato and Charles Tucker were confined to the decon chamber after becoming infected with a silicon-based virus. While the chamber was locked to prevent the exposure of the entire crew, Sato managed to break the lock and escape during a fever-induced hallucination. This resulted in the immediate lockdown of that entire deck. (ENT: "Observer Effect")
By the 23rd and 24th centuries, the decontamination chamber became obsolete aboard Federation vessels, as transporter biofilters and advanced shipboard ventilation systems ruled out the necessity for such a device. (TNG: "Realm of Fear")