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Title: Chemical Warfare Agent Degradation and Decontamination

Abstract

The decontamination of chemical warfare agents (CWA) from structures, environmental media, and even personnel has become an area of particular interest in recent years due to increased homeland security concerns. In addition to terrorist attacks, scenarios such as accidental releases of CWA from U.S. stockpile sites or from historic, buried munitions are also subjects for response planning. To facilitate rapid identification of practical and effective decontamination approaches, this paper reviews pathways of CWA degradation by natural means as well as those resulting from deliberately applied solutions and technologies; these pathways and technologies are compared and contrasted. We then review various technologies, both traditional and recent, with some emphasis on decontamination materials used for surfaces that are difficult to clean. Discussion is limited to the major threat CWA, namely sulfur mustard (HD, bis(2-chloroethyl)sulfide), VX (O-ethyl S-(2-diisopropylaminoethyl) methylphosphonothioate), and the G-series nerve agents. The principal G-agents are GA (tabun, ethyl N,N-dimethylphosphoramidocyanidate), GB (sarin, isopropyl methylphosphonofluoridate), and GD (soman, pinacolyl methylphosphonofluoridate). The chemical decontamination pathways of each agent are outlined, with some discussion of intermediate and final degradation product toxicity. In all cases, and regardless of the CWA degradation pathway chosen for decontamination, it will be necessary to collect and analyze pertinent environmentalmore » samples during the treatment phase to confirm attainment of clearance levels.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [1];  [3]
  1. ORNL
  2. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  3. U.S. Army Environmental Center
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
Work for Others (WFO)
OSTI Identifier:
931605
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Current Organic Chemistry; Journal Volume: 11; Journal Issue: 3
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
45 MILITARY TECHNOLOGY, WEAPONRY, AND NATIONAL DEFENSE; BRASSICA; CHEMICAL WARFARE AGENTS; CLEARANCE; DECONTAMINATION; MILITARY EQUIPMENT; NERVES; PERSONNEL; PLANNING; SECURITY; STOCKPILES; SULFUR; TOXICITY

Citation Formats

Talmage, Sylvia Smith, Watson, Annetta Paule, Hauschild, Veronique, Munro, Nancy B, and King, J. Chemical Warfare Agent Degradation and Decontamination. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2174/138527207779940892.
Talmage, Sylvia Smith, Watson, Annetta Paule, Hauschild, Veronique, Munro, Nancy B, & King, J. Chemical Warfare Agent Degradation and Decontamination. United States. doi:10.2174/138527207779940892.
Talmage, Sylvia Smith, Watson, Annetta Paule, Hauschild, Veronique, Munro, Nancy B, and King, J. Thu . "Chemical Warfare Agent Degradation and Decontamination". United States. doi:10.2174/138527207779940892.
@article{osti_931605,
title = {Chemical Warfare Agent Degradation and Decontamination},
author = {Talmage, Sylvia Smith and Watson, Annetta Paule and Hauschild, Veronique and Munro, Nancy B and King, J.},
abstractNote = {The decontamination of chemical warfare agents (CWA) from structures, environmental media, and even personnel has become an area of particular interest in recent years due to increased homeland security concerns. In addition to terrorist attacks, scenarios such as accidental releases of CWA from U.S. stockpile sites or from historic, buried munitions are also subjects for response planning. To facilitate rapid identification of practical and effective decontamination approaches, this paper reviews pathways of CWA degradation by natural means as well as those resulting from deliberately applied solutions and technologies; these pathways and technologies are compared and contrasted. We then review various technologies, both traditional and recent, with some emphasis on decontamination materials used for surfaces that are difficult to clean. Discussion is limited to the major threat CWA, namely sulfur mustard (HD, bis(2-chloroethyl)sulfide), VX (O-ethyl S-(2-diisopropylaminoethyl) methylphosphonothioate), and the G-series nerve agents. The principal G-agents are GA (tabun, ethyl N,N-dimethylphosphoramidocyanidate), GB (sarin, isopropyl methylphosphonofluoridate), and GD (soman, pinacolyl methylphosphonofluoridate). The chemical decontamination pathways of each agent are outlined, with some discussion of intermediate and final degradation product toxicity. In all cases, and regardless of the CWA degradation pathway chosen for decontamination, it will be necessary to collect and analyze pertinent environmental samples during the treatment phase to confirm attainment of clearance levels.},
doi = {10.2174/138527207779940892},
journal = {Current Organic Chemistry},
number = 3,
volume = 11,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Thu Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}
  • New, non-particulate decontamination materials promise to reduce both military and civilian casualties by enabling individuals to decontaminate themselves and their equipment within minutes of exposure to chemical warfare agents or other toxic materials. One of the most promising new materials has been developed using a needlepunching nonwoven process to construct a novel and non-particulate composite fabric of multiple layers, including an inner layer of activated carbon fabric, which is well-suited for the decontamination of both personnel and equipment. This paper describes the development of a composite nonwoven pad and compares efficacy test results for this pad with results from testingmore » other decontamination systems. The efficacy of the dry nonwoven fabric pad was demonstrated specifically for decontamination of the chemical warfare blister agent bis(2-chloroethyl)sulfide (H or sulfur mustard). GC/MS results indicate that the composite fabric was capable of significantly reducing the vapor hazard from mustard liquid absorbed into the nonwoven dry fabric pad. The mustard adsorption efficiency of the nonwoven pad was significantly higher than particulate activated carbon (p=0.041) and was similar to the currently fielded US military M291 kit (p=0.952). The nonwoven pad has several advantages over other materials, especially its non-particulate, yet flexible, construction. This composite fabric was also shown to be chemically compatible with potential toxic and hazardous liquids, which span a range of hydrophilic and hydrophobic chemicals, including a concentrated acid, an organic solvent and a mild oxidant, bleach.« less
  • In an initial investigation of the potential utility of chemical ionization (CI) mass spectrometry of selected analogs of chemical warfare agents using metal ions, the reactions of manganese ions with chloroalkyl sulfides and organophosphonates have been followed in a Fourier transform mass spectrometer. Mn{sup +} ions, produced by UV laser radiation focused on a stainless steel target, react rapidly with each molecule studied to provide characteristic mass spectra. The manganese ion CI mass spectra are compared to mass spectra obtained via electron impact (EI) and methane CI.
  • Tolerable encapsulation time in a Chemical Warfare Agent Protective Patient Wrap (dry insulative value = 1.44 clo; permeability index = 0.25) was determined in four hot environments including a simulated solar heat load (1152 W.m-2) for eight males. Mean body temperature (Tb), evaporative heat loss (EHL), dry heat gain (R + C), metabolic rate (M), and net heat flow (Msk) were measured or calculated from the heat balance equation. The ambient temperature (Ta) ranged from 54.7 degrees C (I) to 35.7 degrees C (IV) and the relative humidity ranged from 17% (I) to 63% (IV). EHL ranged from 173.5 W.m-2more » (IV) to 277.8 W.m-2 (I) at min 30 of encapsulation. R + C ranged from -129 W.m-2 (IV) to -230 W.m-2 (I) at that time and Tb averaged 37.6(+/- 0.3) degrees C (IV) and 38.1(+/- 0.2) degrees C (I). The average time of encapsulation ranged from 61.8(+/- 0.2) degrees C (I). The average time of encapsulation ranged from 61.8(+/- 13.2) min (IV) to 38.4(+/- 5.0) min (I). A multiple linear regression equation to predict tolerable encapsulation was developed. These data show that tolerable encapsulation is severely limited in hot environments which have a marked solar heat load. A preliminary study (n = 2) indicated that encapsulation time in 54.7 degrees C/17%rh could be extended by some 23 min by covering the WRAP with wetted towels, thereby decreasing body heat storage by enhancing EHL from the surface of the WRAP.« less
  • Detection of the blister agent HD [bis(2-chloroethyl)sulfide] or distilled mustard directly on the surface of soil particles using ion trap secondary ion mass spectrometry in the static mode is demonstrated. HD by its very nature is adsorptive; this attribute makes detection of surface adsorbed HD by gas-phase approaches difficult, but renders the compound amenable to surface detection. Two different ion trap (IT) mass spectrometers, modified to perform secondary ionization mass spectrometry using a ReO4- primary ion beam, were employed in the present study. Sputtered ions were trapped in the gas phase in the IT, where they could be scanned outmore » (MS1), or isolated and fragmented (MS2). The intact HD molecular ion was not observed, however an abundant ion corresponding to [HD - Cl]+ was formed, as were lower mass fragment ions, and ions derived from the chemical background. Ab initio calculations were used to propose structures of the fragment ions. At 0.5 monolayers surface coverage, [HD - Cl]+ and lower mass HD fragment ions were significantly more abundant than the background. At lower concentrations, however, the HD secondary ion signal became masked by the background. Sensitivity and selectivity were significantly improved in the MS2 mode of operation. MS2 of [HD - Cl]+ resulted in production of analytically diagnostic C2H4SH+ and other S- and Cl-bearing fragment ions. HD was detected at 0.07 monolayers using the MS2 approach, which corresponds to 108 ppm on a mass/mass basis.« less