Decontamination


The M291 Skin Decontamination Kit consists of a wallet-like carrying pouch containing six individual decontamination packets, enough to do three complete skin decontaminations. Each packet contains an applicator pad filled with decontamination powder. Operating temperatures range from minus 50 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and storage temperatures are from minus 60 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Users can decontaminate their skin completely through removal, absorption and neutralization of toxic agents with no long-term harmful effects. It is for external use only and may slightly irritate eyes or skin.

Decontamination is accomplished by applying a black decontamination powder contained in the applicator pad. Application to skin exposed to contamination is explained in the technical manual. The M291 is a fielded item and replaces the M258A1 skin decontamination kit.

The MlOO Sorbent Decontamination System (SDS) is another decontaminating agent. It is a free-flowing, reactive, highly absorptive powder manufactured from aluminum oxide. The sorbent system was adopted in April 1999 after passing a rigorous peer review by a team of independent nongovernment evaluators and representatives from the Army, Navy and Air Force.

The MlOO SDS replaces the Mils and MlSs currently used in spray-down operations associated with immediate decontamination. Each SDS consists of two 0.7-pound packs of powdered reactive sorbent, two wash-mitt-type sorbent applicators, a case, straps and detailed instructions. An additional chemical-resistant mounting bracket is available. The system uses powdered sorbent to remove chemical agents from surfaces. Using the SDS decreases decontamination time and eliminates the need for water. Each SDS weighs 4.2 pounds and fits into a 3 1/4-inch × 6-inch × 14 1/2-inch space. The SDS mounting bracket is designed to fit Mil mounting holes, allowing easy replacement of the M11.

Future developments include toxicology testing on the sorbent system to assess its acceptability to the Food and Drug Administration for use in skin decontamination and on open wounds. In addition, the SDS program will consider providing capability for contamination avoidance by providing protection of sensitive equipment. The sorbent system will also be tested against biological contaminants.

The Joint Modular Decontamination System (MDS) M21 DP/M22 High-Pressure Washer (HPW) program was initiated to provide the soldier with a vastly improved capability to perform detailed equipment decontamination on the battlefield.

The system includes an M21 decontaminant pumper and scrubber module and an M22 high-pressure/hot water module. These modules improve the method of decontaminant application by reducing water usage and equipment processing time. The system is also less labor-intensive and improves decontamination effectiveness. Both modules are diesel-powered with electric start capability. The M21 decontaminant pumper dispenses DS2 or liquid field expedient decontaminants, formalin, household bleach and diesel fuel through two spray wands. While mounted on a trailer, the M21 draws the decontaminant from a container on the ground. Accessories to the M21 include hoses, triggeroperated spray wands and two electrically powered scrub brush assemblies. The brush assemblies receive power from the M21 or through a NATO slave cable adapter from the vehicle being decontaminated.

The M22 high-pressure washer delivers hot pressurized water at rates up to 3,000 pounds per square inch and five gallons per minute (gpm) through two spray wands. This washer can also dispense a high-volume (40 gpm) flow of cold water and, through an injector, liquid detergents. Its accessories include the necessary hoses, wands, nozzles, hydrant adapters and an injector. The M22 high-pressure/hot water module can draw water from natural water sources and dispense it at variable adjustable pressures, temperatures and flow rates. The hydrant adapters provide a capability for using urban water supplies.

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