Expedient Respiratory and Physical Protection: Does a Wet Towel Work to Prevent Chemical Warfare Agent Vapor Infiltration?

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The purpose of this paper is to examine the effectiveness of expedient protection strategies to reduce exposure to vapors from chemical warfare agents. This includes an examination of the physical and the psychological effectiveness of measures such as using a wet towel to seal a door jam against the infiltration of chemicals while sheltering in place or to provide expedient respiratory protection. Respiratory protection for civilians has never been considered a viable option for population protection in the CSEPP. Problems of storage, ability to effectively don respirators, and questionable fit have been primary factors in rejecting this option. Expedient respiratory ... continued below

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Sorensen, J. H. August 30, 2002.

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Description

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effectiveness of expedient protection strategies to reduce exposure to vapors from chemical warfare agents. This includes an examination of the physical and the psychological effectiveness of measures such as using a wet towel to seal a door jam against the infiltration of chemicals while sheltering in place or to provide expedient respiratory protection. Respiratory protection for civilians has never been considered a viable option for population protection in the CSEPP. Problems of storage, ability to effectively don respirators, and questionable fit have been primary factors in rejecting this option. Expedient respiratory protection seems to offer little benefits for population protection for chemical agent vapors. Furthermore, using wet towels as a vapor barrier at the bottom of a door should be discouraged. The wetted towel provides no vapor filtration and its effectiveness in infiltration reduction is unknown. Taping the bottom of the door will still likely provide greater infiltration reduction and is recommended as the current method for use in sheltering.

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  • Other Information: PBD: 30 Aug 2002

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  • Report No.: ORNL/TM-2001/153
  • Grant Number: AC05-00OR22725
  • DOI: 10.2172/814423 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 814423
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc737581

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  • August 30, 2002

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  • Oct. 18, 2015, 6:40 p.m.

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  • Dec. 11, 2017, 2:13 p.m.

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Sorensen, J. H. Expedient Respiratory and Physical Protection: Does a Wet Towel Work to Prevent Chemical Warfare Agent Vapor Infiltration?, report, August 30, 2002; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc737581/: accessed April 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.