If a chemical agent gets on the skin or protective equipment, it must be removed immediately. Some agents are quick-acting and can incapacitate within a matter of minutes. The degree of injury caused by a chemical agent increases the longer it remains on the skin. The military issues special personnel decontamination kits, called M291 and M295 individual decontamination kits. They are the most effective method of removing chemical agents from the skin. In the absence of a personal decontamination kit, you can use a 5 percent chlorine bleach solution to remove the chemical agent from equipment and a 0.5 percent solution to remove agents from the skin. The eyes are very vulnerable when exposed to nerve and blister agents. If one of these agents gets in the eyes, irrigate them with water.
Decontamination powder is intended by the military for decontaminating soldiers skin and personal equipment from liquid NBC agents. The powder is usually finely ground to give it a larger surface area, making it an extremely effective adsorbent. You can blend an @ home mix generally, the main ingredients are chloride of lime and magnesium oxide, both easily had and which provide both absorption and neutralisation properties.
Chemical Detection Paper
Chemical detection paper can detect and identify airborne chemical warfare agents. The paper is attached as patches to the chemical-defense overgarment using either an adhesive backing or Velcro like bonding material. The paper is impregnated with dyes sensitive to different types of chemical warfare agent, and will indicate which type of agent is present by its corresponding pigment signal.
Nerve Agent Antidote
Medical representatives issue nerve agent antidotes and pretreatment during increased readiness. The primary nerve agent antidote is an intra-muscular injector with a cocktail of oxime and atropine. Additionally, medical representatives will issue pyridostigmine bromide tablets if the appropriate type of nerve agent is expected to be employed. People take these tablets, in advance of an attack, when there is sufficient evidence of a pending attack. These tablets, when combined with the antidote, limits the effect of certain types of nerve agent poisoning. There’s no way to make any type of nerve agent antidote at home.
Mono wrote in and wanted to point a few things out:
- Contrary to common opinion, don’t use lemon/vinegar, neither to clean eyes / nose etc (as it will only add to the pain) nor to soak your face masks (as it will make you feel like the concentration of chemical agents stacking up in the wet mask wasn’t as bad as it actually is, and by the time you feel how bad it really is already, you have been exposed way too much)
- If available, use oilskin or similar cloth as protection. Safety goggles or such (that don’t let air through) are good.
- Water is good for soaking masks since it makes the cloth more dense. Need to be replaced / thoroughly washed often, as the concentration of agents in the mask will increase.
- Wash face masks often with uncontaminated water, it is alyways useful to carry bottled water to wash/clean, since water from fountains etc might be contaminated.
- Only use water to clean eyes, for skin a 2-5% sodium hydrogen carbonate (NaHCO3) solution can be effective … cleaning eyes might take up to 10min to be effective, and might need repeating.
- If exposed to water cannons using CN/CS solutions, remove wet clothing as soon as possible, wash skin with water, if needed ask neighbours to help. if contaminated clothes are left on, there is a risk of severe chemical burns.
- Never, ever use any kind of fat or cream on skin affected by chemical agents, it will make things much worse.