JOURNAL ARTICLE

Oxidative decontamination of chemical and biological warfare agents using L-Gel

Ellen Raber, Raymond McGuire
Journal of Hazardous Materials 2002 August 5, 93 (3): 339-52
12137994
A decontamination method has been developed using a single reagent that is effective both against chemical warfare (CW) and biological warfare (BW) agents. The new reagent, "L-Gel", consists of an aqueous solution of a mild commercial oxidizer, Oxone, together with a commercial fumed silica gelling agent, Cab-O-Sil EH-5. L-Gel is non-toxic, environmentally friendly, relatively non-corrosive, maximizes contact time because of its thixotropic nature, clings to walls and ceilings, and does not harm carpets or painted surfaces. The new reagent also addresses the most demanding requirements for decontamination in the civilian sector, including availability, low maintenance, ease of application and deployment by a variety of dispersal mechanisms, minimal training and acceptable expense. Experiments to test the effectiveness of L-Gel were conducted at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and independently at four other locations. L-Gel was tested against all classes of chemical warfare agents and against various biological warfare agent surrogates, including spore-forming bacteria and non-virulent strains of real biological agents. Testing showed that L-Gel is as effective against chemical agents and biological materials, including spores, as the best military decontaminants.

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