JOURNAL ARTICLE

Efficacy of liquid and foam decontamination technologies for chemical warfare agents on indoor surfaces

Adam H Love, Christopher G Bailey, M Leslie Hanna, Saphon Hok, Alex K Vu, Dennis J Reutter, Ellen Raber
Journal of Hazardous Materials 2011 November 30, 196: 115-22
21944706
Bench-scale testing was used to evaluate the efficacy of four decontamination formulations on typical indoor surfaces following exposure to the liquid chemical warfare agents sarin (GB), soman (GD), sulfur mustard (HD), and VX. Residual surface contamination on coupons was periodically measured for up to 24h after applying one of four selected decontamination technologies [0.5% bleach solution with trisodium phosphate, Allen Vanguard Surface Decontamination Foam (SDF™), U.S. military Decon Green™, and Modec Inc. and EnviroFoam Technologies Sandia Decontamination Foam (DF-200)]. All decontamination technologies tested, except for the bleach solution, performed well on nonporous and nonpermeable glass and stainless-steel surfaces. However, chemical agent residual contamination typically remained on porous and permeable surfaces, especially for the more persistent agents, HD and VX. Solvent-based Decon Green™ performed better than aqueous-based bleach or foams on polymeric surfaces, possibly because the solvent is able to penetrate the polymer matrix. Bleach and foams out-performed Decon Green for penetrating the highly polar concrete surface. Results suggest that the different characteristics needed for an ideal and universal decontamination technology may be incompatible in a single formulation and a strategy for decontaminating a complex facility will require a range of technologies.

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