Median lethal dose determination for percutaneous exposure to soman and VX in guinea pigs and the effectiveness of decontamination with M291 SDK or SANDIA foam

Edward D Clarkson, Susan M Schulz, Roy F Railer, Kelly H Smith
Toxicology Letters 2012 August 3, 212 (3): 282-7
Soman (GD) and VX are chemical warfare agents that can be absorbed through the skin. We determined the median lethal dose (MLD) for the cutaneous application of GD and VX in anesthetized haired guinea pigs and then tested the ability of a currently fielded decontamination kit, the M291 Skin Decontamination Kit (SDK), and decontaminating foam made by SANDIA Labs to decontaminate areas that have been exposed to cutaneous applications of GD and VX. The fur of guinea pigs was clipped on the left flank 24h prior to exposure. Animals were anesthetized and 5 min later neat GD or neat VX was applied. The MLD for percutaneous exposure to GD was 11.6 mg/kg, and to VX it was 0.10mg/kg. To test the ability of the M291 SDK, either GD or VX was applied and removed 1 min later with the pads of the M291 SDK clasped in a pair of forceps and wiped across the flank of the animal. The MLDs for GD and VX removed with the M291 SDK pads were 76.9 mg/kg and 0.87 mg/kg, respectively. When neat GD or neat VX was applied and removed 1 min later in the same manner with gauze soaked in SANDIA foam (MDF-100), the MLDs were 412 mg/kg and 10.4 mg/kg respectively. These data demonstrate that GD and VX are significantly less potent when applied cutaneously than previously reported for subcutaneous injections and indicate that improvement is needed on the limited protective ratio provided by the M291 SDK.

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