How to protect yourself in the case of chemical events of terrorist or accidental origin?

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How to protect yourself in the case of chemical events of terrorist or accidental origin?

The main risks

We have often talked on this blog about chemical events that have occurred accidentally or as a result of a terrorist attack

Among these events, the sarin gas attack in the Tokyo metro is one of the most studied. The attack was carried out on 20 March 1995 and was initiated by the Aum sect. It killed 11 people and wounded 5,500.

Feedback on the care of the wounded has been rich in lessons, especially regarding cross-contamination, which has particularly affected hospital staff.

The chemical disasters of “Feyzin”, “Seveso”, “Bhopal”, Usine AZF are still in everyone’s memory.

Another use of chemicals has been described: it took place in the Doubrovka Theatre in Moscow on 23 October 2002.

The organophosphates that make up plant protection products can also cause accidents, especially during their preparation.

We also discussed the measures to be taken in the event of major CBRN accidents.

Rarer and more insidious events such as H2S gas suicides have also been described

ICTs, Industrial Chemical Toxics, surround us: handled in factories or transported on roads or railways, they represent an omnipresent danger.

We also described the potential misuse of chemicals for current and future terrorism-related threats.

 

The management of such events

When specialists such as firefighters are involved in this type of event, they are equipped with PPE adapted to the situation.

However, some staff may not be equipped with PPE or trained at CBRN. They may belong to hospital staff (we can refer to the Tokyo sarin gas attack), reception agents, private ambulance drivers, staff working in ONG, safety and security staff or part of the close protection services or even journalists covering the event.

How to remain operational?

All these personnel must remain operational and continue their activity in an environment contaminated by aggressive chemicals.

At a minimum, they must protect their airways, eyes, face and hands.

Protection of the respiratory tract, eyes and face

The NH15 escape hood protects the airways, eyes and face from ICTs and CBRN chemicals. This completely transparent polyurethane hood with integrated oculars can be put in place in 20 seconds without learning even if you wear a beard and/or long hair! Its 2 large filters (with exhalation valves) protect against gas and steam TICs for 100 minutes for hydrogen sulphide (H2S), 20 minutes for ammonia, 30 minutes for SO2, 45 minutes for HCN and phosgene. Against HD and GB the hood protects the lungs and skin for more than 30 minutes.

Hand protection

They can be protected by butyl gloves that protect against all known CBRN agents and a wide spectrum of ICTs. Easy to put on and thin, they provide maximum dexterity.

Immediate decontamination

It is important to be able to decontaminate, i.e. remove the toxic chemical in a very short time, either from the skin to avoid the progression of the lesion induced by the product, or from a garment or surface (furniture for example) to avoid the transfer of the toxic product from one place to another place (cross-contamination) or from one part of an individual to another part (secondary contamination). The use of an immediate decontamination process (or emergency decontamination) by dry method is therefore very useful. This decontamination will be carried out with an absorbent and neutralizing Decpol wipe.

 

The Emergency Protection Kit 

Ouvry provides its customers with an “Emergency Protection Kit” which contains the 3 elements mentioned above: the NH15 hood, a pair of butyl protective gloves and a Decpol decontamination wipe.

These 3 elements confer a 1st level of CBRN protection: easy to use, quick to set up without learning, without maintenance and without batteries, this kit allows non-specialized people not only to protect themselves but also to play an important role (reception, transport…) in the treatment of voluntary or accidental chemical contamination.

Conclusion

Members of the paramedical professions (ambulance attendants, reception guidance nurses, pre-hospital emergency teams), members of ONGs, protection services, etc. may be confronted with a voluntary or accidental chemical event. These non-professionals in the CBRN field are not equipped with PPE. With this emergency protection kit, they can protect their eyes, face and hands, but also help the injured and even reduce cross-contamination, which has been shown to be difficult to control.  It is easy to use, and also allows dry decontamination of the skin or surfaces, thus limiting the progression of skin chemical injuries and secondary and/or cross-contamination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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