*What We Need*
By Sarge

I don't have a checklist per se, but I do know what we need for each attack. Each of these has four methods of entry into the body...

Inhalation – Through the nose
Ingestion – Through the mouth
Percutaneous – Absorption through the skin
Wounds – Injection through the skin

Chemical - A military MOPP suit is most desirable to have, brand new out of the bag. New gloves, boots and hood on mask are also the most desirable, but used gear MUST be free of holes and tears. Even pinholes can spell death. Brand new un-expired combat filters in your mask (M17 series- Green on the inlet rings... Black and Gold is training). If unable to get a MOPP suit, a GOOD rubber, not nylon, rain suit with lots of duct tape and elastic at the waist, wrists and cuffs. Overlap on the zipper with snaps so that tape can be applied for a seal. Attached hood with draw strings. Rubber kitchen gloves and rubber boots of some kind, that goes higher than the ankle. Not Gore-Tex or fabric type boot. Tape at wrists, ankles, zipper opening and waist. You need something that can be washed by running water over it and it not soak through for decon. Hopefully you can get some nerve agent antidote, but it is expensive and hard to get. Atropine by itself is not a nerve agent antidote.

Biological - Not much you can do, but wear a protective mask to keep viruses and bacteria out via the inhalation and ingestion routes. Your skin is very good protection from these threats, unless you have open wounds or cuts, so covering and sealing any wounds is a top priority. Punctures are another way of inserting a biological agent into your system and that is done with insects such as fleas, ticks, chiggers, mosquitoes and any other insects that may be used to disseminate a biological weapon. These are called vectors. Wearing thick clothing with lots of bug spray will help in preventing a bite or sting from vectors. You may want to tape any access to your skin, the same way you do for a chemical suit, so that you deny any access to your skin to these vector agents.

Nuclear - Alpha and Beta radiation will be stopped by skin, but it is better to cover all exposed skin, Beta can burn the skin and if in high enough doses cause severe blistering. Wear protective mask to keep radioactive dust out of your body, once again the inhalation and ingestion routes. Gamma and Neutron radiation can only be dealt with by Time, Distance and Shielding. Basically if it is high, don’t stick around, get the heck out of the area or be underground or in a highly shielded building, preferably something with very thick concrete walls, 2+ ft thick. This would cut high amounts of radiation to almost nothing. It's even better to be underground with plenty of soil between you and the outside, because the radiation would only be coming from above, instead of the sides and above in a building.

Halving Values of common materials.
Steel 1.8 cm (.7”)
Concrete 5.6 cm (2.2”)
Earth 8.4 cm (3.3”)
Water 12.2 cm (4.8”)
Wood 22.4 cm (8.8”)

There are two loose categories of radioactive contamination and they are “soluble” and “insoluble.”  Were the solubility is with respect to body fluids. Wearing a protective mask is also important to prevent an uptake of radioactive contamination. Iodine or more accurately, Potassium Iodide, can be taken to fill up the thyroid gland to keep radioactive strontium and iodine from getting into the thyroid. If you are allergic to shellfish, you may not want to take iodine. Your body will absorb about 25% to 30% of iodine circulating in the blood following an acute intake. Regular table salt has large amount of Potassium Iodide (KIO3), which breaks down into elemental Iodine. I don’t know how much table salt should be ingested to get the proper amounts of KIO3 for protection. The tablets that can be bought for this purpose contain 85 mg of KIO3 that breaks down to 50 mg of elemental iodine. Two tablets a day for 10-14 days is the recommended dose for an adult. A question was also asked about regular topical iodine that is used to disinfect cuts and scrapes. Iodine will absorb through the skin rapidly, but here too I wouldn’t know the amounts to use. As you can see the mask is the first line of defense in a NBC environment, so having a good mask is very important and worth the money spent.

Keep in mind this is a quick guide and reviewing any NBC info on the site is preferred. NBC Update: A USMC Reader Replies


All materials at this site not otherwise credited are Copyright © 1996-2001 Trip Williams. All rights reserved. May be reproduced for personal use only. Use of any material contained herein is subject to stated terms or written permission.