Cover Image

PAPERBACK
$111.75



View/Hide Left Panel

suits and burned the skin. The men were required to repeat the procedure and enter the chambers either every day or every other day until they developed moderate to intense erythema. The number of trials tolerated depended largely on the vesicant concentration in the chambers. For example, a technical report by Taylor and his colleagues documents a specific set of 60-minute trials in which, at a cumulative sulfur mustard exposure level of 600 Ct per trial, the average number of trials tolerated was 5.3, representing a low of 4 trials and a high of 14 trials (Taylor et al., 1945). In trials with cumulative exposures of 9,600 Ct per trial, the average number of trials tolerated was estimated at two, because all the men developed some erythema after the first trial.

The anatomical locations and intensity of erythema are reported in Taylor's paper for each individual. The majority of men experienced intense erythema that was widespread over their bodies, especially in moist areas of skin folds, such as behind the knee and under the arms, in large areas of the chest and shoulders, and on their arms and legs. Little involvement of areas such as the scrotum and buttocks was reported for this particular set of trials, possibly because the men wore an extra layer of impregnated undergarments.

In another set of trials reported by Heinen and his colleagues (1945), multiple cumulative exposure levels ranged from 50 to 700 Ct. In these experiments, the subjects were engaged in different levels of physical activity before, during, and after the chamber trials. No data, however, are included regarding the tests in which activity was performed inside the chambers. Significantly, subjects in this set of trials were not completely dressed in protective clothing. Most were dressed in standard issue attire but wore carbon-impregnated suspenders. It was thought that the suspenders would protect a strip of skin that could then be compared with skin areas that were unprotected. In addition, only a few men were given impregnated underwear. Results from this set of trials are documented with photographs that show burns to the genital areas of many of the men. In one series, of 24 men participating, 13 experienced crusted lesions to the scrotum that were characterized as severe, and 8 experienced severe lesions to the penis. These lesions took up to one month to heal, according to the report.

In general, these two reports are representative of many of the chamber tests conducted at NRL (Washington, D.C.), Edgewood Arsenal (Maryland), Great Lakes Naval Training Center (Illinois), and, for a short time, at Camp Sibert, Alabama. The concentrations, times of exposures, and types of chemical agents used in other locations may not be similar, however, and full reports of other chamber tests were not made available to this committee. There is evidence that some chamber tests may have been done with higher cumulative exposures, because



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement