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Appendix D Evaluating Skin Decontamination Techniques Howard I. Malbach and Hongbo Zha li Both in vitro and in vivo techniques have been developed to determine skin decontamination. A brief introduction to the models and a summary of the relative data from recent studies follows. The models described below have been developed with nonvesicant agents that are available for occupational and home use. IN VITO DECONTAMINATION MODEL Wester et al. (1991) tested the extent and rate of decontamination on rhesus monkeys. A water-soluble chemical, glyphosate, was completely removed from rhesus monkey skin with three successive soap and water or water only washes. Approximately 90-percent of the glyphosate was removed in the first wash. There was no difference between washing with soap and water and washing with water only. AlachIor, a lipid- soluble chemical, was also removed by washing with soap and water and water only. In contrast to glyphosate, however, more alachIor was removed with soap and water than with water alone. Although the first alachIor washing removed most of the chemical, successive washings contributed to overall decontamination. Methylene bispheny! isocyanate, an industrial chemical, is a potent contact sensitizer. Decontamination potential was determined in vivo in rhesus monkeys. A and of I-cm areas was drawn on the abdomen of the monkey (the same can be done with humans) and the same amount of chemical applied to all areas. At set times, individual grid areas were washed/decontaminated by water-only, 5-percent soap, 50-percent soap, polypropylene glycol, polypropylene glycol cleaner, and corn oil. After each washing procedure, skin tape stopping was used to quantify residual contamination. Water-only and soap-and-water washing were minimally effective. Polypropylene glycol, polypropylene glycol cleaner, and corn of} were more effective. The chemical that was not removed by the washing procedures was recovered in the tape stepping (Wester and Maibach, 1999a). Two factors affect in vivo skin decontamination: (~) the "rubbing effect" that removes loose surface stratum corneum from natural skin desquamation, and (2) the "solvent effect," which is related to chemical lipophilicity and may influence the washing effects (Wester et al., 1991~. van Hooidonk et al. (1983) evaluated a wide variety of common materials as skin decontaminants against chemical agents. Flour followed by wet tissue paper removed 93 percent of VX and 98 percent of mustard. This treatment also reduced the penetration of The following material was prepared for the use of the principal investigators of this study. The opinions and conclusions herein are the authors' and not necessarily those of the National Research Council. 180
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Appendix A Funding Levels for Fiscal Years 1996 2000 for the Joint Service Chemical/Biological Defense Program For limited distribution to: Government Personnel and Contractors To obtain copies contact: Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses Four Skyline Place 5113 Leesburg Pike, Suite 901 Falls Church, VA 22041-3204 Phone: 703-578-8500 181
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