MASS DECON IN SITU
I believe that decon in place should be emphasized for civilian mass chemical agent [especially nerve agent] events. Our drills have emphasized that the time delay between dissemination and rescue by evacuation is delayed over an hour. Treating in place with Mark I kits is also very much delayed. If the first protected responder on the scene were to do a quick and dirty decon with a fire spray, all victims could be at least partially decon-ed and the destruction of the agent started. Vapor in the ari would be markedly reduced. The minerals in the water would accelerate the hydrolysis of the nerve agents. These agents are water soluble so dilution would play a large part in reducing their effectivenss. The only exception is VX where cold water is requried for complete solubility.
OSHA & EPA requirements produce unaccelptable delays that will cost lives. There should be escape legislation so that first and second responders can practice as they should perform.
R Fields, MD, JD
Orange County Sheriff's Dept.
Orange County, CA