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Lab develops a personal decontamination system

This is Science Today. A universal personal decontamination system that can help save the lives of soldiers and civilians, is being developed by researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and two other institutions. William Smith, a process development engineer at the Lab, says these layered wipes can be used to rapidly decontaminate people and equipment exposed to a wide range of military and industrial chemicals.

Smith:             A lot of this work was motivated by the sarin subway attacks in Tokyo. There was a lot of panic and a few people injured by that. So people wondered, how can you resassure folks that they can do something? Because one of the big concerns is that when people are hit with a chemical agent, it may not do damage if it's limited. But then if they traipse it and  carry it all over town, so if you don't give them some way to treat themselves, they're likely to do that.

Narrator:       Smith says they combined the existing military decontamination system that uses a lotion with a nonwoven dry wipe material designed by other institutions and found they could treat nearly every chemical.

Smith:             It still requires some more testing from the FDA to be sure that the pad does not adversely impact the performance of the liquid.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.