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  » Biological Warfare Effects & Treatmen  »  Individual decontamination procedures

1.Detailed Procedures for Decontaminating the Eyes

Any suspected chemical agent contamination of your eyes or face must be removed immediately. In most cases, you will not be able to identify the agent before decontamination. Quickly obtain overhead shelter to protect yourself while performing the following decontamination process:

a. Remove and open your canteen.

b. Take a deep breath and hold it.

c. Lift your mask away from your face. Do not take the mask off.

d. Flush (irrigate) your eye or eyes immediately with copious amounts of water. To irrigate the eyes with water (from a canteen or other container of uncontaminated water), tilt your head to one side, open the eyelids as wide as possible, and slowly pour water into the eye so that it will run off the side of your face to avoid spreading the contamination. DO NOT use your fingers or gloved hand to hold the eyelids apart. Instead, open your eyes as wide as possible and pour the water as indicated. You must irrigate your eyes despite the presence of toxic vapors in the atmosphere. Hold your breath and keep your mouth closed to prevent contamination and absorption through the mucous membranes. Neutralize chemical agent residue along the flush path on the face.

e. Reseal, clear, and check your mask. Then resume breathing.

f. If the skin is contaminated while flushing your eyes, then decontaminate the face. Follow the procedure outlined in paragraphs D-2 or D-3 below.

2. Detailed Procedures for Decontaminating the Skin (Hands, Face, Neck, Ears, and Other Exposed Areas) Using the M291 Kit

The M291 Skin Decontaminating Kit (fig D-1) is provided to service members for skin decontamination. This kit may also be used to decontaminate selected individual equipment, such as load-bearing equipment, protective gloves, mask, hood, and weapon.

WARNING

The M291 kit is for external use only. Keep decontaminating powder out of the eyes; it may be slightly irritating to the eyes. Use water to wash toxic agent out of eyes. You may also use a 0.5 percent chlorine solution to wash toxic agent out of cuts or wounds.

a. Put on your mask and hood. Do not zip the hood. Do not pull the draw strings. Do not fasten the shoulder straps.

b. Seek overhead cover or use a poncho for protection against further contamination.

c. Remove one skin decontaminating packet from the carrying pouch.

d. Tear open quickly at notch. Although any notch may be used to open the packet, opening at the TEAR LINE will place applicator pad in a position that is easier to use.

e. Remove applicator pad from packet and discard empty packet.

f. Unfold applicator pad and slip finger(s) into handle.

g. Thoroughly scrub exposed skin on one hand (back of hand, palm, and fingers) until completely covered with black powder from the applicator pad.

h. Switch applicator pad to other hand and repeat procedures in step g above. Do not discard the applicator pad at this time.

NOTES

1. If you were masked with the hood zipped and drawstring pulled tight when you were contaminated, stop. Discard the applicator pad, put on your protective gloves and go to step s below. If, however, you were masked, but the zipper and drawstring were not secured, go to step n below.

2. Procedure is the same regardless of protective mask type. Ignore mention of hood when using the Navy Chemical Protective Overgarment, the hood is attached to the jacket.

WARNING

Injury or death may result if you breathe toxic agent while doing step i. If you need to breathe before you finish, reseal your mask, clear and check it, get your breath, then resume the decontaminating procedure.

i. Thoroughly scrub exposed skin of face until completely covered with black powder from the applicator pad.

(1) Hold breath, close eyes, grasp mask beneath chin, and pull hood and mask away from chin enough to allow one hand between the mask and your face. Hold mask in this position during steps (2) through (6).

(2) Scrub up and down across face beginning at front of one ear to nose to other ear.

( a ) Scrub across face to corner of nose.

( b ) Scrub extra stroke at corner of nose.

( c ) Scrub across nose and tip of nose to other corner of nose.

( d ) Scrub extra stroke at corner of nose.

( e ) Scrub across face to other ear.

(3) Scrub up and down across face beginning where step (2) ended, to mouth to other end of jawbone.

( a ) Scrub across cheek to corner of mouth.

( b ) Scrub extra stroke at corner of mouth.

( c ) Scrub across closed mouth to center of upper lip.

( d ) Scrub extra stroke above upper lip.

( e ) Scrub across closed mouth to other corner of mouth.

( f ) Scrub extra stroke at corner of mouth.

( g ) Scrub across cheek to end of jawbone.

(4) Scrub up and down across face beginning where step (3) ended, to chin and to other end of jawbone.

( a ) Scrub across the under jaw to chin, cupping chin.

( b ) Scrub extra stroke at center of chin.

(c ) Scrub across the under jaw to the end of the jawbone.

(5) Turn your hand out, and quickly wipe the inside of the mask that touches your face.

(6) Discard applicator pad.

(7) Immediately seal mask, clear, and check it.

j. Remove second skin decontaminating packet from carrying pouch.

k. Tear open quickly at notch.

l. Remove applicator pad from packet, and discard empty packet.

m. Unfold applicator pad and slip finger(s) into handle.

n. If you were already masked when you became contaminated and skipped steps i through m, continue using the same applicator pad. Without breaking the seal between the face and mask, thoroughly scrub skin of neck and ears until completely covered with black powder.

o. Redo hands until completely covered with black powder.

p. Discard applicator pad.

q. Put on your protective gloves.

r. Fasten hood.

s. Remove powder with soap and water when operational conditions permit. It does not matter how long the powder stays on your skin.

t. Bury the used pads and packets, if circumstances permit.

NOTE

The M291 Skin Decontaminating Kit is replacing the M258A1 Skin Decontamination Kit. For U.S. Army personnel, when replaced with the M291, the M258A1 decontamination kit will be used for decontamination of individual equipment only.

D-3. Detailed Procedures for Decontaminating the Skin (Hands, Face, Neck, Ears, and Other Exposed Areas) Using the M258A1 Kit

The M258A1 Skin Decontamination Kit (fig D-2) is provided service members for performing skin decontamination. This kit can also be used to decontaminate selected individual equipment, such as load-bearing equipment, protective gloves, mask, hood, and weapon.


WARNING

The ingredients of the DECON-1 and DECON-2 packets of the M258A1 kit are poisonous and caustic and can permanently damage the eyes. Keep the solutions out of the eyes, mouth, and open wounds. Use water to wash the toxic agent out of the eyes. Do not use water to wash mustard out of wounds or off the skin. Mustard may be removed by thorough immediate wiping.


WARNING

Complete decontamination (WIPES 1 and 2) of the face must be done as quickly as possible. The quicker the agent is removed, the less amount will be absorbed. One minute after exposure is preferable to 2 minutes, 2 minutes are preferable to 3 minutes. Do not attempt to decontaminate your face or neck before putting on a protective mask.

NOTES

1. Use the buddy system to decontaminate skin areas that you cannot reach.

2. Chemical agent blisters are actually burns and should be treated as such. Blisters which have ruptured are treated as open wounds. See FM 21-11 for burn first-aid procedure.

a. Put on the protective mask (if not already on). Do not zip the hood. Do not pull the drawstrings. Do not fasten the shoulder straps.

b. Seek overhead cover or use a poncho for protection against further contamination.

c. Remove the M258A1 kit from the mask carrier or web belt. Open the kit and remove one DECON-1 WIPE packet by its tab.

d. Fold the packet on the solid line marked BEND, then unfold it.

e. Tear open the packet at the notch, remove the wipe and fully unfold it.

f. Wipe your skin starting with your hands.

NOTES

1. If you have a chemical agent on your face, do steps g through t. If you do not have an agent on your face, do step m, continue to decontaminate contaminated skin areas, then go to step n.

2. You must hold your breath while doing steps g through l. If you need to breathe before you finish, reseal your mask, clear and check it, then continue.

g. Hold your breath, close your eyes, and lift the hood and mask from your chin.

h. Scrub up and down from ear to ear.

(1) Start at an ear.

(2) Scrub across the face to the corner of the nose.

(3) Scrub an extra stroke at the corner of the nose.

(4) Scrub across the nose and the tip of the nose to the corner of the nose.

(5) Scrub an extra stroke at this corner of the nose.

(6) Scrub across the face to the other ear.

i. Scrub up and down from the ear to the end of the jawbone.

(1) Begin where step h ended.

(2) Scrub across the cheek to the corner of the mouth.

(3) Scrub an extra stroke at the corner of the mouth.

(4) Scrub across the closed mouth to the center of the upper lip.

(5) Scrub an extra stroke above the upper lip.

(6) Scrub across the closed mouth to the other corner of the mouth.

(7) Scrub an extra stroke at this corner of the mouth.

(8) Scrub across the cheek to the end of the jawbone.

j. Scrub up and down from one end of the jawbone to the end of the other jawbone.

(1) Begin where step i ended.

(2) Scrub across and under the jaw to the chin, cupping the chin.

M258A1 Skin Decontamination Kit.

(3) Scrub an extra stroke at the cleft of the chin.

(4) Scrub across and under the jaw to the other end of the jawbone.

k. Quickly wipe the inside of the mask which touches the face.

l. Reseal, clear, and check the mask. Resume breathing.

m. Using the same DECON-1 WIPE, scrub the neck and the ears.

n. Rewipe the hands.

o. Drop the wipe to the ground.

p. Remove one DECON-2 WIPE packet, and crush the encased glass ampules between the thumb and fingers. DO NOT KNEAD.

q. Fold the packet on the solid line marked CRUSH AND BEND, then unfold it.

r. Tear open the packet quickly at the notch and remove the wipe.

s. Fully open the wipe. Let the encased crushed glass ampules fall to the ground.

t. Wipe your hands.

NOTE

If you have an agent on your face, do steps u through ee. If you need to breathe before you finish, reseal your mask, clear and check it, then continue.

u. Hold your breath, close your eyes, and lift the hood and mask from your chin.

v. Scrub up and down from ear to ear.

(1) Start at an ear.

(2) Scrub across the face to the corner of the nose.

(3) Scrub an extra stroke at the corner of the nose.

(4) Scrub across the nose and tip of the nose to the other corner of the nose.

(5) Scrub an extra stroke at the corner of the nose.

(6) Scrub across the face to the other ear.

w. Scrub up and down from the ear to the end of the jawbone.

(1) Begin where step v ended.

(2) Scrub across the cheek to the corner of the mouth.

(3) Scrub an extra stroke at the corner of the mouth.

(4) Scrub across the closed mouth to the center of the upper lip.

(5) Scrub an extra stroke above the upper lip.

(6) Scrub across the closed mouth to the other corner of the mouth.

(7) Scrub an extra stroke at the corner of the mouth.

(8) Scrub across the cheek to the end of the jawbone.

x. Scrub up and down from one end of the jawbone to the end of the other jawbone.

(1) Begin where step w ended.

(2) Scrub across and under the jaw to the chin, cupping the chin.

(3) Scrub an extra stroke at the cleft of the chin.

(4) Scrub across and under the jaw to the end of the other jawbone.

y. Quickly wipe the inside of the mask which touches the face.

z. Reseal, clear, and check the mask. Resume breathing.

aa. Using the same DECON-2 WIPE, scrub the neck and ears.

bb. Rewipe the hands.

cc. Drop the wipe to the ground.

dd. Put on your protective gloves and any other protective clothing, as appropriate. Fasten your hood straps and neck cord.

ee. Bury the decontaminating packet and other items dropped on the ground, if possible.

3. Procedures for Decontaminating Individual Equipment Using the M295 Kit

a. The M295 Decontamination Packet, Individual Equipment (DPIE) is designed for use in decontamination of individual equipment. The contents of this kit are identical to those contained in the M291, except that the packets are much larger.

b. Use a stick or other object to remove any thickened spots of chemical agent from the equipment.

c. Remove one decontamination packet from the kit.

d. Open the packet, remove the pad, and place your fingers through the slot in the pad.

e. Rub all surface areas of the equipment with the pad.


WARNING
The M295 is not approved for use on the skin by the FDA. Only use the M295 kit on equipment. Keep the decontaminating powder out of the eyes; it may be slightly irritating to the eyes.