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Chamber Tests with Human Subjects XVIII. Tests with HN Vapors

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The calibration and operation of the NRL chamber for the exposure of human subjects to nitrogen mustard vapors is described in detail in the first part of this report. Concentration of HN vapors are established by mean of special design saturators and by a flash distillation system. Analysis of the HN vapor is carried out by a colorimetric method based on the reaction with DB-3. Operation of the chamber has been standardized for HN-1 vapor exposures ranging from 200 to 2000 CT 60 min. and for HN-3 vapor exposures ranging from 100 to 900 CT 60 min.. The precision of the operation is such that a CT within 5 of the desired value is obtained with T factors of 50 to 70 minutes. In the second part of this report, a series of tests is described in which human volunteers were exposed to HN-1 or HN-3 at various CTS at 90 degrees Fahrenheit, 65 R. H., wearing masks and either ordinary or protective clothing. The most vulnerable body regions were the neck and the scrotum. Severe reactions on unprotected necks under summer conditions were observed following exposure to HN-1 at CT 300 and HN-3 at CT 150. The scrotal lesions resulting from exposure to the vapors of these agents were similar in time of onset, duration, and appearance to those from H vapor. CC-2 impregnated clothing offered poor protection against HN-1. Scrotal lesions were produced in men wearing both protective suits and shorts at CT 400 under summer conditions. On the other hand, good protection was afforded by this clothing against HN-3 up to the highest CT at which tests were conducted. No changes in the leukocyte counts were observed in any of the test subjects.

Subject Categories:

  • Weapons Effects (Biological)
  • Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods
  • Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare
  • Protective Equipment

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