Tech Briefs

Study results provide an operationally relevant exposure standard.

Results of a 5-year, $40 million effort to study chemical warfare agents will benefit military and civilian personnel alike, helping leaders in both arenas cope with events should a terrorist or combat attack that exposes people to toxic chemical agents occur. Dr. Stephen Channel, an AFRL research veterinarian and toxicologist, is heading the collaborative research effort between AFRL and US Army scientists. Based at the Army's Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense and the Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center at the Army's Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland, the work is in its final year.

ImageThe likelihood of encountering chemical weapons during Operation DESERT STORM prompted the Department of Defense to increase its emphasis on health protection, a focus which subsequently spurred initiation of a Defense Technology Objective (DTO) under the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. Once established, the DTO provided the impetus to fund and manage the project. According to Dr. Channel, the twofold goal of the collaborative team was to "refine and improve the human risk assessment for a specific agent, and each year give customers an operationally relevant, scientifically defendable exposure standard" for a traditional organophosphate chemical warfare agent (CWA).