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Skin decontamination following exposure to chemical agents is a most important component of the individual defense doctrine, removing the agent, ceasing its penetration and preventing secondary contamination of the first responders. The goal of the current study was to compare the efficacy of Reactive Skin Decontaminant Lotion (RSDL) and Fuller's Earth (FE) following exposure to sulfur mustard (SM) and VX, aiming to find the optimal procedure for mass casualty decontamination protocol. Decontamination efficacy was evaluated in pigs by measurement of lesion area and erythema (SM) and cholinesterase inhibition and clinical symptoms (VX). FE and RSDL were highly effective against both agents. Following SM exposure, the two decontaminants demonstrated a significant decrease in lesions' size together with the decrease in exposure duration. Likewise, skin decontamination following exposure to VX with either FE or RSDL resulted in reduction in clinical symptoms and prevention of death. Decontamination was worthwhile even if postponed, up to 30 min (SM) and 2 h (VX). In conclusion, both decontamination products were efficient in ameliorating the toxic effects even though in a different mechanism. Finally, for mass casualty scenario, FE is preferred as a universal decontaminant, considering its safety, ease of use and longer shelf life. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Shlomit Dachir, Maayan Cohen, Hillel Buch, Tamar Kadar. Skin decontamination efficacy of sulfur mustard and VX in the pig model: A comparison between Fuller's earth and RSDL. Chemico-biological interactions. 2021 Feb 25;336:109393

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PMID: 33508307

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