U.S. Army Improves Chemical Exposure Detection

The U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center are combining wearable chemical samplers and chromatography to accurately identify to which chemical warfare agent and how much of it a soldier was exposed.

Scientists at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) are using a combination of wearable chemical samplers and multi-dimensional chromatography to better protect soldiers against chemical warfare agents, according to an ECBC news story posted May 1. It said the tools they've developed will accurately identify to which agent and how much of it a soldier was exposed.

They're superior to hand-held detectors, which may have a limit of detection higher than the amount present or may not accurately identify the chemical class of the substance. And the wearable sampler attaches to a uniform and collects data on substances to which the wearer may have been exposed during a mission.

"The sampler collects almost everything it encounters," Bruce King, Ph.D., ECBC research chemist and project lead, said in Ashley Mason's article, which explained that the researchers use LECO Corporation's Pegasus GCxGC-High Resolution Time of Flight, known as HRTOF, system to analyze the data gathered in the sampler and accurately identify the chemical warfare agents.

ECBC is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command.

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