US military develops 'green' decontaminants for terrorist attack sites

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Washington, June 3 (ANI): Chemists with the United States military have developed a set of ultra-strength cleaners that can get rid of nerve gas, mustard gas, radioactive isotopes, and anthrax, after a terrorist attack.

They are also non-toxic, based on ingredients found in foods, cosmetics, and other consumer products, unlike chlorine- and lye-based products that can react with chemical weapons and materials in the environment to form new toxic substances.

To solve this issue, the scientists have developed Decon Green suite of decontamination agents, which mainly contains peroxides, the same substances that are in many household cleaners and whitening toothpaste.

The peroxides are then mixed with bicarbonates or other non-toxic bases to produce peroxyanions, to increase their efficacy. These peroxyanions ensure that chemical weapons, like nerve gas, will break down completely.

Decon Green is quite good at killing anthrax spores, and removing radioactive cesium and cobalt from smooth surfaces. One of the formulas that they tested can work in sub-zero temperatures. Another is a powder, which can be easily transported and mixed with water at the scene of an emergency.

A detailed evaluation of the cleansers appears in ACS' Industrial Engineering and Chemistry Research journal. (ANI)

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