Major dispersions of toxic chemicals as solids or liquids are unusual but can have severe consequences. Upon dermal exposure some chemicals can enter the body through skin penetration thereby causing systemic toxic effects. Other chemicals may damage the skin and facilitate chemical uptake through the skin barrier. To avoid the risk of systemic effects or chemical skin burns it is of great importance to prevent further exposure of chemicals that can damage or penetrate the skin. For such chemicals rapid initiation of skin decontamination may be highly important to minimize the systemic toxic effects and save lives.
Evaluation of skin decontamination methods following chemical exposure
The aim of the project is to meet an identified need for scientific validation of existing decontamination methods and products in the emergency care. An experimental comparison of decontamination methods for chemical substances that are relevant to disaster preparedness will be carried out through human skin penetration studies. Primarily, the project will focus on the relationship between the time of initiated decontamination and how various factors, such as rinsing with water, affects the skin penetration of the chemicals and the decontamination efficiency. These studies will be conducted with respect to realistic scenarios to ensure that the knowledge derived from the project is relevant from a rescue service and medical perspective. An important objective is to propose general and useful methods of skin decontamination which are effective for the most prioritized chemicals.
The project is a collaboration between FOI CBRN Defence and Security and the FoUUi-department at the Stockholm South General Hospital.
Project manager: Lina Thors
Read more under publications: Skin penetration and decontamination