ECBC evaluates decontaminability of prototype packing material

Scientists at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center recently designed a study to evaluate the decontaminability of prototype packaging material that would be used to wrap degraded munitions suspect of leaking.

The team investigated if high density polyethylene absorbed chemical agents and if it could be decontaminated successfully in the Explosive Destruction System (EDS). The EDS is a WMD-elimination technology used by the Chemical Materials Activity.

"This study was meant to evaluate if chemical munitions stored in the Universal Munition Storage Container (UMSC) can be destroyed directly in the EDS without unpacking the item," Brandon Dusick, a chemist with ECBC's Chemical Biological Application and Risk Reduction (CBARR) Business Unit, said.

Leaking munitions are currently stored in metal overpacks. When the overpacks are opened, the munitions cause a potentially hazardous situation for EDS technicians. If successful, USMC packaging could eliminate the hazards associated with operator handling and halt risks of leaking munitions in storage.

The ECBC determined that the chemical agent was not greatly absorbed by the USMC materials. The study helped the scientists to collect data on how leaking munitions can be safely handled, packed and transported during EDS operations.

The ECBC is the Army's principal research and development center for engineering, field operations, and chemical and biological defense technology.