U.S. chemical defense agency updates equipment

The U.S. Army has implemented the use of a new series of laboratory equipment for chemical weapons defense research at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Aberdeen, Maryland.

The army said the new equipment, which costs approximately $1.5 million, will serve to accelerate the pace of its research by allowing scientists to accelerate the pace of the inhalation toxicology experiments, according to WNCT.com.

The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense described the equipment as a two-person work station that serves an enhanced version of a conventional "glove box," or an experiment station that allows workers to handle potentially dangerous materials inside an airtight container with built-in protective gloves.

The new work station has a newly developed vapor decontamination system capable of quickly neutralizing toxic chemicals. Previously, the boxes had to be disinfected with a bleach compound between experiments, a process that cost researchers valuable time, WNCT.com reports.

USAMRICD is the nation's leading technology laboratory for research and development dedicated to the production of medical chemical countermeasures. The agency, which operates from the Aberdeen Proving Ground, also provides analytical and consultative services related to chemical defense research as well the management of chemical-related casualties.

The agency's Office of Consultative Services manages an increasing national and international customer base that includes other federal agencies, biopharmaceutical companies and commercial enterprises.