Skin Exposure Paste
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Skin Exposure Paste
(Generic versions may still be available.)
Personnel using SERPACWA should receive the following information and instructions:
- SERPACWA is to be applied to skin in conjunction with and prior to the wearing of MOPP gear. In the event of CWA attack, SERPACWA may be unable to reduce or delay the absorption of CWA through the skin unless used in conjunction with MOPP gear.
- The duration of SERPACWA's ability beyond 5 hours to reduce or delay the absorption through the skin of chemical warfare agents is not known. SERPACWA's ability to reduce or delay the absorption through the skin of chemical warfare agent surrogates has been demonstrated in humans.
- The handling of smoking products such as cigarettes by personnel who have
even small amounts of SERPACWA on their hands may result in contamination
of these products with SERPACWA. Smoking products contaminated with SERPACWA
generates harmful fumes. A flu-like syndrome called polymer fume fever has
been reported in individuals who have been exposed to smoke contaminated with
a component of SERPACWA. The severity of this syndrome depends upon the amount
of exposure and the number of exposures. Polymer fume fever should not be
regarded as a transitory or benign condition. The long-term risk associated
with smoking products contaminated with SERPACWA has not been characterized.
Personnel should not touch smoking products after they have applied SERPACWA to their skin surface. Personnel are advised to wash their hands thoroughly to remove all visible traces of SERPACWA prior to handling smoking products. Smoking products may become contaminated even if there are no visible traces of SERPACWA on the hands. Some, but not all, individuals with polymer fume fever reported that the tobacco smoke had an unusual or unpleasant taste.
If the smoke has an unusual taste this may be indicative of product contamination. Under these circumstances, personnel should cease smoking and discard the potentially-contaminated products. Even in the absence of an unusual or unpleasant taste, the smoking product may still be contaminated, so smoking should be avoided. Clothing or other materials, exposed to SERPACWA, including SERPACWA packaging, should not be destroyed by burning, because of the release of toxic fumes.
- DEET products should be removed with a dry towel or cloth before SERPACWA is applied. Do not use water or a moist towelette.
- Some camouflage paints (loam and sand) may reduce the protective effects of SERPACWA.
- The potential for interaction between SERPACWA and a skin decontaminating kit has not been characterized. However, in animals, the protection provided by a SERPACWA-like product and the M291 Skin Decontaminating Kit was superior to the protection provided by the M291 Skin Decontaminating Kit alone.
SKIN EXPOSURE REDUCTION PASTE AGAINST CHEMICAL WARFARE AGENTS (SERPACWA)
Ingredients: Polytetrafluoroethylene and perfluoroalkylpolyether
Net: 84 g
INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE FOR MILITARY PERSONNEL:
This product is intended for use prior to exposure to CWA and only in conjunction with MOPP gear.
Before you put on the chemical protective overgarment, use a dry towel to wipe off the sweat, insect repellent, camouflage paint, sand or dirt from your skin at the areas shown in the picture below and on the label. The barrier properties of SERPACWA may be reduced if any insect repellents and/or camouflage paints remain on the skin surfaces to which SERPACWA is applied.
Tear open the packet and squeeze about one third of the pouch into the palm of your hand and rub it evenly around the wrists (site 1), neck (site 2), and boot tops of lower legs (site 3) until it forms a white film which is barely noticeable. Remove the remaining two thirds of the SERPACWA from the pouch and rub it evenly onto your armpits (site 4), groin area (site 5), and waistline (site 6).
After the product is applied, if exposure to CWA is either confirmed or suspected, follow the appropriate protocol for decontamination.
For removal of SERPACWA in the absence of exposure to CWA, scrub the sites with a dry towel, or if possible, with a cloth using both soap and water. For personnel who smoke, hands should have no visible traces of SERPACWA prior to handling of smoking products. If smoking products have an unusual or unpleasant taste during smoking, this may indicate that the products have been contaminated with SERPACWA. If this occurs, personnel are advised to cease smoking and discard the potentially–contaminated products. Even in the absence of an unusual or unpleasant taste, the smoking product may still be contaminated, so smoking should be avoided. Clothing or other materials exposed to SERPACWA and SERPACWA packaging should not be destroyed by burning, because of the release of toxic fumes.
Last reviewed on RxList: 3/9/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Skin Exposure Paste Information
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