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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Small Arms: Treated Uniforms for Personal Protection

Authors
item Perry, Melynda -
item Bernier, Ulrich

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 28, 2010
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Permethrin-treatment of field-worn U.S. Military uniforms has been standard practice since 1991. The uniform fabric composition has changed significantly from 100% cotton to 50:50 nylon:cotton Battle Dress Uniforms (BDUs), to 50:50 nylon:cotton Army Combat Uniforms (ACUs) with wrinkle-free finish, and more recently to fire-resistant material, such as the 65% Rayon/ 25% para-aramid / 10% nylon Fire-Resistant Army Combat Uniform (FRACU). In addition to fiber and finish changes, fabric constructions have changed as well. These changes result in less permethrin absorption and retention and thus negatively impact use of current field permethrin impregnation methods. The changes also negatively impact protection from insect bites. Factory permethrin-impregnation of uniforms overcomes these issues by use of appropriate binders to retard permethrin loss and thereby provide a high level of protection from insect bites throughout the uniform lifetime. The US Marine Corps transitioned by completing “First Article Testing” of all vendors in 2007. The US Army will begin this process in 2010. “First Article Testing” involves permethrin content analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and bite protection evaluation by testing uniform material against mosquitoes. This talk will cover the results of this testing (permethrin content and bite protection) for uniforms (U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, and U.S. Air Force) that have been evaluated over the past 5 years.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014
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