|PERRY, MELYNDA - Natick Soldier Center|
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/17/2009
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: N/A.
Technical Abstract: The United States Army and United States Marine Corps (USMC) are fielding uniforms that incorporate fire resistant fibers into the uniform material. For the U.S. Army, the change in uniform composition to produce the Fire-Resistant Army Combat Uniform (FRACU) results in a uniform that does not retain permethrin as well as the ACU. Additionally, the FRACU construction has to be to be more permeable to provide acceptable comfort to the soldier that wears this uniform. The Defender-M FRACU has an air permeability rating of 55.9 cfm compared to 6.1 cfm of the ACU. As a result of the compositional and construction changes, field treatment of uniforms (e.g. the use of Individual Dynamic Absorption [IDA] kits) is no longer acceptable due to environmental concerns related to excess permethrin not absorbed into the fabric. Finally, these changes result in uniforms with decreased biological efficacy (bite protection) when tested against Aedes aegypti and Anopheles albimanus. The USMC is the only US service branch that has all uniforms factory-treated with permethrin. Factory treated uniforms exhibit decreased permethrin loss and high bite protection over the lifetime of the uniform. Factory-level permethrin-treated FRACUs are now being explored as a solution to overcome the decreased absorption characteristics and higher air permeability of this uniform. This presentation will cover the bite protection protocol and performance of MCCUUs, ACUs, FRACUs, Nomex (95% meta-aramid) U.S. Army uniforms, and permethrin-treated U.S. Air Force Battle Uniforms (ABUs).