NBC Defense Part 2
NBC defense is a field that has suddenly grown due to our interactions with the Fatboy with a Bad haircut. (Kim Jung Un). Last time we talked about the the different types of NBC (or CBRN, the new classification of NBC) Biological, Chemical and Nuclear. This time I want to talk about the what to do AFTER an “incident”.
First off the last 2 weeks I was on Cat Ellis’s show the Herbal Prepper Live on Prepper Broadcasting. One point I want to make again. Do. Not. Buy. NBC gear. From. Military. Surplus Stores. You have no idea how the equipment was stored temperatures maintenance inspections or last use. Expired filters are just that EXPIRED. Same goes with MOPP suits (Mission Oriented Protective Posture) They breakdown and they lose their effectiveness over time.
In the last post on The Medic Shack home page I listed a complete (except for boots) MOPP gear All brand new for $76.00 from Amazon. Now this is not gear I would want to conduct an extended or hell ANY fire fight in, but it will work to protect you and loved ones until you can get out of the area. Also this is all brand new equipment
TMS NBC Protective Equipment List
Israeli Style Civilian Protective Mask
These are available new from Amazon in the 30 to 40 dollar range. There are masks that are newer design and about the same price but not as durable. Always buy a NEW filter for it. Sometimes they come with expired ones. The main reason I chose this mask over a lot of USA made protective civilian masks is it’s filter. It is the standard NATO 40 mm inlet filter that will be easy to “acquire” and you can drink from a standard US canteen with the NBC cap. And it is not a fragile mask.
2 NBC Filter. (New Old Stock)
This is the filter that comes with the mask and is available from Amazon. At about 20 bucks. The one from Amazon is not expired but it has a limited shelf life. The last time I looked they were made in 2012 and expire in 2022
3. NBC filter NEW manufacture
This is the new manufacture made in 2016 and they expire in 2026(ish) it’s on Amazon for 50 bucks.
4. Tyvek Suit
This is a standard protective suit. Yes it’s white and it’s noisy to wear. BUT you can color it. I’ve done one using Ritt dye and it came out a “tanish” color. It can be patched with duct tape. As Isaid earlier I would not want to fight in this suit but it will keep you alive to get to a clear area. On Amazon for under 13 bucks
These are standard chemical protection gloves. On Amazon about $8.50. In Cat’s show I said the the Platex Living Gloves can be used/. And they can the major disadvantage of them is the length. They ado not go up high enough on the arms. Do NOT use standard surgical or Nytrel exam gloves. They WILL fail on you.
I left this off the shopping list for a couple of reasons. First if you are looking for portability and lightweight this one item that I would go to the surplus stores for. The military MOPP over boots are light and easy to put on and fairly durable and inexpensive. Then there is the standard rubber overboots at Walmart. This is that I use. Why? The military MOPP boots SUCK for any extended walking. Unlike the military it is unlikely that we would be on a “patrol” and then get hit by chemical agents. These would stay in the rear with the rest of the gear.
First aid for NBC attacks.
First let me start with this:
I am not a doctor. I do not claim to cure any cause, condition or disease. I do not provide medical aid for the purpose of health or disease and claim to be a doctor. This information is for educational use only
NBC first aid does not need a huge extensive kit. Think about what you are treating. 1 Chemical or heat burns. Radiation poisoning and some sort biological infection.
Let’s start with chemical.
IN our last letter I talked about the different type of agents. Currently in the world the agent of choice is nerve agents. They easy to make easy to deploy and devastating in their effect. Here are the EARLY symptoms of nerve agent poisoning
Unexplained runny nose
Difficulty seeing (dimness of vision and miosis)
Tightness in the chest or difficulty in breathing
Localized sweating and muscular twitching in the area of contaminated skin
Tachycardia followed by bradycardia (Tachycardia is an abnormally rapid heartbeat with a heart rate of over 100 beats per minute. Bradycardia is a slow heart rate of less than 60 beats per minute)
Severe symptoms of nerve agent poisoning.
Strange or confused behavior.
Wheezing, dyspnea (difficulty in breathing), and coughing.
Severely pinpointed pupils.
Red eyes with tearing.
Severe muscular twitching and general weakness.
Involuntary urination and defecation.
Extreme Bradycardia (less than 40 bpm) and then asystole
The main antidotes for nerve agent is Atropine and 2Pam Chloride (Pralidoxime chloride) There have been studies that show that Biperdine, a drug used on Parkinson’s patients has worked well against organophoshate poisoning. It has been shown as safer than atropine but takes longer to act.
Now All these drugs are by prescription only. And it will be the rare doctor that would even prescribe them to the average person. All I will say on this is that careful searching the net will yield good results.
Atropine is not a “magic” drug that once given all is peaches and cream. It takes LARGE doses over time to save that person’s life. The standard we used in the military as medics for atropine for a 24 hour period is 200 mg. That is 26 vials of 0.4mg of Atropine. Normally the first 24 hours is enough time to flush the agent from the body but at times it may last for days. 2Pam chloride takes less, normally 1 -2 1 gram bolus over 15 minutes then followed by a 1 hour repeat of the initial dose. Then every 12 hours for as long as muscle weakness persists. IF the auto injectors are available then 3 right away followed by 3 more if the symptoms persist. Then go to the IV dosages. Remember this information is for educational and informative use only.
OK no TMS discussion is not complete without a herbal side to this. NOTE THIS IS for informational use only. Belladonna. Deadly Nightshade. Atropine CAN to be extracted from the plant. However it is extremely dangerous to do since both atropine and the entire plant is toxic.
Ok enough about nerve agents. The other agents that have been used in recent yea are Blister agents, Mustard Lewisite and phsogene. The last “official” use was during the Iran Iraq war of 1980’s Most notably the 1988 attack of the Kurds. THe gas used was a mixture of Mustard Gas, Sarin nerve agent and some reports say Hydrogen Cyanide was mixed in also. So in one attack all the major classes of chemical agents were involved.
For blister agents there is no real antidote except comfort care and to treat the blisters like burns.
For Nuclear it’s flush it out of the body. But first the types of radiation.
Alpha – these are fast moving helium atoms. They have high energy,but due to their large mass, they are stopped by just a few inches of air, or a piece of paper.
Beta – these are fast moving electrons. Since electrons are might lighter than helium atoms, they are able to penetrate further, through several feet of air, or several millimeters of plastic or less of very light metals.
Gamma – these are photons, just like light, except of much higher energy,. X-Rays and gamma rays are really the same thing, the difference is how they were produced. Depending on their energy, they can be stopped by a thin piece of aluminum foil, or they can penetrate several inches of lead.
There is no real “Anti Radiation Pill” as seen on TV. Potassium iodide is sold to a lot of preppers but it only works on radioactive iodine. The gamma rays are in and out at nearly the speed of light. And they can and do cause damage but there is no true decontamination steps. Now Alpha’s and Beta.
The way to treat someone that has breathed in or ingested radiation, Alpha and Beta particles is to just remove them. In the early days of the nuclear age when workers were contaminated with alpha radiation. Beer. Lots of it and right now. It was first used forall alpha radiation then mainly for Tritium (ever wonder why your night sights glow? They are radioactive Tritium. But the idea is for what’s called water turnover. So lots of beer means lots of urine. Also by adding in what’s called Prussian Blue, a dye used in the last century, It will bind with Cesium and Thallium in the digestive tract and keep them from being absorbed. Your protective mask WILL protect you from Alpha exposure. Over the years following the disasters of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima a lot of research was done on how to rid the body of radiation. And yes beer, Prussian blue, etc do work, however the best was found to be. Zeolyte. For those unfamiliar with that name, it used to be the active ingredient in the first generation Quikclot. It was also used by spreading on the ground to absorb ground contamination. It works by attacking the heavy metals that are part of radiation absorbing them and them letting the body eliminate them
The basics of all decontamination is the same be it Bio, Chemical and Nuclear. Remove the contamination. Neutralize the contamination (Chemical ) and then remove it. In the 1980s-late 90s early 2000’s the standard was the M258A1 kit I contains 3 each of a 2 step wipe. The wipes were soaked in a dilute lye solution . and the worked by removing and them neutralizing the agents. It was a pain to use geared up. The moist towelettes were hard to handle and tore on equipment. . The new kit the M295 is much easier to use.. For a SHTF method keep powdered lye on hand and mix it to a 1 tablespoon to quart of water water for personal decon and double that strength for equipment . The old adage found on shampoo bottles of Lather Rinse repeat comes to mind for both chemical and radiological decontamination. After removing the agent shower in cool not hot cool water. Hot water will cause the skin pores to open and allow the agents to enter. To test to see if the person of equipment is clean good old fashion litmus paper Chemical agents are for the most part acidic. You use an alkali to remove them so your test is to see if the litmus paper gives an acidic read or alkali read.
Nuclear. The best is shower. As above Lather Rinse Repeat. A brilliant however cheesy example of nuclear decon is the James Bond Movie Dr. No. Our hero and Ursula Andress where contaminated by the island They were forced to show an scrubbed down with SOFT brushes and were checked with a Geiger counter. Bond still showed radiation and was sent back though. That is the best and most effective way to decontaminate people and equipment . I highlighted the word soft. You cannot use stiff brushes. Doing so damages the skin and will give the radiation easy access to the body.
Biological. I leave this one for last for a reason . Bio scares me. Hundreds of times more than chemical or nuclear. You never know when you have been attacked. Was it 4 days ago? A week? A month? Yesterday? With Bio there is no PPE. No antidotes Nada. Zip Zilch.
But should that make you throw up your hands in despair? Hell no. yes there is nothing to stop a bio attack except for you to be as healthy as possible. A healthy body is better at fighting infections. Pay attention to your surroundings. Look at the birds. They are you best natural alarm for a chemical or bio attack. We used to use canaries in mines to detect gas. Birds are also sensitive to biological attacks. Say one day there are no birds. Me. I’d do the same thing as the birds and LEAVE. The left for a reason. Look for changes in your environment. A sudden mass death of small animals and or a sudden evacuation of them.
NBC is scary. But it is a box that has been already opened and all we can do is prep and then be watchful. But it is NOTHING to sit down and give up over. With proper prepping equipment and TRAINING you can survive it.