PART A - REASONS FOR DECONTAMINATION
You must recognize four facts before you can solve contamination problems.
Contamination can be lethal.
MOPP Gear degrades performance.
MOPP Gear has limitations.
Contamination can be spread.
Some kinds of contamination are so toxic they can kill or incapacitate, if
they contact exposed skin for only a few minutes.
If your skin becomes
contaminated, you must stop what you are doing and decontaminate your skin
MOPP Gear provides protection but reduces efficiency. The longer you are in
MOPP 4, the lower your efficiency will become.
Using tools and weapons
while wearing rubber gloves is awkward.
The mask reduces your field of
view, making it difficult to use some optical sights and night-vision
devices. Extended operations in MOPP Gear tires and discourages soldiers.
Troops cannot eat while wearing a mask.
Urinating and defecating are
potentially dangerous in a contaminated area. Even resting and sleeping are
difficult because it is hard to breathe through the mask.
Although MOPP Gear will provide protection from most chemical and biological
agent attacks, there are limits to its effectiveness. Some concentrations
of contamination may eventually overcome the gear's protective qualities.
The charcoal in the mask filters and the overgarments eventually becomes
Water, fuel, grease, or oil could defeat the protective
qualities of the MOPP Gear. Agents can gradually penetrate the mask hood.
If an agent is removed quickly before it can penetrate, the protective
qualities of the hood are extended many hours.
MOPP Gear provides little direct protection from the hazards of radiological
contamination, such as fallout.
Commanders may decide to use it for its
MOPP 4 can prevent the inhalation of radioactive
particles, keep contamination off the skin, and simplify decontamination.
Although the danger is not immediate, radiation can gradually build up to a
dangerous level. It must be removed as soon as the mission allows.