Contamination must be confined within a given area. To ensure that contamination is not spread,
distinct lines should be established around the contaminated area and the contamination confined inside
these lines. The lines should be established along easily identifiable terrain features higher than the
contamination area, if possible. The crossing point across the line should be at the highest point and
should be well-marked. When chemical or biological contamination is present, shuffle pits at the
crossing point allow boots to be decontaminated when leaving the contaminated area. A shallow pit or
box filled with dry mix may be used as a shuffle pit.
Materiel to Be Decontaminated.
The method of decontamination employed will be dependent on the object and contaminant to be
decontaminated. The more porous a surface, the greater the need to decontaminate it at the earliest
In most cases, decontamination only reduces the hazard from NBC contamination to an acceptable level,
which is determined by the commander who should consider the mission in his determination of this
level. Periodic checks must be made to ensure that the hazard does not exceed the acceptable level. The
devices discussed in Lesson 2, Part A, can be used to check for completeness of decontamination.
Effects of Wearing Protective Clothing.
Unless troops are well-trained and conditioned, the wearing of protective clothing will cause a loss of
operational effectiveness. This loss is due to heat stress, respiratory strain, restricted movement,
difficulty in communication, restricted vision, and psychological stress. These factors singly would
affect effectiveness and combined, have an adverse effect on mission accomplishment. Soldiers wearing
chemical protective equipment have a limited tolerance time for hard work and must be allowed to
attend to body functions. The dual effects of the chemical agent plus the stresses from the protective
equipment can result in severely reduced combat effectiveness.
In cool temperatures (10 - 21, C or 50, - 70 F), unless involved in heavy work, troops should be able
to continue to function without significant degradation from heat buildup while wearing full protective
gear. Psychological factors, however, may require that individuals be allowed to remove the mask and