make estimates only after the contamination has been specifically identified.
dose rates. A standard decay rate nomogram is used to predict the persistency of radiological hazards.
contamination. Refer to FM 3-3 for a description of radiation decay rates in detail.
a. During combat you can not afford to waste precious time and resources on decontaminating
clean areas. It is imperative that you know just where the contamination is located and, if possible, the
kind of contamination with which you must deal. This way you can concentrate all your efforts on
reducing or eliminating the contamination.
b. You cannot see or smell many types of contamination before the hazards begin affecting you.
Contamination hazards can drift downwind from the areas where they were used. Even contamination
which you can see, such as wet drops or dry powders, will be difficult to identify in the heat of battle.
c. There are several types of instruments and equipment that are used to detect and identify
contamination hazards. Currently fielded detection equipment varies in its purpose and ability to
determine location and type of contamination that is present. These topics will be discussed in Lesson 2.
Types of Chemical Agents.
As you have just read, chemical agents can be classified as persistent or nonpersistent, according to their
duration of effectiveness after release. These types of agents can also be classified as nerve, blister,
blood, or choking based upon their physiological action on the body.
Nerve agents can be either persistent and nonpersistent. Blister agents are usually persistent. Choking
and blood agents tend to be nonpersistent. An attack with weapons that release liquid or droplets is
likely to involve the use of persistent agents. An attack with weapons that release a vapor or gas is a
probable cue that nonpersistent agents have been used.