When agents are mixed, you must decontaminate for chemical agents first. Chemical agents are
normally the most lethal and fastest-acting type of contamination. The decontamination methods for
is not true. Biological and radiological decontamination procedures are not necessarily effective against
To compound the problem of multiple types of contamination, the enemy may use a mixture of
agents in munitions. Such mixtures could be used to achieve various purposes:
■ Lower the freezing point of agents.
■ Create both percutaneous (through the skin) and inhalation hazards.
■ Complicate identification of the agents.
■ Disguise one of the agents.
■ Combine immediate and long-term effects.
Currently fielded equipment cannot identify toxins or biological hazards. Therefore, the
insurmountable. This is not the case if standard chemical decontamination measures are followed at
can be used for toxins and biological agents as well as chemical agents. The effectiveness of field
When planning for decontamination operations, do not base the selected method and decon
measures solely upon the first hazard that is identified. Make sure that you conduct thorough checks to
identify all the agent hazards. If specific agents can be detected and identified, take the appropriate
Otherwise, use standard decontaminants and conduct chemical
The standard techniques that were reviewed earlier in this lesson have been specified for the battlefield.
They range from the individual actions that soldiers use to survive to the complex activities that
chemical decon companies use when they help reconstitute a fighting force. It is extremely important to
remember that all of the techniques become increasingly less effective the longer they are delayed.
These techniques have been developed to use the equipment and force structure already fielded or that
will be fielded in the near future.