NBC Weapons: October 3, 2002


The U.S. army has developed a teflon (polytetrafluoroethylene) skin cream that protects the user against chemical agents that enter through the skin. It goes on like suntan lotion, and was found to protect against urushiol oil (the active ingredient in Poison Ivy), which will make the new cream popular with troops out in the field. About half of all Americans are sensitive to urushiol and break out whenever they brush against Poison Ivy (or related plants like Poison Oak). The FDA has only approved the cream for military (and emergency service workers dealing with dangerous chemical) use. Further testing should result in a civilian version of the cream. The army calls its version SERPACWA (Skin Exposure Reduction Paste Against Chemical Warfare Agents) 


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