2010-Analytical Techniques for Measuring Toxic Industrial Chemicals in CBRN Boot Materials

Analytical Techniques for Measuring Toxic Industrial Chemicals in CBRN Boot Materials

Ashley E. Bradham, North Carolina State University


Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) boots worn to resist Toxic Industrial Chemicals (TICs) are typically made from rubber and are bulky, heavy, and inflexible.
This research is focused on determining the level of residual TICs in lighter, more flexible leather materials compared to a solid rubber control. Details about the development of the boot system and production are presented in another paper. The primary challenge for boots made of leather is to achieve repellency and decontamination following exposure to TICs. This study simulated one day of typical CBRN boot use, which includes three exposures to a TIC and decontaminations after each exposure.
Previous methods for determining the resistance of protective materials to liquids gave materials a pass/fail or relied on gravimetric results. However, since the materials were decontaminated after exposure, other techniques were necessary to determine amount of a TIC that remained. The TICs used in this study included acrylonitrile, acrolein, morpholine, m-cresol, methyl parathion, and 37% sulfuric acid.
These chemicals were chosen from an OSAH list and the NFPA 1994 Standard list of chemical challenges. Methods developed for the higher boiling, semi-volatile TICs, included extraction with an Accelerated Solvent Extractor (ASE) and analysis with a gas chromatograph (GC) containing a flame ionization detector (FID).
The methods developed for the more volatile TICs, included thermal desorption (TD) and GC/FID for analyses. The inorganic TIC, 37% sulfuric acid, was extracted using AATCC Test Method 81-2006 and analyzed with an automated titrator. Although this paper focuses on the comparison of results from a new leather material to a solid rubber control, these analytical methods can be applied to other materials intended for chemical boot protection.