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Natural Attenuation of the Persistent Chemical Warfare Agent VX on Porous and Permeable Surfaces
Oudejans, L., D. Chappie, D. See, AND R. Lordo. Natural Attenuation of the Persistent Chemical Warfare Agent VX on Porous and Permeable Surfaces. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-17/186, 2017.
Previous research has indicated that natural attenuation might be an effective, low cost option for surfaces contaminated with chemical warfare agents (CWAs), especially given the relatively high volatility of some of these agents. This project studied the influence of temperature on the natural attenuation of VX from five types of porous/permeable materials: unsealed concrete, plywood, rubber escalator handrail, high density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic, and acoustic ceiling tile. Semi-quantitative analysis for VX-associated hydrolysis product ethyl methylphosphonic acid (EMPA) confirmed VX degradation on some materials with time. This degradation product is considered to be relatively non-toxic. However, it does provide insight on the degradation of VX in addition to the evaporation process.