Chromium Contamination in Army Face Masks

Chromium Contamination in Army Face Masks

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The National Research Council's Committee on Toxicology's Subcommittee on Chromium Contamination in Army Face Masks reviewed the possible health risks to soldiers associated with exposure to U.S. Army gas-mask canisters containing activated charcoal impregnated with hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen. The canisters are attached to masks used to detoxify toxic gases, such as hydrogen chloride and cyanogen chloride. In 1982, reports surfaced of dark smudges on the faces of mask users; the smudges were traced to leaking of activated charcoal fines from canisters. The carbon smudging was also associated with some exposure to hexavalent chromium. The subcommittee's review of data provided by the Army on te amounts of chromium released during tests of gas-mask canisters indicated that the amounts of insoluble hexavalent chromium--chromium (VI)-found in the C2 canister (developed by the Canadian Army) and in the field-fixed and redesigned MiOA1 canisters are well within the limits implied by standards set by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health under worst-case mask use conditions. Although those limits were exceeded for unfixed M10A1 canisters, the lifetime cancer risk even in that case was estimated to be less than 1 x 10(-4) under realistic conditions of use.Subcommittee on Chromium Contamination in Army Face Masks, Committee on Toxicology, Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, Commission on Life Sciences, National Research Council. PREFACE In 1987, a congressionalanbsp;...

Title:Chromium Contamination in Army Face Masks
Publisher:National Academies - 1989

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