Lewisite

CAS RN: 541-25-3

Other Preventive Measures

Leave the area where the lewisite was released and get to fresh air. Quickly moving to an area where fresh air is available is highly effective in reducing the possibility of death from exposure to lewisite. If the lewisite release was outdoors, move away from the area where the lewisite was released. Go to the highest ground possible, because lewisite is heavier than air and will sink to low-lying areas. If the lewisite release was indoors, get out of the building.
If you think you may have been exposed, remove your clothing, rapidly wash your entire body with soap and water, and get medical care as quickly as possible. ... If possible, seal the clothing in a plastic bag. Then seal the first plastic bag in a second plastic bag. Removing and sealing the clothing in this way will help protect you and other people from any chemicals that might be on your clothes. If you placed your clothes in plastic bags, inform either the local or state health department or emergency personnel upon their arrival. Do not handle the plastic bags. If you are helping other people remove their clothing, try to avoid touching any contaminated areas, and remove the clothing as quickly as possible.
As quickly as possible, wash any liquid lewisite from your skin with large amounts of soap and water. ... If your eyes are burning or your vision is blurred, rinse your eyes with plain water for 10 to 15 minutes. If you wear contacts, remove them and place them in the bags with the contaminated clothing. Do not put the contacts back in your eyes. If you wear eyeglasses, wash them with soap and water. You can put the eyeglasses back on after you wash them. If you have ingested (swallowed) lewisite, do not induce vomiting or drink fluids. Seek medical attention right away. Dial 911 and explain what has happened.
Do not breathe the fumes. If mask is available, hold breath until it is put on. Fire fighting personnel should wear full protective clothing and breathing apparatus. Protective rubber gloves should be worn. Chemical goggles and face shields should be worn.
The effect of Lewisite can be prevented by rapid topical application of 2,3-dimercaptopropanol, known as British anti-Lewisite (BAL) which reacts with Lewisite to form a stable non-toxic cyclic product.
The primary mode for decontamination of chemical agents is soap and water. A 0.5% hypochlorite solution can be used.
Responders should be trained and appropriately attired before entering the Hot Zone. If the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is not available, or if the rescuers have not been trained in its use, call for assistance in accordance with local Emergency Operational Guides (EOG).
Self-aid or buddy-aid for exposure to blister agents includes decontamination of the eyes. When exposure is suspected, time is critical. Unless the individual was wearing a protective mask at the time of the suspected exposure, the assumption must be that the eyes were exposed. ... Remember that time is critical for effective mustard decontamination because blister agents become "fixed" to tissue components within two minutes after deposition. Using the /Military skin decontamination kit/ M291 SDK as soon as possible to remove agent and flushing the eyes with water will do much to prevent or lessen the physical damage from blister agent exposure.
SRP: Contaminated protective clothing should be segregated in such a manner so that there is no direct personal contact by personnel who handle, dispose, or clean the clothing. Quality assurance to ascertain the completeness of the cleaning procedures should be implemented before the decontaminated protective clothing is returned for reuse by the workers. Contaminated clothing should not be taken home at end of shift, but should remain at employee's place of work for cleaning.
If material not involved in fire: Keep sparks, flames, and other sources of ignition away. Keep material out of water sources and sewers. Attempt to stop leak if without undue personnel hazard. Use water spray to knock-down vapors.
Personnel protection: Avoid breathing vapors. Keep upwind. ... Avoid bodily contact with the material. ... Do not handle broken packages unless wearing appropriate personal protective equipment. Wash away any material which may have contacted the body with copious amounts of water or soap and water.
SRP: Local exhaust ventilation should be applied wherever there is an incidence of point source emissions or dispersion of regulated contaminants in the work area. Ventilation control of the contaminant as close to its point of generation is both the most economical and safest method to minimize personnel exposure to airborne contaminants.
Evacuation: If material leaking (not on fire) consider evacuation from downwind area based on amount of material spilled, location and weather conditions.
Decontamination: Vapor: Casualties/personnel: Speed in decontamination is absolutely essential. Immediately wash skin and clothes with a bleach solution that is no less than one part household bleach in nine parts water. Rinse with copious amounts of water. To be effective, decontamination must be completed within one minute of exposure. In all cases, clothing should be removed because it may contain "trapped" vapor. /Vesicants - Arsenic Based/
Decontamination: Liquid: Casualties/personnel: Speed in decontamination is absolutely essential. Remove contaminated clothing immediately Remove as much of the agent from the skin as fast as possible without spreading the material. Immediately wash skin and clothes with a bleach solution that is no less than one part household bleach in nine parts water. Rinse with copious amounts of water. To be effective, decontamination must be completed within one minute of exposure. In all cases, clothing should be removed because it may contain "trapped" liquid or vapor. Small Areas: Puddles of liquid must be contained by covering with vermiculite, diatomaceous earth, clay, fine sand, sponges, paper towels, or cloth towels. Remove all material and place in a container. Decontaminate the area with copious amounts of household bleach. Removal of porous material, including painted surfaces, that may have absorbed Vesicant liquid may be required as these materials could continue to re release vapor after exposure has ceased. Surfaces contaminated with vesicants, then only rinsed may still evolve sufficient agent vapor to produce a physiological response. /Vesicants - Arsenic Based/
Decontamination: Liquid: Casualties/personnel: Speed in decontamination is absolutely essential. Remove contaminated clothing immediately. Remove as much of the agent from the skin as fast as possible without spreading the material. Immediately wash skin & clothes with a bleach solution that is no less than one part household bleach in nine parts water. Rinse with copious amounts of water. To be effective, decontamination must be completed within one minute of exposure. In all cases, clothing should be removed because it may contain "trapped" liquid or vapor. /Vesicants- Arsenic Based/
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