Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Did You Know? Learn Fun Facts about ECBC's 95 years!

One of the more interesting investigations during World War I was the use of snails and slugs as chemical agent detectors.  US researchers reported that “by combining observations on the tentacles, slime production and movements of the organism as a whole, it is possible with a little experience to tell with some degree of accuracy the kind of gas used, and in the case of chloropicrin and mustard gas distinguish certain concentrations of those gases.”  When a prominent French physiologist was asked to research this possibility, he burst out laughing when told it was the edible kind of snail and said French soldiers would eat the snails first.  A test was conducted using French snails, but the conclusion was that the foreign snails were more conservative in their impulse to wave their tentacles.  The final conclusion was that it “would appear unsafe to place too much reliance on their immediate behavior when placed in the presence of mustard gas in the field.”

In 1942  Following the Pearl Harbor attack, there was a need for a mask for children. The Bunny Mask was created for children following the attacks. Bunny masks were created and distributed to more than 37,000 children in Hawaii.

The Mickey Mouse protective mask was also created for children to put a fun spin on a serious matter. Only 1,000 masks were made.

Washing with Water was one of the main decontaminants in World War I. Water was a useful decontaminate because it removed chemical agents. The delayed action of mustard agent on skin required quick decontamination actions.  One solution was to bath the soldiers thoroughly with soap and water within a half-hour of mustard agent exposure.  This was thought to prevent or greatly reduce the severity of the mustard burns.  After the showers, the troops were given a drink of bicarbonate of soda water and then had their eyes, ears, mouths, and noses washed with the soda water.

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