Sunday, March 1, 2009

Chemical detection and radiation detection with military kits

I was a USAF chemical decon team member in the 1980's and I still have some M8 paper and some M256 vapor sample kits. I want new M256 kits but they cost many $$$. The M8 paper is still good, as I have tested it. This is basically larger pieces of the strips used to check the alkaline contents of liquids . We used this primarily since it was easier and faster to use. M8 paper is cheap and easy to use. The M256 type of test kit is not for everyone and if push comes to shove just keep the mask on. Early in the 1970's I was also the squadron exposure control monitor, which put me in charge of radiation detection and radiation levels for outside workers. I picked up a meter and some dosimeters that were ex fallout shelter equipment. These are easy to use and fairly available since Clinton got rid of all the shelter equipment. The dosimeters are great for leaving outside to check nearby levels. Make sure that they are not placed in direct contact with the ground to prevent contact readings. Hang them from something in the air for more accurate readings. I have an extension wand for my meter that can be put out about 25' for outside monitoring. But readings for farther out use a dosimeter. When confronted with any radiation remember that anything above 200 rads is at best lethal. This is not a great amount and you should avoid contamination if at all possible. DUH! Keep your chin up and good luck in all you do. Mark Kent

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