OPDtox can serve either as a stand-alone decontamination method or as a complementary approach to existing decontamination techniques and products. When added to coatings, RSL additives create a reactive surface that will initiate the process of decontamination upon exposure to organophosphorus neurotoxins and pesticides. Applied in advance of exposure, painted surfaces containing OPDtox can continue to catalytically degrade organophosphorus compounds after repeated exposures and remain active following washing. Both chemical warfare agent and surrogate tests have been successfully conducted on metal and wood surfaces painted with commercially available paints containing OPDtox additives. Monitoring the shelf life of RSL’s OPDtox additive prior to a coating formulation has shown that the additive remains active for years when stored as a dry powder at room temperature. In addition, monitoring the life of RSL’s active coatings on test surfaces indicated that the additive in paints and coatings remains active for sustained periods of time.
The current technology for OP decontamination involves the application of caustic solutions, foams, intensive heat, and carbon dioxide for sustained periods. The biocatalytic coatings described here bring a new technology to bear on this problem, offering an opportunity for OP decontamination without the environmental impact. While there are a large number of potential military applications for self-decontaminating surfaces, RSL’s technology has numerous non-military commercial applications as well, including geo- and agrotextiles, surfaces in hospital clean rooms, community safe rooms, schools, government facilities, industrial sites, mobile decontamination facilities, and public transportation systems.