Health Hazard Assessment
Hazard Category - Chemical Substances 


CHEMICAL SUBSTANCES

Data Requirements and Initial Recommendations.
(1) Provide detailed information on the chemical composition of any propellants to the Army Public Health Center (APHC)  for a definitive HHA on weapon combustion products.  Sampling for weapon combustion hazards should follow test guidelines in Test Operating Procedure (TOP) 2-2-614 (reference 1). 

(2) Provide detailed design information and engine exhaust product test data, collected according to TOP 2-2-614 (reference 1) for completion of the HHA on engine exhaust products. Design materiel so that engine exhaust and other chemical products are prevented from directly entering breathing zone of operators and maintainers and not located in close proximity to air intakes.   

(3) Provide the material safety data sheet (MSDS), composition, purpose and quantity of any miscellaneous chemicals used in the operation and maintenance of the materiel to the Army Public Health Center.  Make MSDSs available to users and maintainers, including information on specific use, handling, storage and disposal requirements in appropriate technical manuals (TM).

(4) Eliminate or reduce the number of miscellaneous toxic/hazardous chemicals used by design or substitution to the maximum extent feasible.  The Army Public Health Center's Toxicity Evaluation Program (TEP) performs toxicity clearances and evaluations for chemicals used by the Army (reference 2).  If you would like to request a toxicity clearance, please click on the link provided in reference 3 and complete the steps that follow.  Please prepare a formal, signed memorandum requesting a toxicity clearance and upload it during the application process.  An example memorandum may be found in reference 2.

 Health Effects.
(1) Weapon combustion products and engine exhaust from vehicle engines, generators or other sources are a primary source of potential toxic gas exposures.  Engine exhaust products are a complex mixture of a variety of hazardous chemical substances.  Other potential sources of exposures to chemical substances include fuels, oils, lubricants, cleaners/solvents, fire extinguishing agents, battery acid/chemicals, refrigerant and other miscellaneous chemicals used in the life cycle management of materiel.  Soldiers can suffer a variety of health effects based upon the physical form of the chemical, the route of entry, and duration of exposure.

(2) Depending on the duration and level of exposure, Soldiers can suffer a variety of health effects resulting in a range of outcomes from performance decrement to death.  Irritants or corrosive chemicals can cause inflammation, burns or blisters, fibrogenic materials lead to a loss of lung function, allergic reactions can lead to asthma-type diseases, or dermatitis.  Carcinogenic materials can cause cancers in affected organs or tissues, possibly leading to death.  Poisonous chemicals can lead to cell death, and asphyxiants will affect the body’s ability to utilize oxygen.

Medical Criteria.
Health-based exposure limits for chemical substances adhere to guidelines published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL), American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Values (TLV), or military unique criteria outlined in Military Standard (MIL-STD)-1472G (references 4, 5, and 6).  These limits formulate a level of exposure that the typical worker can experience during a lifetime without adverse health effects.  The risk determination process considers levels of exposure for traditional 8-hour workday, acute exposures under 15 minutes in duration, and a ceiling limit that should not be exceeded during any part of the workday exposure.

References.
(1) Test Operating Procedures (TOP) 2-2-614, Toxic Hazards Test for Vehicle and Other Equipment, 31 Oct 03.

(2) Toxicity Clearances, Toxicity Evaluation Program, Army Public Health Commnad, 5158 Blackhawk Road, MCHB-IP-TTE, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD  21010-5403.

(3) Request a Toxicity Clearance.

(4) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Code of Federal Regulations, Title 29, Subpart Z, (Air Contaminants), Part 1910.1000, 17 Mar 10.

(5) American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), 2011 Threshold Limit Values for Chemical Substances and Physical Agents and Biological Exposure Indices, ACGIH, Cincinnati, OH, 2011. 

(6) MIL-STD-1472G, Department of Defense, Design Criteria Standard:  Human Engineering, 11 Jan 12.


SEALED BATTERIES

Most Army systems use sealed batteries.  These batteries do not present a significant health risk to users under normal operating conditions.   The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) has provided guidance on safety and health, use, storage, and disposal requirements in their Technical Bulletin 43-0134 (reference 1) and on the CECOM Life Cycle Management Command Directorate for Safety website.

Reference.
Technical Bulletin (TB) 43-0134, Battery Disposition and Disposal, 19 May 08. 


FUELS / Non-FUEL PETROLEUM / OIL /
LUBRICANTS / COOLANTS

Fuels.
Fuels used in most military diesel engines are diesel fuel number 2 (DF-2) and jet propellant 8 (JP-8).  Occasionally other diesel or jet fuels are used as well (references 1 and 2).  The Department of Defense has adopted a single-fuel concept that requires U.S. forces to use only one fuel (JP-8) while deployed.  The JP-8 chemical compositions can vary widely, depending on the crude oil from which it was refined, and may contain a wide variety of additives (reference 1).  The JP-8 is a distillate fuel consisting of distilled process streams refined from crude petroleum.  There is no standard formula for jet fuels; however, the primary ingredient of JP-8 is kerosene, and the composition is basically the same as kerosene with the exceptions that they are made under more stringent conditions and contain various additives not found in kerosene.  Typical additives to JP-8 include antioxidants (including phenolic antioxidants), static inhibitors, corrosion inhibitors, fuel system icing inhibitors, lubrication improvers, biocides, and thermal stability improvers.  These additives are used only in the specified amounts identified by military specifications.  Exposures to fuels likely result from inhalation or skin contact.  Skin exposures to fuel splashes that are not washed off or to fuel-soaked clothing may cause dermatitis and may possibly act as an immunosuppressant. The likely health effects from fueling exposures are slight headaches, dizziness, dermatitis, and nausea.  Recommend that training and user documents instruct personnel engaged in routine handling of fuels wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (chemical resistant gloves and eye protection), wash exposed skin, and to change fuel-soaked-clothing promptly after exposure.

Non-Fuel Petroleum, Oil, Lubricants, and Coolants.
Army-specified and other commercial antifreezes consist of ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, or a mixture of the two, and may also contain diethylene glycol, diethylene glycol ethers, and water.  Additives may include nitrates, nitrites, borates, phosphates, molybdates, silicates, and various organic compounds (references 3, 4 and 5).  Engine oil can cause eye, skin, and respiratory irritation.  Eye and skin protection should prevent significant health effects from routine exposures.  Operator exposures are expected to be limited to occasional draining and filling of the engine oil, and, engine cooling and lubricating systems.  The low vapor pressures of these materials at ambient temperatures make overexposure to vapors unlikely (references 3, 4 and 5).  Prolonged skin contact and poor hygienic practices might cause skin and eye irritation.  Recommend that training and user documents instruct personnel engaged in routine handling of non-fuel petroleum, oil, lubricants and coolants wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (chemical resistant gloves and eye protection), wash exposed skin, and to change clothing promptly after exposure.

References.
(1) Army Regulation 70-12, Fuels and Lubricants Standardization Policy for Equipment Design, Operation and Logistic Support, 1 May 1997.

(2) Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).  1998.  Toxicological Profile for Jet Fuels (JP-5 and JP-8).

(3) Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).  1997.  Toxicological Profile for Propylene Glycol.

(4) Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).  2010.  Toxicological Profile for Ethylene Glycol.

(5) U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM).  1997.  A-A-52624, Commercial Item Description: Antifreeze, Multi Engine Type.  U.S. Army TACOM, ATTN: AMSTA-TR-E/BLUE, Warren, Michigan.


TOXICITY CLEARANCE

A toxicity clearance and evaluation for specific materials and applications ensures the safety of Army personnel prior to use of new materials.  The Army Public Health Center's Toxicity Evaluation Program (TEP) performs toxicity clearances and evaluations for materials used by the Army (reference 1).  If you would like to request a toxicity clearance, please click on the link provided in reference 2 and complete the steps that follow.  Please prepare a formal, signed memorandum requesting a toxicity clearance and upload it during the application process.  An example memorandum may be found in reference 1.  A toxicity evaluation is performed and clearances are approved based on the specific product application or use condition.  New uses or change in product formulations require a new toxicity clearance be generated.  Army Regulation 40-5 promulgates the toxicity clearance process in the Army (reference 3).  Army regulation 70-1 requires a complete toxicity clearance on new chemicals and materials (reference 4).  The Department of the Army (DA) Pamphlet 70-3 requires a toxicity clearance (approval) prior to use of a new material or chemical (reference 5).  A Toxicity Clearance involves a toxicological evaluation of materials prior to introduction into the Army supply system.  The program manager is responsible for identifying new materials within their program and requesting a toxicity clearance.  Examples of materials that require a toxicity clearance are fire extinguishing agents, chlorofluorocarbon replacements, solvents, cleaners, corrosion inhibitors, and new chemicals.

The APHC TEP requires the following information to assist in the completion of a toxicity clearance:

  • Final chemical formulations (handled as proprietary information if required).
  • Identity and application of new materials; identity of materials being replaced, if applicable.
  • Reports from manufacturers pertaining to commercial use of the products in the marketplace and material safety data sheets (MSDS).
  • Available human and animal toxicity studies and epidemiology information.

References.
(1) Toxicity Clearances, Toxicity Evaluation Program, Army Public Health Center, 5158 Blackhawk Road, MCHB-IP-TTE, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD  21010-5403.

(2) Request a Toxicity Clearance.

(3) Army Regulation 40-5, Preventive Medicine, 25 May 2007.

(4) Army Regulation 70-1, Army Acquisition Policy, 22 July 2011.

(5) Department of the Army Pamphlet 70-3, Army Acquisition Procedures, 1 April 2009.


AUTOMATIC FIRE EXTINGUISHING SYSTEMS (AFES) and
HAND HELD FIRE EXTINGUISHERS

The Health Hazard Assessment Report contains an assessment of the health hazards identified during normal operation and maintenance of materiel systems and not resulting from potential mishaps or failures.  Evaluation of AFES and hand-held fire extinguishers are not within the scope of the Health Hazard Assessment Program.  These fire suppression systems are only used in the event of a fire, mishap, or failure and not under normal system operating scenarios.  The U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, evaluates performance and safety of agents used in military ground vehicles (reference 1).  The Live-Fire Test and Evaluation (LFTE) and pyrolysis product/toxic gas assessments have historically been performed by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) (reference 2).  Both WRAIR and the Army Research Laboratory (Survivability and Lethality Directorate) are involved with different aspects of agent evaluation for LFTE including toxic gas assessment, thermal criteria, blast overpressure, etc.  These criteria as specified in a 1989 WRAIR report titled "Medical Evaluation of Non-fragment Injury Effects in Live-Fire Armored Tests" are based on the endpoints of survivability and incapacitation (reference 2).  The Army Public Health Center’s Toxicity Evaluation Program (TEP) performs toxicity clearances and evaluations for agents used by the Army (reference 3).  The APHC TEP’s involvement with the development of health based criteria for LFTE is coordinated through WRAIR and ARL.  If you would like to request a toxicity clearance, please click on the link provided in reference 4 and complete the steps that follow.  Please prepare a formal, signed memorandum requesting a toxicity clearance and upload it during the application process.  An example memorandum may be found in reference 3.  Program Managers are ultimately responsible for the selection, performance, and safety of agents employed in their materiel systems.

References.
(1) Evaluation of Fire Suppression Agents for Protection of Occupied Spaces in Military Ground Vehicle., Steven J. McCormick, Steven E. Hodges, Ground Vehicle Survivability Symposium 2009.

(2) Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Medical Evaluation of Nonfragment Injury Effects in Armored Vehicle Live Fire Tests. Instrumentation Requirements and Injury Criteria, September 1989.

(3) Toxicity Clearances, Toxicity Evaluation Program, Army Public Health Center, 5158 Blackhawk Road, MCHB-IP-TTE, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD  21010-5403.

(4) Request a Toxicity Clearance.