History A variety of compounds have been used since WWII to treat clothing. In the 1970’s permethrin was identified as meeting the requirements for a clothing repellent. Extensive testing ensued to: – Evaluate it as a clothing repellent – Determine optimum concentration – Determine efficacy – Develop methods of application
History All testing was conducted on the 100% cotton and 50% cotton:50% nylon uniforms. After extensive testing the Army submitted 3 registrations packets to the EPA for the treatment of garments (IDA kits and 2-gallon sprayer) and fabric (pad roll method). In 1991, the EPA approved the registrations which are still held by the Army today.
Current Late 1990’s commercial companies develop the capability to treat garments with permethrin. By the 2000’s, new uniform fabric’s with a variety of add-on treatments began to appear.
Army Uniforms Replaces BDUs with ACU in 2005 50/50 fabric with a wrinkle resistant finish. Tested and validated permethrin application by IDA kit. Fire Resistant ACU (FRACU) replace ACU as deployment uniform in Jan 2009. Tested and failed permethrin application by IDA kit. DA G4 issued FOUO not to treat FRACU by field methods 1 April 2008. Factory treatment methods evaluated.
Marine Uniforms Marine Corp Combat Utility Uniform (MCCUU) introduced in 2005 as the new field uniform. – 50/50 fabric with a permanent press finish. – Not tested for treatment by field methods. – Currently a contract to factory treat. Flame Retardent Operational Gear (FROG) introduced in 2009. – Being evaluated for factory treatment.
Air Force Uniforms Airman Battle Uniform (ABU) field 2009. 50/50 fabric with permanent press finish. ABU has been tested for permethrin treatment by IDA kit.
Navy Uniforms Field Navy Working Uniform in 2010. – 50/50 fabric with permanent press finish. – Not supposed to be a deployment uniform but is being worn as a deployment uniform. – Has not been tested for treatment by field methods.
Treatment Requirements Army - TRADOC Core Soldier System CPD 2009 – Initial absorption: 0.52% ± 10% w/w initial treatment – Bite protection: 70-90% bite protection through 50 launderings. Marines – Initial absoption: 0.52% ± 10% w/w initial treatment – Bite protection: 90% protection requirement through 50 launderings. Air Force Navy
Absorption/Efficacy Validation No DoD Standard requirement to validate that field uniform fabric absorption of permethrin are IAW EPA labels; and There is no DoD Standard requiring that a treated field uniform provides the required level of bite protection. Need to ensure that treated uniforms meet absorption and bite protection requirements and do not pose a health risk to the Service member due to over treatment or inadequate bite protection.
Potential Environmental Impacts Failure of uniforms absorb all fluid in the IDA kits also poses the potential for environmental issues. Service members may discard excess permethrin into sanitary sewers, storm drains, on the ground, or any other convenient place. Effluent from Hill AFB, Utah was found to contain permethrin during an investigation to determine the cause of a fish die-off in a trout stream.
Army Current PEO Soldier is has awarded contract for factory treatment of FRACU: – Will be known as FRACU-P – Expected fielding in May/June PEO Soldier is continuing with evaluation of factory treatment of ACU, IVCS, A2C2, ACS, etc…
Evaluation Protocols Natick Soldier Center – Evaluates concentration of permethrin in fabric. – Washes uniforms IAW established protocol – Collects fabric sample for bite testing at selected time points. USDA-CMAVE – Evaluates bite protection testing at selected time points.
Communication Plan Briefing developed by CHPPM, POPM, and AFPMB to provide information on the benefits of permethrin treated clohting. Finalizing responses to frequently asked questions for posting on web. PEO Soldier has a communication program to get information out in both print and video.
BLUF Each new uniform fabric/add-on treatment must be tested and evaluated for permethrin treatment to ensure it: – meets EPA label initial treatment requirements – provides the desired bite protection