Do you Need RDSL in Your Emergency Kit?

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This post is by Bernie Carr,

I received a sample of Reactive Skin Decontamination Lotion (RSDL) from Emergent BioSolutions.

In a recent article, we discussed how one would prepare for a chemical attack.  This item would be exactly for that purpose.

What comes in the package?

The package contains:

  • The green packet is 1 active RSDL containing 21 mL of decontamination lotion to be applied to the hands, face, neck and to swipe the inside of a respirator if you are using one.
  • The blue packet is a demonstration packet, which really contains no active ingredients.  It is only a practice kit.
  • Instructions

What is Reactive Skin Decontamination Lotion (RSDL)?

According to the RSDL website:

Reactive Skin Decontamination Lotion (RSDL) removes or neutralizes chemical warfare agents and T-2 toxin from the skin.  What is T-2 toxin?  T-2 was used from the 1970s till the 1990s for chemical warfare.  According to Wikipedia, descriptions of witnesses indicated that low-flying airplanes released a yellow oily liquid (T-2 mycotoxin), also known as “yellow rain.”

Besides T-2 mycotoxin, RSDL can also neutralize these other agents:

  • Tabun
  • Sarin
  • Soman
  • Cyclohexyl sarin
  • VR
  • VX
  • Mustard gas

Also good to know:

  • RSDL has been used by the military for over 10 years.
  • Lightweight so you can carry it in your go bag.
  • Cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  • Acts fast –  it starts working in 2 minutes.

For more information, the Dept. of Health and Human Services has a section on Reactive Skin Decontamination Lotion (RSDL) – 
Medical Countermeasures Database.

Just like the fire escape kit we reviewed a few weeks ago, RSDL is for one use only.  You’ll need to keep it sealed until needed.  The shelf life is five years.   It must be stored between 59-86 °F (15-30 °C), away from direct sunlight in a dry, cool area.

This is the sort of emergency supply item that you hope you never have to break open.  However, if there were ever a threat of chemical agents, RSDL would be very useful to have.


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