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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BITING ARTHROPODS: INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT

Location: Mosquito and Fly Research Unit

Title: Mosquito bite protection of U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps fire-resistant uniforms

Authors
item Bernier, Ulrich
item Perry, Melynda -
item Johnson, Amy -

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 15, 2012
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: The US Department of Defense system for personal protection of deployed personnel consists of wearing repellent on the skin and a permethrin-treated uniform to cover the rest of the body. Since 1991, treatment of combat uniforms with permethrin has been done primarily in the field using a 2 gallon sprayer, a small spray can, or an Individual Dynamic Absorption (IDA) kit. Since 2009, the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army) have transitioned from 50/50 nylon/cotton uniforms to uniforms comprised of nylon, rayon and fire resistant materials such as para-aramid or meta-aramid. These uniforms cannot be treated with permethrin in the field and must therefore be treated at the factory level. Unlike the 50:50 nylon:cotton uniform fabrics, the flame retardant uniform fabrics are constructed more open for breathability to improve wearer comfort. As a result of the increased intersticial space between fibers, there is a greater probability that mosquitoes and other biting flies will bite through the fabric. Incorporation of permethrin in the fabric significantly reduces the probability that a mosquito can bite through the uniform. Results from bite protection studies will be covered in this presentation. The emphasis will be on the performance of the newest fire-resistant uniforms; these include the US Marine Corps Enhanced Fire Resistant Combat Ensemble (EFRCE) and the US Army Fire Resistant Army Combat Uniform (FRACU) and FRACU type III.

Last Modified: 8/30/2014
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