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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Laboratory setup for long-term monitoring of the volatilization of hazardous materials: preliminary tests of O-ethyl S-2-(N,N-diisopropylamino)ethyl methylphosphonothiolate on asphalt.

Contrary to commonly used pesticides, the rate of volatilization of extremely toxic chemicals such as the nerve agent O-ethyl S-2-(N,N-diisopropylamino)ethyl methylphosphonothiolate (VX) cannot be readily obtained under environmental conditions due to its high mammalian toxicity that would require extraordinary precautions. An alternative is a laboratory setup that would be used to obtain environmentally relevant data required for risk assessment studies. In this paper we describe a newly designed climatic hood that enables control of temperature, humidity, and air velocity within less than +/- 0.5% fluctuations during continuous operation. The performance of the evaporation system togetherwith the sampling and analytical procedures produced a meaningful concentration profile of vapors obtained from a 15 mg sample of VX dispersed as small droplets over a 10 x 16 cm piece of asphalt road. The released vapors amounted to approximately 30% of the applied mass, and its time course was best fitted to a triexponential curve with rate constants changing over time from 2.2 to 0.03 h(-1). The asphalt enhanced a specific degradation pathway of VX that is relatively minor in aqueous solutions. Results provide the first data on the volatilization of VX from samples of asphalt road, and offer an insight into VX behavior in the environment.[1]


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