Austin-based bioengineering company Reactive Surfaces announced the general availability of WMDtox, the world’s first self-decontaminating coating that protects firearms, vehicles, equipment and uniforms by neutralizing organophosphorous chemical agents such as sarin.
“The last time U.S. forces fought a chemical war was many decades ago, and most of the anti-chemical-warfare technology that is being used by the U.S. military is unproven against today’s agents,” said Steve McDaniel, chief innovation officer of Reactive Surfaces. “We are making WMDtox available today in response to escalations in the Middle East and the very real threat that American soldiers will be confronted with chemical agents in the near future.”
The U.S. Army presently buys more than $200 million worth of a 40-year-old coating for its vehicles and equipment. Chemical Agent Resistant Coating (CARC) was designed to withstand highly caustic and corrosive cleaning agents in the event a vehicle was contaminated with a chemical agent. In recent months the Army has quietly de-certified all vendors’ CARC coatings and is in the process of re-certifying them. Not the least reason for this is a recent finding that CARC traps and slowly off-gasses deadly nerve agents such as those now being used in Syria. This leaves troops exposed even long after an initial chemical attack.
WMDtox is a clear coating that has been specially formulated to meet military specs for CARC overcoats. Reactive Surfaces is providing WMDtox to premiere Mississippi-based weapons coating company, Birdsong Firearms, as a weapons coating for military personnel and first-responders.
WMDtox creates a safer environment for war fighters and first responders by mitigating the immediate impact of contact with nerve agents. It allows rapid reclamation of contaminated equipment and can be applied months in advance. The ability to prophylactically coat surfaces that may be exposed to nerve agents dramatically increases the likelihood of survival of the individual who may be required to touch such surfaces.
“There is an active chemical war ongoing in Syria,” McDaniel said. “We must assume that our troops will soon be in a chemical war scenario and we cannot send our sons and daughters into harm’s way without protection.”