must be able, therefore, to recognize them whenever you
which may occur 40 miles or more from a large-yield
or your shipmates are victims.
You must learn the symptoms of each type of attack
so you can take the proper action when exposed and so
you can apply the correct self-aid and first-aid measures.
Nuclear radiation consists of four types: alpha and
beta particles, neutrons, and gamma rays.
SYMPTOMS OF CHEMICAL AGENT
ALPHA and BETA particles can be ignored as initial
radiation because they are very short-range; however,
Chemical agents make you a casualty when your
they can be a hazard as residual radiation. Alpha
body comes in contact with a bigger dose than it can
particles have little penetrating power; but if they are
withstand. The limits of tolerance of the human body
ingested into the body, they can cause serious harm. Beta
extend from short periods of exposure and low
particles also are of little concern unless they are on the
concentrations of certain agents to extended periods of
body (in dust, dirt, etc.) or get into the body.
exposure and high concentrations of certain other
NEUTRONS are a direct hazard only during the
agents. Furthermore, the limits of tolerance to specific
initial radiation phase and then only in the general area
agents vary with individuals. In any event, your
of ground zero. In the residual phase, however, they
principal concern is recognizing the symptoms and
cause whatever material absorbs them to become
relieving the effects of exposure before the limit of
radioactive and emit gamma rays and beta particles.
exposure is exceeded.
GAMMA RAYS (similar to, but more powerful
Nerve Agent Symptoms
than, X rays) are the most hazardous form of radiation.
They can travel long distances in air and have great
Symptoms of nerve agent contamination area runny
penetrating power, making it difficult to provide
nose; tightness of chest with difficulty in breathing;
sufficient shielding to protect personnel.
contraction of eye pupils; and nausea, cramps,
Radiation hazards are of three types:
headache, coma, and convulsions. All of these
PENETRATION DOSE, SKIN DOSE, and
symptoms can take place in 30 seconds when the dose
INTERNAL CONTAMINATION. Penetration doses
is sufficiently heavy.
effects. You can be protected against penetration doses
low concentrations, cause contraction of the eye pupils.
by proper shelter. You can avoid internal contamination
This action affects the sight, especially in dim light, and
by wearing the protective mask and not eating or
induces a headache. After a brief exposure to the vapors,
drinking food and water until they are declared safe.
a feeling of tightness in the chest maybe noticed, which
Skin doses, which cause injuries similar to burns, can be
increases deep breathing. The liquid substance does not
reduced by your wearing of proper battle dress.
injure the skin but penetrates it and poisons the body.
Contraction of the pupils, in such an instance, may not
CBR CONTAMINATION DETECTION
appear as a warning sign.
A 1- to 5-minute exposure of personnel not wearing
For Seabees to carry out their mission, they must be
protective masks for low concentrations of G- or
able to detect and identify CBR agents immediately. The
V-agent vapors causes difficulty in vision. Slightly
very nature of CBR agents, however, makes it difficult
greater exposure causes headache, nausea, pain in the
to detect and identify them.
chest, and more serious visual difficulties. Exposure of
unbroken skin to vapor alone, however, entails little
In a nuclear attack for instance, you know an attack
danger of serious injury.
is taking place because you can see it, hear it, and feel
it. But you cannot see the nuclear radiation that can be
is a real hazard. One of the first signs of exposure when
just as deadly over a period of time as the blast itself. In
the same invisible way, biological agents can be present
liquid contaminates the skin may be excessive sweating
with the possibility of no one knowing until it is too late.
and twitching of the muscles at the site of contamination.
Recent developments in chemical operations make
Small amounts of liquid left undisturbed on the skin can
some of the chemical agents colorless and odorless. You
cause death in a matter of a few minutes. The entrance