Identification of novel simulants for toxic industrial chemicals and chemical warfare agents for human decontamination studies: A systematic review and categorisation of physicochemical characteristics

Thomas James*, Samuel Collins, Tim Marczylo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Chemical simulants have long been used in human trials of mass decontamination to de-termine the efficacy of decontamination interventions against more toxic agents. Until now, reliance has mostly been on individual chemicals as surrogates to specific agents (e.g., methyl salicylate for sulphur mustard). A literature review was conducted to identify chemicals that had been previously tested on human volunteers and that represent diverse physicochemical characteristics in order to create a repository for chemical simulants. Of the 171 unique chemicals identified, 78 were dis-counted for the risk they could pose to human volunteers, 39 were deemed suitable for use, and a further 54 were considered to be possible simulants but would require further research. Suitable simulants included both solid and liquid chemicals spanning a wide range of physicochemical prop-erties including molecular weight, octanol/water partition coefficient, vapour pressure, and solubil-ity. This review identifies an array of potential simulants suitable for use in human volunteer decontamination studies and is of relevance to future studies on systemic absorption and surface de-contamination.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8681
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: This paper is based on independent research commissioned and funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) (NIHR130440). Samuel Collins, Tim Marczylo, and Tom James are part-funded by the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Chemicals and Radiation Threats and Hazards, a partnership between Public Health England, and Imperial College London. Tim Marczylo is also part-funded by the HPRU in Health Impacts of Environmental Hazards at Imperial College London.

The authors declare no conflict of interest. The funders had no role in the design
of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript, or in the decision to publish the results.

Open Access: This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and
conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Publisher Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Citation: James, T.; Collins, S.; Marczylo, T. Identification of Novel Simulants for Toxic Industrial Chemicals and Chemical Warfare Agents for Human Decontamination Studies: A Systematic Review and Categorisation of Physicochemical Characteristics. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 8681.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168681

Keywords

  • CWA
  • Human volunteer
  • Mass decontamination
  • Simulants
  • TIC

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