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Burns risk leads to ban on synthetic polyester, nylon clothes in Iraq by US Defense
13
Apr '06
A hard crust results from a burn test
A hard crust results from a burn test
DefenseLINK, Department of Defense official, reported that Marines conducting operations outside forward operating bases and camps in Iraq can no longer wear synthetic athletic clothing containing polyester and nylon, Marine Corps commanders have ordered.

A hard crust results from a burn test conducted by Navy Capt. Lynn E Welling, the 1st Marine Logistics Group's surgeon, in an effort to study how polyester materials, commonly found in high performance wicking material, react to fire.

Wearing polyester materials, which includes some types of Marine Corps-issued clothing and undershirts, is now prohibited off forward operating bases in Iraq.

The ban on popular clothing from companies like Under Armour, CoolMax and Nike comes in the wake of concerns that a substantial burn risk is associated with wearing clothing made with these synthetic materials, officials said.

When exposed to extreme heat and flames, clothing containing some synthetic materials like polyester will melt and can fuse to the skin. This essentially creates a second skin and can lead to horrific, disfiguring burns, said Navy Capt. Lynn E. Welling, the 1st Marine Logistics Group head surgeon.

Whether on foot patrol or conducting a supply convoy while riding in an armored truck, everyone is at risk to such injuries while outside the wire.

"Burns can kill you and they're horribly disfiguring. If you're throwing (a melted synthetic material) on top of a burn, basically you have a bad burn with a bunch of plastic melting into your skin, and that's not how you want to go home to your family," said Welling.


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