New detection technologies can identify invasive chemicals.

There’s a new way to identify places that need decontamination. ICx Technologies, a developer of advanced technology solutions for homeland and military security, just released Agentase Disclosure Spray, an enzyme-based, chemical-agent-detection system in a spray formulation, which changes color when sprayed on surfaces changes colors with nerve agents.

Agentase Disclosure Spray pinpoints the exact location of agents on surfaces, allowing decontamination teams to accurately focus their regimens. Post-decontamination, the spray helps ensure that affected areas have been thoroughly cleaned.

“The use of chemical warfare agents (CWAs) is a significant terrorist threat, with multiple incidents occurring in Asia, Europe, and North America over the past 10 to 12 years,” said Keith LeJeune, CEO, of ICx Agentase. “As a result, the ability to easily detect the presence of CWAs—both before and after decontamination of a site—is becoming a critical necessity of U.S. defense and civilian government agencies.”

Agentase Disclosure Spray’s active ingredients are stored as powders for extended shelf-life, and are dissolved in water just prior to deployment through the use of a two-chamber sprayer. Color enhancers and thickeners enable usage on dark-colored surfaces or on areas with unusual geometries. The spray also carries components devised to illustrate when surfaces are too basic or too acidic for agent detection.  

In the field, Agentase Disclosure Spray can detect the presence of CWAs at sub microgram levels within five minutes, eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming sampling, transportation, and laboratory analysis of potentially harmful agents. Time is of particular importance because of the risks of multiple exposures to, and possible re-transmissions of, nerve agents.

ICx developed the spray formulation in response to requests by current users of the ICx Agentase CAD-Kit, a proven, highly selective detection system for nerve, blood, and blister agents that works without the need for training-intensive, power-dependent electronic instrumentation. The CAD-Kit, as well as Agentase Disclosure Spray, provides emergency responders and other critical personnel with simple, rapid, and reliable access to chemical-agent detection.