• Short Summary

    THE CHEMICAL DEFENCE EXPERIMENTAL ESTABLISHMENT AT PORTON DOWN, ENGLAND YESTERDAY OPENED ITS DOORS TO THE PRESS AND TELEVISION.

  • Description

    THE CHEMICAL DEFENCE EXPERIMENTAL ESTABLISHMENT AT PORTON DOWN, ENGLAND YESTERDAY OPENED ITS DOORS TO THE PRESS AND TELEVISION. THE AUTHORITIES WERE MAKING A DETERMINED EFFORT TO OVERCOME PORTON'S SINISTER IMAGE AND DEMONSTRATE THE NEED FOR DEFENSIVE PREPARATION AGAINST THE POSSIBILITY OF CHEMICAL WARFARE.

    PORTON DOWN, AS THE ESTABLISHMENT IS GENERALLY CALLED, WAS SET UP EARLY IN 1916 AFTER ALLIED TROOPS SUFFERED DEVASTATING CASUALTIES FROM THE CHOKING GAS CHLORINE THE PREVIOUS YEAR. RESEARCH CONTINUED IN THE INTER-WAR YEARS, THOUGH THE GENEVA PROTOCOL OF 1925 MARKED A WIDE AREA OF INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENT AGAINST THE USE OF CHEMICAL AGENTS IN WAR.

    IT HAS SINCE MADE VALUABLE CONTRIBUTIONS TO ALLIED SCIENCES, ESPECIALLY ON INDUSTRIAL HAZARDS, INSECTICIDES AND METEOROLOGY. BUT ITS MAIN ROLE REMAINS A MILITARY ONE, AND PORTON DOWN IS IN THE FOREFRONT OF STUDY OF THE MODERN NERVE GASES, MINUTE DOSES OF WHICH CAN IMMOBILISE OR KILL.

    SARIN IS ONE OF THE DEADLY NERVE GASES. ONLY A MINUTE DROP IS NEEDED TO DESTROY A VITAL ENZYME WHICH PLAYS AN ESSENTIAL PART IN TRANSMITTING NERVE IMPULSES IN THE HUMAN BODY. NERVE GASES NOW EXIST WHICH CAN KILL IN THE TIME IT TAKES TO DON A GAS MASK, AND RESEARCH IS DIRECTED TO DEVELOPING ANTIDOTES PROTECTIVE MATERIALS, AND DECONTAMINATION TECHNIQUES.

    A GIRL RESEARCH ASSISTANT TAKES PART IN A WIND-TUNNEL EXPERIMENT DESIGNED TO TEST THE TOXICITY OF AN AIRBORNE VAPOUR.

    PORTON DOWN IS SITUATED IN OPEN COUNTRYSIDE WHERE SOLDIERS ARE TRAINED TO DEAL WITH GAS ATTACKS. THE FILM SHOWS A SIMULATED ATTACK USING CHLOROLBENZYLIDENE MALONONITRILE, BETTER KNOWN AS CS-GAS, AN INCAPACITATING TEAR-GAS WIDELY USED FOR RIOT CONTROL.

    WITH THE CORRECT PROTECTIVE CLOTHING AND GASMASK A SOLDIER IS ABLE TO MOVE WITHOUT DIFFICULTY THROUGH THE GAS-LADEN AIR, AND BY USING A RESIDUAL VAPOUR DETECTOR HE CAN DETERMINE WHEN THE GAS HAS DISPERSED SAFELY.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA8RBEMBJGVGGU9A3LBW9YHW995
    Media URN:
    VLVA8RBEMBJGVGGU9A3LBW9YHW995
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    03/06/1969
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:36:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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