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CHEMBIO SUITS COULD KILL

CHEMBIO SUITS COULD KILL "Thousands of U.S. and British forces are set to invade Iraq wearing heavy rubber overboots and a padded suit that will ward off chemical attacks but will likely kill some of them from heat exhaustion," Reuters reports.Temperatures in Iraq can climb as high as a hundred degrees, making prolonged wearing of the cumbersome Mission Oriented Protective Posture (or "MOPP") gear dangerous."Running, with weapon and full field gear, or carrying very heavy loads such as ammunition, for example, under conditions of high ambient temperature...will inevitably result in a very significant number of heat casualties in a short time," wrote Globalsecurity.org's Bernard Fine in a recent study.U.S. military planners say they'll be ready to fight, regardless. American troops have had plenty of time to train for combat in protective clothing. And they'll fight at night, if needed, to minimize the heat.Eric Taylor -- a former Army Chemical Corps captain and current chemistry professor -- isn't buying the Pentagon's preparedness argument. He notes over at Soldiers for the Truth that troops are supposed to have 40 hours per year of nuclear/biological/chemical warfare training. But new recruits are only required to have four hours of such exercises, followed by a mere two hour annual refresher course.THERE'S MORE: "An Army audit completed last July found that most units selected at random were not well-trained in using the protective gear," reports the Boston Globe. "18 of 25 randomly selected units at two bases were not adequately prepared to use their protective equipment."

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