Vurdering av helserisiko fra eksponering av kruttgasser under avfyring av Javelin-missil.
Javelin is the Norwegian Army’s new anti-armor weapon. The decision for procurement was made by the military in 2003, and the delivery started in 2006/2007. The first live firing with Javelin was done in 2009. It has now been fired a few missiles for training, and the weapon system were for the first time fired from inside a building in September 2012. In association with this live firing exercise, the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) performed measurements to evaluate the health risk for the operators of Javelin exposed to the fumes from the propellant. The live firing took place in Mauken firing range on September 10th 2012. In addition to metals, the propellant will emit different gases. Experiences from double base propellant used for artillery, indicates formation of carbon monoxide (CO) and some ammonia (NH3) and hydrogen cyanide (HCN). It was therefore decided to measure the concentration of these three gases in air close to the head of the operators. In addition, airborne particles were sampled from the same position during firing in order to determine exposure for metals. The results from this work showed that the operators are not exposed to hazardous gases in concentrations that pose a health risk. However, the operators are exposed to lead, copper and nickel in concentrations that can cause health effects. It is therefore recommended that operators of Javelin, and any others that are in the immediate vicinity when Javelin are fired, use a particulate respirator (filter class P3). When firing Javelin from a closed area or inside a building the particulate respirator should not be removed until the operators are outside the closed area or the building. The work done in this study is part of the military’s efforts to identify discharges of hazardous substances when weapons are fired. The work is important to ensure that military personnel are not exposed to concentrations of substances that can cause health effects. It is also important to identify the lead exposure for military personnel using lead containing ammunition. The results of this study show that also other weapons than small arms may provide health effects when used. Implementation of the recommended measures will prevent hazardous exposure of fumes after firing Javelin.