Chemical decontamination project at University of Hertfordshire named as top breakthrough

PUBLISHED: 16:00 10 December 2018

The University of Hertfordshire's 'best breakthrough' is a study into responses to chemical warfare. Picture: University of Hertfordshire

The University of Hertfordshire's 'best breakthrough' is a study into responses to chemical warfare. Picture: University of Hertfordshire

University of Hertfordshire

The University of Hertfordshire has made one of the UK's 'best breakthroughs' ... by dousing people in a chemical warfare agent simulant.

The research into decontamination techniques following chemical attacks has been named as one of the UK’s 100 best breakthroughs by Universities UK (UUK), the umbrella group for UK universities.

Head of Toxicology Prof Rob Chilcott is nominated for his team’s pioneering work studying the science of decontamination processes.

They did this with a large-scale exercise involving over 80 volunteers - all of whom were were dosed with a chemical warfare agent simulant to gauge the efficacy of different forms of decontamination.

Their findings are informing the emergency services in how they respond to chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attacks, and show that nearly all chemical contamination can be removed by a new response process.

The University of Hertfordshire's 'best breakthrough' is a study into responses to chemical warfare. Picture: University of HertfordshireThe University of Hertfordshire's 'best breakthrough' is a study into responses to chemical warfare. Picture: University of Hertfordshire

UUK has released the ‘Best Breakthroughs List’ as part of its MadeAtUni campaign to change public perceptions of universities and bring to life the difference they make to people, lives and communities across the UK.

The list of breakthroughs demonstrates how UK universities are at the forefront of some of the world’s most important discoveries, innovations and social initiatives.

Professor John Senior, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at the University of Hertfordshire said: “I am extremely proud of Rob and his team; this research is an example of the impactful, innovative and multidisciplinary research which takes place at the University of Hertfordshire.

“The legacy of the bespoke research facility created through Rob’s research is novel research in wider fields, including forensics, drug testing and non-invasive clinical diagnostics.”

The University of Hertfordshire's 'best breakthrough' is a study into responses to chemical warfare. Picture: University of HertfordshireThe University of Hertfordshire's 'best breakthrough' is a study into responses to chemical warfare. Picture: University of Hertfordshire

“The UK’s ‘Best Breakthroughs List’ is a testament to the difference that universities make to people’s lives and we want everyone to join us in celebrating the work they do.”

The UK’s ‘Best Breakthroughs list: 100+ Ways Universities Have Improved Everyday Life’ was put together in partnership with universities across the UK.

As part of the MadeAtUni campaign, every university in the country was invited to nominate the one thing from their institution which they believe has had the biggest impact on people, lives or communities. nomination.

To see the UK’s ‘Best Breakthroughs’ nationwide, see MadeAtUni.org.uk.

The University of Hertfordshire's 'best breakthrough' is a study into responses to chemical warfare. Picture: University of HertfordshireThe University of Hertfordshire's 'best breakthrough' is a study into responses to chemical warfare. Picture: University of Hertfordshire

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