TAB H – DoD Guidance

Table 11. DoD guidance on preventing and reducing exposures to oil fire smoke

Date Source Summary of Guidance
September 6, 1990 82nd Airborne Division


Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) from oil fires can be lethal. Units may not operate or establish support sites within 100 m of well heads.
September 23, 1990 101st Division - XVIII Corps Do not inhale oil fire smoke due to CO and CO2.
November 1990 Foreign Science and

Technology Center

Warns of possible hazards associated with fires.
November 1990 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Center for Naval Analysis H2S from oil fires is toxic and colorless and is of particular concern.
November 9, 1990 US Central Command H2S is a colorless, flammable and toxic compound known to produce a full range of affects on unprotected personnel.
November 10, 1990 Captain’s Memo Discusses dangers of H2S and how to protect against them.
November 14, 1990 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Center for Naval Analysis


M17A1 mask is good for use near oil fires for 15 minutes. MOPP gear provides skin protection unless saturation of air occurs.
November 14, 1990 Foreign Science and

Technology Center

H2S is extremely toxic. M17A1 mask is effective against H2S. M8A1 chemical detectors are not useful.
December 7, 1990 Nuclear/Biological/Chemical Defense Division Discusses hazards of H2S and zones of danger from oil wells.
December 30, 1990 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment Describes and invites US troops to an oil fire trench demonstration.
January 1991 US Army Intelligence Agency Warns troops to stay 200+ meters away from fires.
January 9, 1991 VII Corps - Army Central Command Different distances from the oil well fires have graded levels of danger.
January 16, 1991 1st Marine Division Intelligence Officer H2S is a highly toxic colorless gas that induces symptoms that mimic chemical warfare agents. Symptoms include tearing, salivation, vomiting, and rapid heart rate.
February 13, 1991 Commander Navy Sea Systems Command Mask canisters require frequent change-out near oil well fires; H2S is hazardous, but unlikely to reach Navy personnel.
February 13, 1991 Commanding General 1st

Marine Expeditionary Force

Discusses dangers of oil well fires and how to handle them.
March 19, 1991 US Interagency Air Quality

Assessment Team

Describes mild health effects and moderate risks associated with oil well fires.
March 21, 1991 Army Central Command

Medical Command -

Preventative Medicine


Discusses protection measures from oil well fires.
March 25, 1991 Marine Command Surgeon - 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Use masks and hoods when near oil well fires.
April 11, 1991 American Embassy Kuwait Outlines specific steps in fighting oil well fires.
September 1991 A’ Company - 7th Battalion - 158th Aviation Regiment - 2nd Aviation Brigade Directive for pilots to keep clear of fires.
November 21, 1991 NBC Defense Division, Space and Special Weapons Describes severe effects from H2S and the use of protective gear. Also explains First Aid procedures for troops who have been exposed.

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