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News Release


Release No: 379-99
August 13, 1999


The Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses (OSAGWI) released today an information paper on inhibited red fuming nitric acid - a missile fuel oxidizer used by the Iraqi military to propel its Scud, Guideline, Silkworm and Kyle missiles. This latest OSAGWI release provides a basic understanding of inhibited red fuming nitric acid - "IRFNA" - and identifies where and how Gulf War veterans may have been exposed to the fuel.

During the Gulf War, Iraq used the oxidizer in combination with kerosene to create the thrust needed to launch a rocket or missile. When a SCUD broke-up, impacted or was intercepted by coalition weapons, the missile fuel and IRFNA combination could have exposed some troops to the hazards of nitric acid and nitrogen dioxide which some may have mistaken for a chemical or biological warfare agent exposure.

This report as well as others concerning potential environmental exposures during the Gulf War are posted on DoD's website, GulfLINK (http://www.gulflink.osd.mil).

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