Spredning av hvitt fosfor ved detonasjon av røykgranater med hvitt fosfor : sluttrapport
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On assignment from Forsvarsbygg and Hærstaben, FFI has assessed the distribution of white phosphorus from the detonation of 155 mm and 81 mm smoke rounds. White phosphorus is a highly toxic material that is noxious to all living organisms. White phosphorus reacts immediately to non-toxic compounds in contact with air, while in aquatic environments it can stay unreacted for several years. Field tests were conducted to determine the spatial distribution of white phosphorus residues after the detonation of smoke rounds, by collecting burning particles of white phosphorus in trays filled with water. Most of the white phosphorus was deposited within a 20 meters radius from the point of detonation. No traces of white phosphorus were found further than 50 meters for 81 mm smoke rounds and 150 meters for 155 mm smoke rounds along the simulated shooting direction. Large amounts of white phosphorus will probably deposit in the crater at impact and possibly stay unreacted for a long period. The environmental hazard concerning military use of white phosphorus smoke rounds are mainly connected to when detonation occurs close to water and when large amounts of white phosphorus deposits in detonation craters. Therefore wet detonation areas have to be avoided. Use of proximity fuse or time fuse will probably prevent crater formation and decrease white phosphorus depositing.