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New Norfolk invention can save the sight of acid attack victims

PUBLISHED: 13:56 01 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:56 01 April 2019

The new P50 with FAST ACT being used. Picture: TMS Media

The new P50 with FAST ACT being used. Picture: TMS Media

TMS Media

Acid attack victims will be saved from blindness and life-changing burns as a result of a Norwich innovation.

Brittania Fire has adapted one of its world leading extinguishers to be able to combat chemical burns such as those inflicted in acid attacks.

A unique white version of the former Future50’s P50 extinguisher has been created with ‘FAST-ACT’, a substance which neutralises toxic substances.

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Front-line emergency teams, venue security staff and first-aiders can now use the 2kg extinguisher to provide on-the-spot relief to victims.

A spray of FAST-ACT - used by the military and NATO for 17 years - draws corrosive chemicals from a victim’s skin, neutralising them in less than two minutes.

The Ashwellthorpe business teamed up with London-based Specialist Response Solutions (SRS) to create a new version of its award-winning extinguisher.

It even neutralises novichok, the nerve agent that poisoned Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.

The FAST-ACT extinguisher is a specially-produced white version of the usual red P50, which has a multi-layer inner cylinder wrapped in Kevlar thread.

Andy Spence, sales director for Britannia Fire, said: “What is special about FAST-ACT is that eliminates the possibility of making the situation worse or more dangerous by applying the wrong substance.

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“It neutralises acid and can help prevent catastrophic lifelong injuries if used quickly enough. We were delighted to partner with SRS and produce a white P50, to accompany our red range.”

Kim Godfrey, SRS director, said: “FAST-ACT deals with any form of toxic liquid or vapour. It is particularly effective for skin for acid attack because it draws by diffusion away from the skin taking away the burning. It absorbs then neutralises it in less than two minutes depending on the type of chemical. It doesn’t stop burning but it reduces the extent.

“Applying water to acid injuries creates an exothermic reaction creating more burning, and also pushes toxic chemicals into the skin by osmosis – the Wash-In effect.”

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