A mobile laboratory detected a low-level release of mustard vapor Monday at Blue Grass Army Depot, but officials said the vapor posed no danger to the public or work force on the installation.
Mustard, or blister agent, is a powerful skin irritant. It has been stored at Blue Grass Army Depot near Richmond in Madison County since 1944.
The vapor was detected during a weekly routine analysis of the chemical weapons stockpile, according to a news release from Blue Grass Chemical Activity, the agency that deals with chemical weapons at the depot.
As a safety precaution, a filter has been connected to the igloo, an earthen bunker where munitions are stored, to ensure that the vapor release is contained within that structure.
A work plan is being developed to allow chemical workers in protective clothing to enter the igloo to determine the source of the vapor reading. These workers are trained for safe assessment and handling of these types of munitions.
County and state officials were notified of the vapor release and will be kept informed as work progresses.