Niobium-containing saponite clays are active catalysts, under mild ambient conditions and in the presence of aqueous hydrogen peroxide, in the oxidative abatement of sulfurcontaining blister chemical warfare agent simulants, such as (2-chloroethyl)ethyl sulfide. Over a Nb-saponite solid, a complete, selective and safe abatement of the chemical agent was attained within 8 h. The biological and environmental impact of the Nb-containing nanostructured clays used as decontamination solids was assessed by specific rapid biotoxicity tests on bioluminescent bacteria and vegetable plants. No negative impact on the strain of luminescent bacteria was evidenced in terms of acute and chronic toxicity. No adverse effects have been observed on vegetable plants in terms of germination, vigour and induction of chlorophyll fluorescence either.
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