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Status Brief

Developmental Milestones/Developments to Date:

Current Assessment/State of the Field:




Supreme Court of the United States, DOW CHEMICAL CO. v. UNITED STATES, BY AND THROUGH ADMINISTRATOR, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, No. 84-1259, 476 U.S. 227, Decided May 19, 1986.

  1. “In an unsuccessful challenge to a warrantless aerial surveillance technique, the U.S. Supreme noted that, ‘Congress has vested in EPA certain investigatory and enforcement authority, without spelling out precisely how this authority was to be exercised in all the myriad circumstances that might arise in monitoring matters relating to clean air and water standards. When Congress invests an agency with enforcement and investigatory authority, it is not necessary to identify explicitly each and every technique that may be used in the course of executing the statutory mission.’” P. 233.

Law, Chemical, Industry


Betts, Richard, “The New Threat of Mass DestructionForeign Affairs. 26. January/February 1998

  1. ”The importance of the different types among WMD has shifted. Biological weapons should now be the most serious concern, with nuclear weapons second and chemicals a distant third.” – page 27
  2. ”The most troubling conclusion for foreign policy as a whole is that reducing the odds of attacks in the United States might require pulling back from involvement in some foreign conflicts. American activism to guarantee international stability is, paradoxically, the prime source of American vulnerability.” – page 28
  3. ”Rolling along in what some see as a revolution in military affairs, American forces continue to make unmatched use of state-of-the-art weapons, surveillance and information systems, and the organizational and doctrinal flexibility for managing the integration of these complex innovations into ‘systems of systems’ that is the key to modern military effectiveness.” – page 28
  4. ”The primary risk is not that enemies might lob some nuclear or chemical weapons at U.S. armored battalions or ships, but it is that they might attempt to punish the United States by triggering catastrophes in American cities.” – page 30
  5. ”Biological weapons have received less attention than the others, but probably represent the greatest danger.” – page 30
  6. ”The 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) requires the United States to destroy its stockpile.” – page 31
  7. ”One simple fact should worry Americans more about biological than about nuclear or chemical arms: unlike either of the other two, biological weapons combine maximum destructiveness and easy availability.” – page 32
  8. ”A host of minor measures can increase protection or recovery from biological, nuclear, or chemical effects. Examples are stockpiling or distribution of protective masks; equipment and training for decontamination; standby programs for mass vaccinations and emergency treatment with antibiotics; wider and deeper planning of emergency response procedures’ and public education about hasty sheltering and emergency actions to reduce individual vulnerability.” – page 37

Chemical, Military, WMD, CWC, Biosurveillance, U.S. Foreign Policy


Yang, Yu-Chu, “Chemical Detoxification of Nerve Agent VX“, Accounts of Chemical Research, Vol. 32, Issue 2, No. 2.

  1. “The nerve agent VX can be chemically detoxified via two major classes of selective chemical reactions under ambient conditions-nucleophilic substitution with exclusive P−S bond cleavage (e.g., using aqueous peroxycarbonate) and hydrolysis initiated by oxidation at sulfur (e.g., using aqueous peroxymonopersulfate).”
  2. “VX reacts with water or hydroxide with cleavage of both P−S and P−O bonds, and the thioic acid (3a) produced from P−O cleavage is almost as toxic as VX and is unreactive with anionic nucleophiles except under extreme conditions.”
  3. “Only limited success has been achieved with catalytic hydrolysis for VX. Most model compounds do not adequately simulate the unique and versatile reactivities of VX, and one must be cautious in inferring simulant data to VX.”

Chemical, WMD


Brennan, Richard et al. “Chemical Warfare Agents: Emergency Medical and Emergency Public Health Issues.Annals of Emergency Medicine, Volume 34 Issue 2. 191. August 1999

  1. ”Although it is prudent not to overstate the risk posed by chemical warfare agents (CWA), the proliferation of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons (weapons of mass destruction [WMD]) was recently recognized by the US Congress as the most serious threat to national security.” – page 191
  2. “Risks to civilian populations include terrorism, military stockpiles, military use, and industrial accidents involving chemicals used as CWAs.”
  3. “To ensure that American cities and communities are appropriately prepared for a terrorist attack with a chemical, biological, or nuclear weapon, Congress passed The Defense Against Weapons of Mass Destruction Act of 1996 (WMD Act).” – page 192
  4. ”CWAs are broadly classified as nerve agents, vesicants, pulmonary agents, and cyanides (formerly bloody agents).” – page 194
  5. ”Their clinical effects, and their comparative advantages as weapons, vary according to their physiochemical characteristics, toxicity, and primary site of action.” – page 194
  6. ”Relevant issues in disaster preparedness for an incident involving a CWA include education and training of emergency personnel, disaster planning, public education, deployment of specialized teams, and stockpiling of appropriate antidotes.” – page 195
  7. ”The federal response to terrorism consists of 2 components: crisis management and consequence management. The lead federal agency for crisis management is the FBI and the lead federal agency for consequence management is FEMA.” – page 198
  8. ”Recent trends in terrorism, the production and transport of industrial chemicals, and the aging of the military stockpile have increased the risk that civilians may be exposed to CWAs.” – page 202
  9. “Principles of emergency response and medical treatment include levels of response, command and control, personal protective equipment, assessment, demarcation of the contaminated area, agent detection and identification, triage, decontamination, preparedness of the emergency department, protecting the public, medical treatment and antidotes, poison control centers, and surveillance.

Chemical, WMD, Public Health, Military, Japan, Sarin, CWC, Chemical Surveillance


Doris V. Sweet, Vernon P. Anderson, J.C.F. Fang, “An overview of the Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS): Critical information on chemical hazards.Chemical Health & Safety, November/December 1999. Pgs 12-16

  1. “Since 1971, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has been building RTECS into a definitive toxicological database with supplemental information pertinent to both the chemical industry and the occupational safety and health community.” Pg 12
  2. “An individual RTECS record may include as little as a single toxicity citation in addition to the identifiers or it may contain multiple citations, in the cases of widely studied substances. Benz(a)pyrene, for example, includes more than 300 toxicity lines.” Pg 13
  3. “The process of maintaining and updating RTECS requires continuous searching of the world’s toxicological literature to find new substances for entry into the file and additional toxicity studies to add to or modify existing records.” Pg 13
  4. “The process of maintaining and updating RTECS requires continuous searching of the world’s toxicological literature to find new substances for entry in to the file and additional toxicity studies to add to or modify existing records.” Pg 15

CDC, Chemical, Chemical Surveillance


Benjamin, Georges, “Chemical and Biological Terrorism: Planning for the WorstPhysician Executive, Volume 26 Issue 1. 80. January/February 2000.

  1. ”Chemical or biological terrorism is the use of pathogenic microbes or toxins derived from plants, animals, microbes, or chemical agents to achieve terror.” – page 80
  2. ”Chemical and biological weapons, like nuclear weapons, are categorized as weapons of mass destruction (WMD) because of the high number of potential victims that can result from their use.” – page 80
  3. ”While any chemical can be weaponized, the chemical agents traditionally of concern fall into four categories: nerve agents like sarin, which create an anticholinergic-like syndrome; vesicants like mustard gas, that cause a blistering or burn-like syndrome; cyanide, which interrupts aerobic metabolism; and riot control agents such as mace, which generally cause incapacitation.” – page 80
  4. ”Biological agents act like chemical agents but have a slower onset of action. Agents of concern include Ricin.” – page 81
  5. ”The ideal bioweapon is hard to detect from the usual microbial flora, has person-to-person spread, and is easy to aerosolize. There are two groups of organisms of public health concern: those that cause a high morbidity or a high mortality.” – page 81
  6. ”Examples of high morbidity organisms include salmonella, cholera, or E. coli. The number of highly toxic organisms is fortunately quite low and includes anthrax, smallpox, and the viruses that cause hemorrhagic fevers, plague, brucellosis, and tularemia.” – page 81
  7. ”Clues that biological terrorist events have occurred include an unexplained increase in respiratory cases or deaths, or dead and dying animals. Epidemiological clues include diseases with the wrong mode of transmission, which occur in an inappropriate geographic distribution or infect a new or novel population.” – page 81
  8. ”Components of a biological/chemical terrorism disaster plan: plan how to identify the threat; develop an effective public health disease surveillance system; link the public health system and the traditional medical care delivery system; develop command and control systems; determine hospital bed availability; define disease containment, isolation, and quarantine procedures; plan how to obtain extra life support equipment such as respirators; plan how to train clinical staff to identify high-risk unusual diseases; ensure non-clinical staff are trained on the management of suspicious packages and mail; identify experts; plan simple handling and transport; plan how to communicate high risk information; manage medical examiner cases; and maintain a crime scene.” – page 81
  9. ”Effective disease control strategies such as case finding, decontamination, prophylaxis and vaccination, and quarantine must be defined.” – page 82

Chemical, WMD, Bioterrorism, Public Health, Military, Sarin, Japan, Ricin, E. coli, Cholera, Salmonella, Anthrax, Smallpox, Hemorrhagic Fever, Plague, Brucellosis, Tularemia, Prophylaxis, Vaccination, Quarantine


Seto, Yasuo, “The Sarin Gas Attack in Japan and the Related Forensic Investigation.” Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. 14. June 2001.

  1. ”Lethal nerve gas attacks in the city of Matsumoto in 1994, and in the Tokyo subway system in 1995, led to the deaths of 19 people, as well as to a large number of injuries.” – page 14
  2. ”Aum Shinrikyo was established by Shoko Asahara, and it disseminated a unique doctrine that taught that one could kill another human being who continues to commit evil deeds, and is thus destined to go to hell. After failing to win support in the 1989 general election, the cult transformed itself into a terrorist group that produced arms in toxic gases.” – page 14
  3. ”While expanding its influence in Japan, Aum also set up branch offices overseas in the United States, Germany, and Sri Lanka.” – page 14
  4. ”Two days after the Sarin incident in Tokyo, a simultaneous raid of Aum facilities was launched by 2,500 police in connection with the imprisonment of a notary public manager who had died while being detained.” – page 15
  5. ”Using established forensic toxicological techniques, it was found that during the Matsumoto incident, Sarin gas was sprayed to murder the local court judges, but nearby residents also became exposed to the toxins.” – page 16
  6. ”In the Tokyo subway Sarin incident, the cult decided to use Sarin in trains on three subway station lines, all of which stop at Kasumigaseki station near the Matsumoto Police Department. The perpetrators boarded the subway trains with plastic bags containing Sarin, and released the gas by prodding the bags open with the metal tips of umbrellas.” – pages 16, 17

Chemical, Bioterrorism, Sarin, Japan, Law Enforcement, Organizations/Groups, WMD


Thom Shanker, “U.S. Tested A Nerve Gas In Hawaii“, November 01, 2002, The New York Times, []. Last Checked 20 September 2011

  1. “According to the reports, released today by the Deployment Health Support Directorate, a branch of the Pentagon office of Health Affairs, the Army detonated warheads filled with Sarin in the forest reserve in April and May of 1967.”
  2. “The goal of the test, named Red Oak, Phase 1, was to ‘evaluate the effectiveness of Sarin-filled 155-mm artillery projectiles and 115-mm rocket warheads in a tropical jungle environment,’ the report states.”
  3. “Pentagon officials said 46 exercises were conducted by the Deseret Test Center, based at Fort Douglas, Utah, from 1962 to 1973. Today’s release brings to 41 the number of tests whose reports have been declassified.”
  4. “The tests were not conducted to study the effects of chemical and biological weapons on human health. Instead, those on land were to learn more about how chemical and biological weapons would be affected by climate, environment and other combat conditions. Tests at sea were intended to gauge the vulnerability of warships and how they might respond to attack.”

Chemical, WMD, Military, Sarin


Stellman, Jeanne, et al., “The Extent and Patterns of Usage of Agent Orange and Other Herbicides in Vietnam.” Nature, Vol. 422, 681. April 17, 2003.

  1. ”Herbicides including Agent Orange were sprayed by the United States forces for military purposes during the Vietnam War (1961-1971) at a rate more than an order of magnitude greater than for similar domestic weed control.” – page 681
  2. ”Herbicide mixtures, nicknamed by the colored identification band painted on their 208-liter barrels, were used by the United States and Republic of Vietnam forces to defoliate forests and mangroves, to clear perimeters of military installations, and to destroy “unfriendly” crops as a tactic for decreasing enemy food supplies. The best known mixture was Agent Orange” – page 681
  3. ”Agent White was less satisfactory than Agent Orange because several weeks were required for defoliation to begin. Agent Blue was the agent of choice for crop destruction by desiccation throughout the entire war.” – page 682
  4. ”Although Agent Purple is, indeed, likely to have been more highly contaminated with tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), it is also likely that the mean TCDD levels in Agent Orange were far higher for much of the herbicide use.” – page 684
  5. ”Large numbers of Vietnamese civilians appear to have been directly exposed to herbicidal agents, some of which were sprayed at levels at least an order of magnitude greater than for similar US domestic purposes. Other analyses being carried out by us show large numbers of American troops also to have been directly exposed or to have served in recently sprayed areas.” – page 686
  6. ”NAS-1974, a comprehensive study carried out by The National Academy of Science, found the HERBS file, a chronological record which contained flight path coordinates of Air Force spraying missions, to be a powerful tool for studying exposure to herbicides.” – page 686

Military, Public Health, Chemical, Food Supply, WMD


May, Lisa, et. al., “Recommended Role of Exposure Biomarkers for the Surveillance of Environmental and Occupational Chemical Exposures in Military Deployments: Policy ConsiderationsMilitary Medicine Vol. 169, 761, October 2004.

  1. “A lack of individual exposure information limited the evaluation of exposure-outcome relationships after the Gulf War” – page 761
  2. “Exposure Biomarkers provide a mechanism to overcome some of the limits of exposure assessment tools currently used by the Department of Defense by assessing combined exposures from inhalation, ingestion, and dermal pathways to evaluate the extent of chemical entry into the body and can provide a mechanism to systematically document chronic chemical exposures” – page 761
  3. “Exposure Biomarkers offer the Department of Defense an enhanced capability for individual and population exposure assessment during military deployments” – page 764
  4. “The most significant source of error in the Exposure Biomarker method is the time of sampling. It is entirely possible to miss exposures completely because of the clearing mechanisms of the individual and/or because some chemicals have relatively short half-lives.” – page 766

Chemical, Chemical Surveillance, Military


Rose, Laura, “Chlorine Inactivation of Bacterial Bioterrorism AgentsApplied and Environmental Microbiology. Pg. 566-568, Vol. 71, No.1

  1. “Currently, chlorination is the most common method of disinfecting drinking water in the United States. (Pg. 1)
  2. “The Bacillus anthracis spores were less susceptible to cholorine disinfection than the gram-negative organisms.” (Pg. 1)

Anthrax, Public Health, Emergency Response, Decontamination, Bioterrorism, Biosafety, Chemical


OMB Watch Press Release, July 11, 2005, “right-to-know advocates win battle for access to chemical security data

Open Science, Chemical


Reitze, Arnold, Jr., “Emergency Response and Planning Requirements Applicable to Unpermitted Air Pollution Releases,” 2005 B.Y.U.L. Rev. 1075, P. 1184.

  1. “CAA section 112(r)(1) includes a general duty clause that imposes on owners and operators of stationary sources handling extremely hazardous substances a general duty in the same manner and to the same extent as section 654 of Title 29 [OSH Act] to identify hazards which may result from such releases using appropriate hazard assessment techniques, to design and maintain a safe facility taking such steps as are necessary to prevent releases, and to minimize the consequences of accidental releases which do occur. n865”
  2. ”… It places a burden of prevention and minimization on owners or operators without regulatory action by the EPA, and it prevents shifting of liability to the government because of the EPA’s approval of risk management plans. n867”
  3. ”…The clause imposes three obligations: (1) identify hazards from potential accidental release; (2) design and maintain a safe facility in taking the necessary steps to prevent release; and (3) minimize damage from actual accidental releases. n868 The general duty clause itself does not prescribe how these measures will be achieved. n869 The clause is performance-based; it places the burden on those using these substances to demonstrate safe practices regarding accidental releases. n870” …
  4. ”Because the general duty clause is based on the OSH Act, n873 the case law construing the Act, including the decisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, are applicable. n874 Importantly, however, only the EPA and DOJ can enforce the general duty clause. n875 States, even with delegation of risk management programs, cannot enforce the clause. n876”
  5. p. 1187 ” The DOJ was to review the effect of Clean Air Act (CAA) regulations on the prevention of chemical releases, including those that may be released as a result of chemical activity. It also was to develop, test, and validate a protype vulnerability assessment methodology to assess the security of chemical facilities against terrorist and criminal acts. n887 On May 30, 2002, nearly two years late, the DOJ submitted its interim report. It was based on a study of only eleven of the 15,000 chemical manufacturing facilities subject to the CAA’s RMP provisions; therefore, the study cannot be generalized to the industry as a whole. The DOJ determined the report’s release would pose a threat to national security, and, based on the CAA (42 U.S.C. 7412(r)(7)(H)(xi)(III)), it would not make the report public. n888 On May 6, 2002, the EPA’s Administrator was given the authority in an administrative order to classify as “secret” any information that might pose a national security risk. n889 The legislation establishing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) exempts from public disclosure information about physical and cybersecurity for information submitted voluntarily to DHS. n890”
  6. P.1190 “The CAA section 112(r), both the general duty clause and section 112(r)(7)(A), could be used to deal with terrorist threats. However, it is not clear that an intentional targeting of a facility or a population was intended to be covered by section 112(r)’s planning requirements; nor is it clear that the general duty clause, which is [*1191] based on OSHA’s general duty clause, was ever intended for use as a homeland security measure. A legislative fix is needed, but it has been a difficult task to develop a comprehensive bill that a majority in Congress would support. To date, only narrowly focused legislation has been enacted.”

Law, Chemical, Information Policy, Law Enforcement


Olowokure, B. et al., “Global Surveillance for Chemical Incidents of International Public Health ConcernBulletin of the World Health Organization, 7 pages. December 2005.

  1. “This report describes the frequency, nature and geographical location of acute chemical incidents of potential international concern from August 2002 to December 2003” – page 928
  2. “In December 2001, an expert consultation convened by WHO identified strengthening national and global chemical incident preparedness and response as a priority” – page 928
  3. “The international community, through the World Health Assembly, has recognized the need to strengthen surveillance for chemical incidents. There are three main reasons for doing this.” – page 928
  4. “First, the continuing rapid growth and globalization of the chemicals industry means that chemical incidents will continue to be a problem.” – page 928
  5. “Second, chemical incidents may have an impact beyond their original location, in some cases crossing national borders.” – page 928
  6. “Third, there is concern regarding the deliberate use of chemicals for terrorist purposes, engendered by events such as the use of sarin on the Tokyo underground system and reports of the threatened use of ricin” – page 928
  7. “On a daily basis, information from a range of informal and formal sources was reviewed to identify acute chemical incidents and outbreaks of disease of unknown etiology that might be of chemical origin.” – page 929
  8. “The principal informal sources were the Global Public Health Intelligence Network (GPHIN), ProMED-Mail, and Hazard Intelligence (HInt)… all three had international scope” – page 929
  9. “Formal information sources included reports from national authorities, WHO offices, WHO Collaborating Centres and other United Nations agencies. ChemiNet and the communicable disease outbreak verification teams were additional sources, the latter particularly for diseases of unknown etiology that might be linked with chemicals.” – page 929
  10. “Each identified event was assessed against International Health Regulations (IHR) criteria … by the chemical alert and response team. If an event was deemed to be of potential international importance, WHO regional and country offices were contacted to obtain additional information, including official verification of the event…. Once verified, and depending on the nature of the event, a decision was taken about the need for a response.” – page 931
  11. “Such a response might include laboratory support (e.g. identification of a laboratory to carry out analyses, arranging supply of an analytical standard), on-site epidemiological assistance (e.g. assistance with investigation, control measures) or the provision of technical information.” – page 931
  12. “From 1 August 2002 to 31 December 2003, 779 chemical events were evaluated and 35 (4.5%) events of potential or actual international public health importance were identified in 26 countries” – page 931
  13. “…most chemical events tend to be localized, in contrast to communicable diseases, which are readily spread around the world by human or animal carriers.” – page 932

WHO, Chemical, Chemical Surveillance, Public Health, Emergency Response


Steiner, Wes, et al., “Detection of Aqueous phase Chemical Warfare Agent Degradation Products by Negative Mode Ion Mobility Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry [IM(tof)MS]Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry. 241. January 18, 2006.

  1. ”Chemical warfare agents (CWA), by convention, are classified as lethal nerve, vesicant, blood, or pulmonary agents” – page 241
  2. ”In general, CWA hydrolysis and degradation products have been found to exhibit a higher degree of stability and persistence in the environment than their corresponding parent agents.” – page 242
  3. ”The improvement of ion mobility orthogonal time-of-flight mass spectrometer [IM(tof)MS] development greatly expands the capacity of IM(tof)MS technology to significantly decrease the potential for false positive responses when screening for CWA.” – page 242
  4. ”The main advantage of IM(tof)MS technology over IMS or MS technology alone is its ability to provide rapid 2-D data acquisition spectra with the capacity to electronically couple and decouple CID to generate ion fragmentation patterns.” – page 244
  5. ”It was possible to clearly determine each of the parent ions, respective collision induced dissociation (CID) fragments, signal intensity, mobility drift, and mass flight times produced from within a single experimental run.” – page 244

Chemical, WMD


Dale J., Trevor and Rebek Jr., Julius, “Fluorescent Sensors for Organophosphorus Nerve Agent Mimics“, 17 March 2006, JACS Last Checked September 27, 2011.

  1. “We present a small molecule sensor that provides an optical response to the presence of an organophosphorus (OP)-containing nerve agent mimic.”
  2. “The design contains three key features:  a primary alcohol, a tertiary amine in close proximity to the alcohol, and a fluorescent group used as the optical readout.”
  3. “Exposure to an OP nerve agent mimic triggers phosphorylation of the primary alcohol followed rapidly by an intramolecular substitution reaction as the amine displaces the created phosphate. The quaternized ammonium salt produced by this cyclization reaction no longer possesses a lone pair of electrons, and a fluorescence readout is observed as the nonradiative PET quenching pathway of the fluorophore is shut down.”
  4. “The pyrene-based compound containing the shortest spacer between the fluorescent acceptor and the amine donor, one methylene unit, provides the most significant increase in fluorescence intensity upon reaction with the nerve agent mimic DCP.”

Chemical, Chemical Surveillance



  1. 6 CFR Part 27, Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards; Final Rule, 17688 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 67 / Monday, April 9, 2007 / Rules and Regulations, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, 6 CFR Part 27 [DHS–2006–0073], RIN 1601–AA41

Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards

  1. SUMMARY: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS or Department) issues This interim final rule (IFR) pursuant to Section 550 of the Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2007 (Section 550), which provided the Department With authority to promulgate ‘‘interim final regulations’’ for the security ofCertain chemical facilities in the United States.This rule establishes risk-based performance standards for the security Of our Nation’s chemical facilities. It requires covered chemical facilities to Prepare Security Vulnerability Assessments (svas), which identify Facility security vulnerabilities, and to Develop and implement Site Security Plans (ssps), which include measures That satisfy the identified risk-based Performance standards. It also allows Certain covered chemical facilities, in Specified circumstances, to submit Alternate Security Programs (asps) in Lieu of an SVA, SSP, or both. The rule contains associated Provisions addressing inspections and Audits, recordkeeping, and the Protection of information that Constitutes Chemical-terrorism Vulnerability Information (CVI). Finally, The rule provides the Department with Authority to seek compliance through The issuance of Orders, including Orders Assessing Civil Penalty and Orders for The Cessation of Operations.
  2. Federal Register /Vol. 72, No. 67 /Monday, April 9, 2007 /Rules and Regulations 17689;
  3. ”B. Statutory Regulatory Authority and History: On October 4, 2006, the President signed the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2007 (the Act), which provides the Department of Homeland Security with the authority to regulate the security of high-risk chemical facilities. See Pub. L. 109–295, sec. 550. Section 550 requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to promulgate interim final regulations ‘‘establishing risk-based performance standards for security of chemical facilities’’ by April 4, 2007.”
  4. ”As discussed more fully in the Advance Notice, before the enactment of Section 550, the Federal government did not have authority to regulate the security of most chemical facilities. The Department has, however, worked closely with industry leaders in pursuit of voluntary enhancement of security at these facilities and provided both technical assistance and grant funding for security. In addition, through the Coast Guard’s Maritime Security regulations, the Department has addressed security at certain maritime related chemical facilities. See 33 CFR Part 105. Recently, the Departments of Homeland Security and Transportation also proposed security regulations for the rail transportation of hazardous chemicals. See 71 FR 76834, 71 FR 76851 (Dec. 21, 2006). Other Federal programs have addressed chemical facility safety, but not security: the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates chemical process safety through its Risk Management Plan (RMP) [] program; the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates workplace safety and health at chemical facilities; the Department of Commerce oversees compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention; and the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) regulates, through licenses and permits, the purchase, possession, storage, and transportation of explosives. With the authority under Section 550, the Department can now fill a significant security gap in the country’s anti-terrorism efforts. Section 550 specifies that the regulations ‘‘shall apply to chemical facilities that, in the discretion of the Secretary, present high levels of security risk.’’ The statute requires that the regulations establish risk-based performance standards; requires Security Vulnerability Assessments and Site Security Plans; allows Alternative Security Programs; mandates audits and inspections to determine compliance with the regulations; provides for civil penalties for violation of an order issued under the statute; and allows the Secretary to order a facility to cease operations if the facility is not in compliance with the requirements. The statute also gives the Department the authority to protect from inappropriate public disclosure any information developed pursuant to Section 550, ‘‘including vulnerability assessments, site security plans, and other security related information, records, and documents.’’ As discussed in the Advance Notice, by directing the Secretary to issue ‘‘interim final regulations,’’ Congress authorized the Secretary to proceed without the traditional notice-and comment required by the Administrative Procedure Act. See 71 FR 78276, 78277. The Department, however, saw great benefit in soliciting comments on as much of the program as was practicable in the short timeframe permitted under the statute. Accordingly, the Department voluntarily sought comment on a range of regulatory and implementation issues and responds to the comments below.”
  5. ”II. Interim Final Rule *A. Summary of Changes From Advance Notice of Rulemaking. In this interim final rule, the Department has not changed the general, risk-based approach it proposed in the December 28, 2006, Advance Notice. See 71 FR 78276. As discussed in detail below, the Department plans to implement the regulation in phases, starting to work aggressively with chemical facilities presenting the very highest security risks first. The Department adopts a risk-based tiering structure in its regulatory approach, so that the Department’s scrutiny of facilities under this regulation increases as the level of risk increases. Even though this approach remains the same,…

Chemical, Law


Vijayaraghavan R., et al., “Evaluation Of The Antidotal Efficacy Of Atropine Sulfate And Pralidoxime Chloride Given By Autoinjectors Against Nerve Agent (Sarin) Toxicity“, 18 June 2007, J Med CBR Def. Last Checked 4 October 2011.

  1. “The pupillary constriction was observed within two to three minutes of sarin instillation following 5, 10 or 20 µg/kg.”
  2. “Administration of either atropine sulfate or pralidoxime chloride alone through the autoinjectors marginally protected the animals, as noted by pupillary constriction, 30 minutes after the drug administration, but significantly protected affected pupillary constriction 120 minutes after the drug administration. The exception was for the 20 µg/kg dose group at 120 minutes, however by 24 hours, pupillary constriction was comparable with the lower dose groups.”
  3. “When atropine sulfate and pralidoxime chloride were administered together, they significantly protected pupillary constriction by 30 minutes after the combined drug administration.”
  4. “Administration of 5, 10 or 20 µg/kg of sarin produced a dose dependent decrease in the plasma cholinesterase level.”
  5. “Compared to the administration of atropine sulfate alone, pralidoxime chloride administration improved the cholinesterase level.”
  6. “Administration of atropine sulfate and pralidoxime chloride together significantly improved the level of plasma cholinesterase even after 30 minutes.”
  7. “The present study showed that administration of atropine sulfate or pralidoxime chloride individually did not give significant protection as measured by the pupillary constriction and plasma cholinesterase level, while both the autoinjectors together gave significant protection. Our study also showed that administration of atropine sulfate and pralidoxime chloride using the autoinjectors, one after the other but close in time, is an effective way of protecting against nerve agent toxicity.”

Chemical, Emergency Response


Koplovitz I., et al., “Effect Of Atropine And Diazepam On The Efficacy Of Oxime Treatment Of Nerve Agent Intoxication“, 21 August 2007, J Med CBR Def. Last Checked 4 October 2011.

  1. “Saline or pyridostigmine was administered 30 minutes prior to nerve agent challenge; treatment was administered 1 minute after agent challenge and consisted of atropine (0.3, 3.0, or 16 mg/kg) plus the oxime, 2-PAM chloride (25 mg/kg) or MMB4 dimethanesulfonate (26 mg/kg). Approximately half of the animals were also treated with diazepam (1 mg/kg), injected immediately after atropine and oxime treatment. Survival was assessed at 24 hours.”
  2. “Categorical modeling analysis of the data indicated that, across all agents and treatments, there was no significant difference in the survival rate between saline-pretreated animals (337 of 474 survived [71%]) and PB-pretreated animals (370 of 486 survived [76%]); therefore, the saline and PB pretreatment data were combined when making further comparisons.”
  3. “In the absence of diazepam adjunctive therapy, all 3 doses of atropine in combination with either 2-PAM or MMB4 provided at least 70% survival of the guinea pigs against 2LD50s of GB. Against 2LD50s of GF, VR or GA, the 0.3 and 3.0 mg/kg doses of atropine in combination with 2-PAM provided no greater than 20% survival of the guinea pigs. The 0.3 mg/kg and 3.0 mg/kg doses of atropine in combination with MMB4 resulted in significantly greater survival of the guinea pigs than with 2-PAM against GF and VR but not against GA. The 16 mg/kg atropine dose in combination with either oxime was significantly more effective than either the 0.3 or 3.0 mg/kg dose of atropine.”
  4. “The addition of diazepam significantly improved survival rates for the 0.3 and 3.0 mg/kg doses of atropine in combination with either 2-PAM or MMB4. The beneficial effect of diazepam on survival rates was most evident in GF-, VR- and GA-intoxicated guinea pigs.”
  5. “The results of the present study support Ligtenstein’s view and suggest further that the amount of atropine needed to obtain significant survival rates is dependent on how effective the oxime is in reactivating the nerve agent-inhibited AChE in peripheral tissues.”
  6. “An important finding in this study was that in the absence of adequate doses of atropine and/or sufficient oxime reactivation of peripheral AChE, the presence of diazepam in the treatment regimen enhanced survival. This has important operational implications, which suggests that in the field where casualties are not going to be maximally atropinized, administration of diazepam with atropine and oxime therapy may be critical.”

Chemical, Emergency Response


Gerald J. FitzgeraldChemical Warfare and Medical Response During World War I,” American Journal of Public Health 2008;98(4):611-625.

  1. “The first large-scale use of a traditional weapon of mass destruction (chemical, biological, or nuclear) involved the successful deployment of chemical weapons during World War I (1914–1918).” P.611
  2. “Defined today as “man- made, supertoxic chemicals that can be dispersed as a gas, vapor, liquid, aerosol (a suspension of microscopic droplets), or adsorbed onto a fine talcum-like powder to create ‘dusty’ agents,” chemical weapons remain a viable public health threat for civilians and soldiers across the globe.” P.612
  3. “On August 31, 1917, the Gas Defense Service (later known as the Gas Defense Division) was formally organized within the Army Medical Department under the auspices of the Office of the Surgeon General to carry out gas mask research and manufacture.” P.616
  4. “Between the 1918 armistice and 1933, several international conferences were held to try to limit or abolish chemical weapons; these included the Washington Conference (1921–1922), the Geneva Conference (1923–1925), and the World Disarmament Conference (1933).” P.621
  5. “At present, the United States maintains a large and sophisticated arsenal of chemical and nerve agents for tactical and strategic use.” P.622

Chemical, WMD, Public Health


Zukas, Walter, Cabrera, Catherine, Harper, James, Kunz, et al.Assessment of Nanotechnology for Chemical Biological Defense,” in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology for Chemical and Biological Defense, Chapter 9, American Chemical Society, Washington DC, 2009.

  1. ”The term nanotechnology generally refers to the evolving body of tools and knowledge that allow manipulation of material structures at the scale of approximately 10-100 nanometers and to understand the relationship between nanometer scale features and the macroscopic properties of materials.  Rapid progress in the development of analytical tools to probe the nanometer scale and to manipulate materials at this scale has led to a dramatic increase in the number and diversity of research programs on nanoscience and technology.”  P. 10
  2. ”…the deeply scaled dimensions of nanoparticles enhance the surface-area-to-volume ratio, and suitable surface chemistry can then lead to highly efficient sensing schemes or catalytic reactions.” P. 10
  3. ”…sorption-based detection is the one most suited for application of nanotechnology.  ….on the nanoscale of living systems, all sensing and molecular recognition functions are based on sorption of some sort, suggesting that man-made sensing systems aimed at mimicking biological systems will most likely use this mechanism.  When a molecule adsorbs [SIC] to a surface it not only changes the mass at the surface, but it can also impart changes in the electrical, optical, and/or luminescent properties, all of which have been explored as mechanisms for chemical sensing.  High surface-area-to-volume ratio nanostructures generally exhibit amplified responses to these properties, leading to sensor demonstrations with unprecedented sensitivity.” P. 10
  4. ”Nanotechnology may also play a role in development of non-caustic decontamination treatments.  Most non-caustic decontamination chemicals exhibit slower reaction rates with agents than caustic chemicals such as bleach or sodium hydroxide.” P. 10
  5. ”CB agents pose extreme challenges for detection, protection, and decontamination.  Their characteristic feature is their high lethality, so that even minute amounts (micrograms to milligrams) can constitute a lethal dose.  Therefore, the fundamental challenge of CBD is to develop products which are highly sensitive, selective, and efficient.  Sensors must detect agents at levels well below LD50, and still having extremely low levels of false alarms.” P. 12
  6. ”Calometric means to detect this heat would obviate the need for engineering fluorescent centers into the receptor, and could result for a whole new class of sensors, but other detection methods may also be feasible.” P. 14
  7. ”The vast majority of nanotechnology-based CB sensor research has focused on ultra-sensitive transducers such as nanowires, nanotubes, and cantilevers (14-16).  However, sensing elements are only useful if particles of interest are present in the sample volume being interrogated; as the volume decreases, the effective concentration in the sample must increase (17).” P. 14
  8. ”Nano-permeable membranes (NPMs), especially those based on carbon nanontubes, have been the focus of extensive research.  Recently, several groups have reported that the transport of water through nanotube pores is [SIC] orders of magnitude higher than predicted by classical hydrodynamic theories (87-89). … The field appears to have excellent potential to yield substantial valuable results from an investment focused on projects specifically tailored to address chem/bio protection, and the long-standing need for permselective membranes with improved water transport and high selectivity.” P. 18
  9. ”The recommendation is to focus on projects that seek to extend these results to applications of direct relevance to CBD (e.g. chemical and biological agent prophylaxis, vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments) and that seek to demonstrate that the nanoscale features of these methods to offer revolutionary capability improvements when compared to traditional approaches.” P. 18

Chemical, Chemical Surveillance, Biodetection, Biosurveillance, Vaccination, Decontamination


Sferopolous, Rodi, “A Review of Chemical Warfare Agent (CWA) Detector Technologies and Commercial-Off-the-Shelf Items.Defense Science and Technology Organization. March 2009

  1. ”An ideal detector can be described as one that can detect both Chemical Warfare Agents (CWA) and Toxic Industrial Chemicals (TIC) selectively within an acceptable time; sensitive enough to detect agent concentrations at or below levels which post a health risk, and not be affected by other factors in the environment. As yet, the ‘ideal’ detector is not a commercial reality.” – Executive Summary
  2. ”Whilst Chemical Agents (CA) can cause serious injury or death, it is the method and accuracy of their delivery that determines the severity of the damage.” – page 2
  3. ”TICs are another class of CA that are less deadly than conventional CWAs, but pose a greater threat because they are more easily accessible in large quantities and are widely used in the manufacturing or primary material processing (mining and refining) industries.” – page 6
  4. ”Most detectors are designed to respond only when a threat is directly imminent and therefore tend to ‘detect to respond’ or ‘detect to react’ rather than ‘detect to warn.’” – page 10
  5. ”Individual Personal Equipment (IPE) is still utilized as the main form of protection against a chemical weapons attack as it has been proven to provide effective protection for an individual whilst the agent is neutralized or eliminated.” – page 10
  6. ”With increasing threats of terrorism, the roles of CA detectors are also increasing in civil emergency responses.” – page 10
  7. ”At present, the most challenging aspect for detection and identification of CAs is the differentiation of the agent of interest from another chemicals already present in the environment.” – page 11
  8. ”Environmental conditions, such as temperature, humidity, wind, dust and contamination concentration in the air, can affect the performance of a detector. It is crucial that during the selection process it is determined if a detector is able to operate effectively in the intended environment.” – page 14
  9. ”Ion Mobility Spectroscopy (IMS) based detectors are the most commonly deployed detectors for chemical monitoring by the military.” – page 16
  10. ”Existing IMS-based field detectors include Chemical Agent Monitor (CAM), Advanced Portable chemical Agent Detector (APD 2000), Multi-IMS, Rapid Alarm and Identification Device-Monitor (RAID-M), IMS-2000, GID-3 also known as Automatic Chemical Agent Detection Alarm (ACADA), SABRE 4000, and the Lightweight Chemical Detector (LCD).” – page 20
  11. ”Flame Photometry Detectors (FPD) are deployed in military forces and civil agencies worldwide, however they are more commonly found integrated with a gas chromatograph (GC) in the laboratory. To date, GC-FPD has been one of the most useful methods in determining the CWA concentrations in samples sent to a laboratory for confirmation analysis.” – page 32
  12. ”Existing FPD based field detectors include the French AP2C monitor, the updated AP4C version, and MINICAMS.” – page 34
  13. ”For field applications, Infra-Red (IR) Spectroscopy based detectors are used to determine whether a sample contains targeted chemicals rather than being used to identify them.” – page 38
  14. ”Existing IR based detectors include the M21 detector, Joint Service Lightweight Standoff Chemical Agent Detector (JSLSCAD), MIRAN SapphIRE Portable Ambient Air Analyzer, AN/KAS-1 and AN/KAS-1A Chemical Warfare Directional Detectors, TravelIR HCI, HazMat ID, and the IlluminatIR.” – page 43
  15. ”Raman Spectroscopy is a light scattering technique based upon the knowledge that when radiation passes through a transparent medium, any chemical species present will scatter a portion of the radiation bean in different directions.” – page 52
  16. ”Existing Raman spectroscopy based field detectors include the FirstDefender and the FirstDefender XL.” – page 54
  17. ”Surface Acoustic Waves (SAW) sensors operate by detecting changes in the properties of acoustic waves as they travel at ultrasonic frequencies in piezoelectric materials.” – page 57
  18. ”Existing SAW based field detectors include the HAZMATCAD, ChemSentry 150C, CW Sentry Plus, SAW MINICAD mk II, and the Joint Chemical Agent Detector (JCAD).” – page 59
  19. ”Colorimetric detection is a wet chemistry technique formulated to indicate the presence of a CA by a chemical reaction that causes a color change when agents come into contact with certain solutions or substrates.” – page 65
  20. ”Photo Ionization Detectors (PID) are typically used in first responder scenarios to give preliminary information about a variety of chemicals as they can detect vapors given off by certain inorganic compounds that other detectors may not. They only provide suggestive, not definitive, information about whether a site has been compromised.” – page 75
  21. ”Existing PID field detectors include MiniRAE 2000, MiniRAE 3000, ppbRAE, ppbRAE 3000, ppbRAE Plus, MultiRAE Plus, ToxiRAE Plus, and the TVA 1000B Toxic Vapor Analyzer.”- page 77
  22. ”Flame Ionization detectors are general-purpose and non-selective, therefore they respond to any molecule containing carbon-hydrogen bonds.” – page 86
  23. ”Existing FID field detectors include the Photovac MicroFID Handheld FID.” – page 87
  24. ”Current detection capability is somewhat limited, as such there is a need for further research into the development of technologies which are aimed at building improved detectors to accurately provide advanced warning of a CA release.” – page 89

Chemical, Military, Chemical Surveillance, Public Health, Emergency Response, WMD


Lozowski, Dorothy. “Chemical Plant Security.” Chemical Engineering, Volume 116, Issue 9. 21. September 2009.

  1. ”Security at many U.S. chemical facilities is currently regulated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standard (CFATS).” – page 21
  2. ”Compliance with CFATS begins with an assessment tool developed by Department of Homeland Security call the Top-Screen, to assist DHS in determining which chemical facilities meet the criteria for being high-risk.” –page 21
  3. ”There doesn’t seem to be any disagreements among the chemical process industries (CPI) that security regulations are a good idea.” – page 21
  4. ”The House of Representatives has proposed a revision to the current CFATS standard. Two main points in the House’s bill that Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) oppose are mandated inherently safer technologies (IST) and a civil suits clause.” – page 22
  5. ”As tiered facilities move forward with their site plans, a number of companies are positioning themselves to help with the process of CFATS compliance and implementation.” – page 22
  6. ”Ryan Loughin, director of the Petro-Chem and Energy Division of ADT Advanced Integration, explains that a tiered facility faces two basic threats: toxic release, and theft and diversion.” – page 23
  7. ”ADT’s approach to working with a facility with one or both of these threats is to consider three key factors: deter, detect, and delay.” – page 23
  8. ”While the bulk of CFATS focuses on the physical plant, it also addresses cyber security, which is undoubtedly an integral part of overall security.” – page 23

Chemical, Chemical Surveillance, Cybersecurity


Editors.The Future of CFATS.” Professional Safety, Volume 54 Issue 10. 18. October 2009.

  1. ”The Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorist Standard (CFATS) is up for renewal in October 2009 and Congress is working to renew the standard.” – page 18
  2. ”The regulation requires affected businesses to identify chemicals within their facility that are listed by Department of Homeland Security as potentially dangerous to national security in certain doses or situations, and create a security plan focused on keeping these chemicals from being used by terrorists.” – page 18
  3. ”Under CFATS, a company must register and submit a Top-Screen assessment to determine whether it is a high risk facility.” – page 18
  4. ”If DHS determines that it is a high risk facility, the company must then submit a security vulnerability assessment (SVA) using the agency’s online assessment tool to analyze a series of scenarios designed to elicit vulnerability and off-site consequence information.” – page 18
  5. ”Determining whether a facility deserves to be classified in a particular tier is based primarily on the properties of the chemicals listed in DHS’s Appendix A, which lists 322 chemicals of interest, as well as other site-specific factors reported in the Top-Screen and SVA.” – page 18
  6. ”Because DHS’s current authority to regulate through CFATS sunsets in October 209, the House Committee on Homeland Security is reviewing and attempting to enhance the current legislation by incorporating new stipulations.” – page 18

Chemical, Homeland Security, Public Health


Vijayaraghavan R. et. al, “Chemical Warfare Agents.” 2010, J Pharm Bioall Sci 2:166-78, Last Checked 21 February 2011.

  1. “The birth of modern CW was ushered in by the German gas attack with chlorine on 22 nd April 1915 at Ypres, Belgium.”
  2. “The use of these toxic chemicals, including phosgene, sulfur mustard and lewisites caused 100,000 deaths and 1.2 million casualties in World War I (WWI).”
  3. “Botulinum toxin is also known as agent X.  It is estimated that if 1 g of this toxin is aerosolized, it would kill more than one million people.”
  4. “The lethal dose for a 70-kg human is estimated to be approximately 0.7 μg if inhaled or 70 μg if ingested.”
  5. “Ricin is a very potent toxin of plant origin, isolated from the seeds of caster oil, Ricinus communis. It inhibits ribosome proteins, and the toxic dose for humans is about 0.1-1.0 μg/kg, depending on the mode of administration.”

Chemical, Botulinum, Ricin


Russell, David, and John SimpsonEmergency planning and preparedness for the deliberate release of toxic industrial chemicalsClinical Toxicology, Volume 48 Issue 3. 6p. March 2010.

  1. “Many chemicals are synthesized, stored, and transported in vast quantities and classified as high production volume chemicals; some are recognized as being toxic industrial chemicals (TICs)” – page 171
  2. “The large-scale production of TICs, the potential for widespread exposure and significant public health impact, together with their relative ease of acquisition, makes deliberate release an area of potential concern.” – page 171
  3. “The large numbers of chemicals, together with the large number of potential release scenarios means that the number of possible forms of chemical incident are almost infinite. Therefore, prior to undertaking emergency planning and preparedness, it is necessary to prioritize risk and subsequently mitigate” – page 171
  4. “They [TIC’s] have been defined as ‘an industrial chemical which has an LCt50 value of less than 100,000 mg/m3 per min in any mammalian species and produced in quantities exceeding 30 tonnes per year at one production facility.’” – page 172
  5. “Examples include irritant gases such as ammonia, chlorine, and sulfur dioxide, corrosives such as nitric, sulfuric, and hydrofluoric acids, asphyxiants such as hydrogen sulfide and cyanides, pesticides such as malathion and parathion, and metals/metalloids including arsenic and mercury.” – page 172
  6. “Exposure following deliberate release may occur through inhalation, ingestion, or dermal contact…” – page 172
  7. “To prioritize risk it is necessary to identify potential hazards, undertake a toxicological evaluation based on available animal and human data, assess potential routes of exposure, and characterize the risk.” – page 172
  8. “…several common TICs including chlorine, ammonia, sulfur dioxide, and phosgene were of greatest concern with respect to deliberate release” – page 173
  9. “… a published report by the Center for American Progress … found that in the United States there are approximately 14,000 facilities that use TICs in quantities that exceed the defined threshold amounts.” – page 173
  10. “As a consequence several risk management planning (RMP)-regulated sites in the United States have substituted less hazardous chemicals for those previously in use or moved to safer premises” – page 173
  11. “Other reported risk mitigation measures include enhanced site security and consolidation of locations, so that fewer people are potentially exposed.30” – page 174
  12. “…European poisons centers have developed syndromic surveillance for risk-prioritized chemicals of concern, enhancing detection and alerting and thereby contributing to mitigation of risk.” – page 174
  13. “Another key component of preparedness for deliberate release involves ensuring adequate provision of medical equipment, pharmacological treatment, and as antidotes” – page 174

Chemical, Chemical Surveillance


Yaakov Lappin, “Leaked Documents Suggest Taliban Chemical Strike on U.S. Soldiers“, 27 July 2010, Global Security Newswire. Last Checked 23 September 2010.

  1. “Terrorist organizations sought nuclear and other WMD materials as early as 1993, according to one time line by former CIA and Energy Department intelligence officer Rolf Mowatt-Larssen. Former al-Qaeda operative Abu Khabab al-Masri, now deceased, was assigned to militarize biological and chemical agents for use in terrorist attacks.”
  2. “A separate military log report from two years ago described the arrest of a woman in Ghazni province. A search of her purse revealed multiple documents on constructing bombs and employing chemical weapons, along with quantities of unidentified chemicals, according to the field report. Wired reported that the woman is likely Aafia Siddiqui, who at one point was on the FBI’s list of most wanted terrorist fugitives.”
  3. “al-Qaeda was plotting to produce chemical warfare agents to be disseminated by rocket-propelled grenades, the London Guardian reported.”
  4. “One document addresses a special operations forces effort to clear an area of multiple improvised explosive devices and battle insurgents on Feb. 14, 2009. After one bomb was detonated ‘a yellow cloud was emitted and personnel began feeling nauseous,’ according to the combined Joint Special Operations Task Force field log. Dust samples were gathered and the team went back to its base.”
  5. “Another military field report stated that in June 2007 U.S. soldiers in eastern Afghanistan reported being tipped off to an extremist plot to contaminate the food supply of allied troops in the country by stealing coalition food trucks.‘The plan is to inject the bottles or the packages of food with unidentified chemicals, or recreate the same type of packages with contaminated versions of the same product,’ the report said.”

Chemical, Information Policy, al-Qaeda


Schneidmiller, Chris, “U.S. Eliminates 80 Percent of Chemical Weapons Arsenal”, 5 October 2010, Global Security Newswire, Last Checked 5 October 2010

  1. “Only 20 percent of the U.S. arsenal of chemical warfare materials remains to be destroyed.”
  2. “‘This 80 percent destruction milestone highlights the firm determination that has been consistently demonstrated by the United States in meeting its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention,’ said Ahmet Üzümcü, head of the convention’s international verification body, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.”
  3. “The United States held 31,500 tons of lethal substances such as mustard blister agent and the nerve agents sarin and VX when it ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1997. The pact prohibits the development, production and use of such materials and requires member nations to destroy existing stockpiles — putting them permanently out of the reach of governments and extremists.”
  4. “Washington originally agreed to dispose of its banned arsenal within a decade of formally joining the pact, a deadline later pushed back to April 2012. Operations, though, are expected to continue for nine years past the mandated end date.”
  5. “The convention does not allow for Moscow or Washington to receive extensions past 2012. However, experts have played down the potential consequences for states that fail to meet their obligated deadline, as long as they demonstrate progress on disarmament.”

Chemical, Military


Shachtman, Noah, “Wikileaks Show WMD Hunt Continued in Iraq – With Surprising Results”, 23 October 2010, Wired, Last Checked 24 October 2010.

  1. “WikiLeaks’ newly-released Iraq war documents reveal that for years afterward, U.S. troops continued to find chemical weapons labs, encounter insurgent specialists in toxins, and uncover weapons of mass destruction.”
  2. “American forces came across a ‘house with a chemical lab … substances found are similar to ones in lesser quantities located a previous chemical lab. The following day, there’s a call in another part of the city for explosive experts to dispose of a ‘chemical cache.’”
  3. “An armored Buffalo vehicle unearthed a cache of artillery shells ‘that was covered by sacks and leaves under an Iraqi Community Watch checkpoint. The 155mm rounds are filled with an unknown liquid, and several of which are leaking a black tar-like substance.’ Initial tests were inconclusive. But later, ‘the rounds tested positive for mustard.’”
  4. “American troops found at least 10 rounds that tested positive for chemical agents.”
  5. “Remnants of Saddam’s toxic arsenal, largely destroyed after the Gulf War, remained. Jihadists, insurgents and foreign (possibly Iranian) agitators turned to these stockpiles during the Iraq conflict — and may have brewed up their own deadly agents.”
  6. “The more salient issue may be how insurgents and Islamic extremists (possibly with the help of Iran) attempted to use these lethal and exotic arms.” *“In WikiLeaks’ massive trove of nearly 392,000 Iraq war logs are hundreds of references to chemical and biological weapons.”
  7. “There was more evidence of a major and modern WMD program than the American people were led to believe.”

Chemical, Military, WMD, Iraq


Editors, “Army Orders Chemical Defense System,” Global Security Newswire, NTI, Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010, Last Checked Nov. 10, 2010.

  1. “The Army has issued a multimillion dollar contract for development of an advanced chemical defense testing system intended to help protect U.S. troops.”
  2. “Missouri-based Midwest Research Institute has been awarded a $35.5 million, 41-month contract to complete the blueprints for the testing system, acquire permits, and perform system testing and other work. The Kansas City company will be working with five subcontractors on the project.”
  3. “The system is to be placed at the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland toward the end of 2013. It is intended to aid the testing of individual and group protective equipment as well as evaluate threat detection technologies and decontamination systems.”

Chemical, Military


Pomfret, John  “U.S. Asked China to Stop Missile Parts Shipment to Iran”, 29 November 2010, Washington Post Last Checked 1 December 2010.

  1. “U.S. officials have long accused China of failing to crack down on proliferation activities that occur on its territory.”
  2. “For decades, China was a major proliferator of missiles itself, but that activity seemed to slow in the 1990s under U.S. pressure.”
  3. “The United States asked China in 2007 to stop a shipment of ballistic missile parts going from North Korea to Iran through Beijing and indicated that the U.S. government was fed up with China’s unwillingness to crack down on such trade, according to reports Sunday based on U.S. diplomatic cables.”
  4. “Another cable highlighted U.S. concern this year that Chinese firms were supplying North Korea with precursors for chemical weapons – in what would be a violation of U.N. sanctions.”
  5. “In May, Clinton said the United States was concerned that exports by named Chinese firms ‘could be used for or diverted to a CW [chemical weapons] program.’”
  6. “Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton continued to pressure China on proliferation issues, this time because it was apparently turning a blind eye to its own companies.”
  7. “China passed export control laws, but Beijing has rarely, according to U.S. officials and the cables revealed Sunday, actively worked to stop proliferation from occurring on its territory.”

PSI, Nonproliferation, China, North Korea, Iran, Chemical


”’Gupta, Rinkoo D; Goldsmith, Moshe; Ashani, Yacov; Simo, Yair; Mullokandov, Gavriel; Bar, Hagit; Ben-David,Moshe; Leader, Haim; Margalit, Raanan; Silman, Israel;  Sussman, Joel L; Tawfik, Dan S”’, “Directed evolution of hydrolases for prevention of G-type nerve agent intoxication”, Nature Chemical Biology, 09 January 2011, [] Last Checked 11 October 2011
*”Combining random mutagenesis and combinatorial exploration of mutations in key active-site positions26 with high-throughput screens based on sorting by FACS of double-emulsion droplets yielded dramatic improvements in the catalytic efficiency of rePON1 for both isomers of the fluorogenic cyclosarin surrogate CMP-coumarin.”
*”Driven by the need to engineer variants that detoxify the actual threat agents, we also developed a direct screen based on a competition between AChE, the nerve agent’s physiological target, and the assayed detoxifying PON1 variant.”
*”The advantages of using a catalytic scavenger are manifested in the differences in survival and intoxication symptoms between mice pretreated with the evolved variant 4E9 and mice pretreated with the conventional atropine-oxime treatment—atropine plus 2-PAM aims to minimize the damages of the organophosphate, whereas rePON-4E9 neutralizes the agent before it even reaches its target.”
*”Our evolved variants and the newly developed screens provide the basis for engineering PON1 prophylactics against other G-type nerve agents.”
*[[Chemical]], [[WMD]]
”’Lake, Eli”’, “US Concerned About Security for Mustard Gas, Chemicals”, 23 February 2011. Washington Times. [].
* “US military and intelligence officials are closely watching Libya‘s stockpiles of mustard gas and their precursor chemicals as the North African country descends further into civil war.”
* Estimate of 14 tons of mustard gas in Libya
* “You could see a scenario where [Libyan dictator Moammar] Gadhafi takes troops away from these [stockpiles],” a Senate aide monitoring the situation in Libya said. “He could be pulling his security forces off of his missions, and bring them to Tripoli and Benghazi and other towns he needs to secure to hold on to his regime and, as a result, these facilities will be unguarded.”
* Mustard Gas – use in warfare is banned under the 1925 Geneva Protocol and the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention.
* “Jamie Fly, executive director of the Foreign Policy Initiative, said that even though the OPCW notes that Libya‘s chemical weapons cannot be delivered in bombs, “this is still a major concern because there are terrorists who may want to get their hands on these weapons and, given the current state of chaos in the country, we need to be worried these chemical agents could fall into the wrong hands.”
*[[WMD]], [[Bioterrorism]], [[Chemical]]
”’DPA”’, “Gadhafi May Use Chemical, Biological Weapons Against Libya Unrest” 25 February 2011. Haaretz. [].
* “Muammar Gadhafi may resort to using biological and chemical weapons as a last resort amid the country’s escalating and violent unrest.”
* “Former justice minister Mustafa Abdel Galil told the broadcaster Al Jazeera that Gaddafi had those weapons and would not hestitate to use them against civilians.”
* Libya – believed to have 9.5 tons of mustard gas
* [[WMD]], [[Bioterrorism]], [[Chemical]]
”’DeYoung, Karen and Lynch, Colum”’, “US Ratchets Up Pressure on Gaddafi”, 26 February 2011. Wahington Post. []
* threats of death
* “I rule you or I kill you.” – Gadaffi
* “President Obama accused Gaddafi and his government of taking ‘extreme measures against the people of Libya, including by using weapons of war, mercenaries, and wanton violence against unarmed civilians.”
*[[WMD]], [[Bioterrorism]], [[Chemical]]
”’Editors”’, “Toward a solution to nerve agent exposure: Chemist uses supercomputers to test reagents for new treatments”, 5 April 2011. ScienceDaily, [] Last Checked 9 Oct. 2011.
*”Hadad’s study is focused on the identification of compounds that would return an appropriate alkyl group to the aged nerve agent/AChE molecule, thus allowing treatment with oximes to provide for complete recovery.”
*”The project is investigating common OP nerve agents Tabun, VX, VR, Sarin, Soman, Cyclosarin and Paraoxon, all of which take on a similar molecular structure upon aging.”
*””Computational studies of the interaction of the alkylating compounds with AChE were used to provide insight for the design of selective reagents,” Hadad explained. “Ligand-receptor docking, followed by molecular dynamics simulations of the interactions of alkylating compounds with aged OP-AChE, was carried out in conjunction with experimental studies to investigate the binding of alkylating compounds to AChE. These results were then used to suggest interactions that aided in the orientation of alkylating compounds for maximal efficacy.”
*[[Chemical]], [[WMD]]
”’Berkshire, Miller J.”’, “The Importance of UNSCR 1540,” 21 June 2011 The Diplomat, [] Last Visited 3 August 2011.

* “[T]he UN Security Council adopted an important resolution (UNSCR 1977) this spring extending the mandate of UNSCR 1540 an additional 10 years until 2021.”
* “The Council also decided to implement a formal comprehensive review on the status of the resolution’s implementation after five years.”
* “South African Ambassador to the United Nations Baso Sanqu chairs the 1540 Committee, which has a mandate to report on the implementation status of the resolution.”
* “The Committee’s last comprehensive update, dubbed the Heller report after former 1540 chairman Claude Heller, was released in December 2010.”
* “The report recommended that the Security Council extend 1540 for an additional 10 years, with a potential to review every five years . . . [m]odeled . . . after the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which has a review conference every five years.”
* “Heller also advocated that the Committee focus greater attention on biological weapons proliferation, an area that has thus far been marginalized compared with nuclear and chemical weapons prevention.”
* “It seems at first glance that Heller’s recommendations have been adopted by the UNSC, but the proposal on the review conference has yet to be institutionalized (despite the decision to hold one in 2016).”
* “Moreover, the new resolution doesn’t provide a tangible mandate for increased attention to biological weapons. Despite this, Interpol has recently stressed it will commit more resources to fighting bioterrorism.”
* “A great deal of effective work has been done since 2004 in response to the resolution’s unprecedented requirements. The ‘G-8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction has effectively contributed a tremendous amount of state-to-state assistance in preventing terrorist acquisition of WMD and related materials through the provision of expertise and financial backing of projects in areas such as nuclear security, chemical weapons destruction and biological weapons non-proliferation.”
* “The International Atomic Energy Agency and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons have also continued to help out by providing capacity building programs to developing countries, which often have abysmal infrastructures protecting such sensitive materials.”
* [[UNSCR 1540]], [[WMD]], [[Nonproliferation]], [[Biosecurity]], [[Nuclear]], [[Chemical]]
”’Montoro, Carmen; Linares, Fatima; Quartapelle Procopio, Elsa; Senkovska, Irena; Kaskel, Stefan; Galli, Simona; Masciocchi, Norberto; Barea,Elisa; and Navarro, Jorge A. R.”’, “Capture of Nerve Agents and Mustard Gas Analogues by Hydrophobic Robust MOF-5 Type Metal–Organic Frameworks”, 14 July 2011, JACS, [] Last Checked 29 September 2011.
*”In this communication, a series of observations and data analyses coherently confirms the suitability of the novel metal–organic framework (MOF) [Zn4(μ4-O)(μ4-4-carboxy-3,5-dimethyl-4-carboxy-pyrazolato)3] (1) in the capture of harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs).”
*” In addition, it selectively captures harmful VOCs (including models of Sarin and mustard gas, which are chemical warfare agents), even in competition with ambient moisture (i.e., under conditions mimicking operative ones).”
*”To further strengthen the importance of 1, its performance in the capture of harmful VOCs has been compared with those of well-known materials, namely, a MOF with coordinatively unsaturated metal sites, [Cu3(btc)2] and the molecular sieve active carbon Carboxen. The results of this comparison show that coordinatively unsaturated metal sites (preferential guest-binding sites) are ineffective for the capture of VOCs in the presence of ambient moisture.”
*”For an atmosphere containing 50% humidity at 298 K, the water/Sarin ratio should be maintained above the 100–200 range. Hence, only hydrophobic adsorbents like Carboxen or 1 with Kr(DIFP/H2O) > 200 would be effective in maintaining sufficiently low DIFP levels. In contrast, [Cu3(btc)2], with Kr(DIFP/H2O) = 1.2, would be not useful for Sarin removal under ambient conditions.”
*[[Chemical]], [[WMD]]
”’Editors”’, “Department of Defense Awards $5.7 Million Contract to PharmAthene for Nerve Agent Medical Countermeasure Program”, 16 August 2011. PR Newswire, [] Last Checked 19 October 2011.
*”PharmAthene, Inc., a biodefense company developing medical countermeasures against biological and chemical threats, announced today that the Company has been awarded a $5.7 million contract under a Department of Defense (DoD) Broad Agency Announcement for studies directed at the development of an advanced expression system for the bioproduction of its nerve agent medical countermeasure program.”
*”This contract builds upon the body of knowledge we have established over the years with a specific focus on the expression of rBChE using a novel mammalian cell line that has been used for the advanced-stage bioproduction of other recombinant proteins with considerable FDA oversight and review.”
*”We are excited about the potential for a mammalian cell-based manufacturing system, which may yield improvements in a second generation product profile, and look forward to a productive collaboration with the DoD in the conduct of these studies that are key to the advancement of important new prophylactic and therapeutic medical countermeasures.”
*”If successful, this platform could potentially streamline the development approach for rBChE and increase the production yield, manufacturing flexibility, and cost-effectiveness of this program.”
*[[Chemical]], [[Biodefense]]
”’Wools, Daniel”’, “Spain: Student plotted attack on anti-Pope crowd,” AP, Chicago Sun-Times, August 17, 2011,[] last checked 8/17/11
*”A young chemistry student working as a volunteer to prepare a visit by the Pope to Madrid has been arrested on suspicion of planning a gas attack targeting protesters opposed to the pontiff’s stay, officials said Wednesday.”
*”A police official said the suspect arrested in Madrid on Tuesday is a 24-year-old Mexican student specializing in organic chemistry. She would not say whether investigators believe the man was actually capable of carrying out a gas attack, and did not know if the man actually had chemicals for one.”
*”An official with the visit’s organizing committee said the Mexican was a volunteer working to help deal with the massive flow of people coming to Madrid.”
*”The Mexican Embassy identified the detainee as Jose Perez Bautista and said he was from Puebla state, near Mexico City.”
*”The court official — speaking on condition of anonymity in line with court policy — said the detainee had been making threats over the Internet against people in Spain opposed to the Pope’s visit, and police who’d been monitoring his online activity ultimately decided to arrest him as the visit approached.”
*”Police said in a statement released Tuesday night that officers who searched the detainee’s apartment in a wealthy district of Madrid seized an external hard-drive and two notebooks with chemical equations that had nothing to do with his studies. It said he tried to recruit people via the Internet to help him, and that a computer allegedly used for this purpose was among objects seized by police.”
*”The man had planned to attack anti-Pope protesters with ‘suffocating gases’ and other chemicals, the statement said. But it did not mention police having confiscated chemicals that could be used in an attack.”
*”The suspect was in Madrid studying with Spain’s top government research body, the Spanish National Research Council and his office there was searched, the police statement said. The council confirmed the arrest but gave no immediate details on the Mexican.”
*”Protesters complain the government is essentially spending taxpayer’s money on the visit by granting tax breaks to corporate sponsors and perks such as discount subway and bus tickets for pilgrims.”
*[[Chemical]], [[Scientist]], [[Law Enforcement]], [[Spain]], [[Mexico]]
”’Editors”’, “CDC Touts Advances in Lab Detection of WMD Threats,” 21 September 2011, Global Security Newswire [] Last Checked 21 September 2011.
*“The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday touted advancements made in local and state laboratories’ capacities to identify dangerous biological and chemical materials, the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy reported.”
*“The report, ‘Public Health Preparedness: 2011 State-by-State Update on Laboratory Capabilities and Response Readiness Planning,’  examines response readiness efforts in Chicago, Los Angeles County, New York City, Washington, D.C. and all 50 states.”
*“The CDC report says the majority of metropolitan centers and states had robust laboratory operations, and that a majority of facilities had enhanced their capacities to quickly identify biological agents and to forward the information to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control.”
*“Scientific institutions within the Laboratory Response Network between 2008 and 2010 kept up their strong testing records in the identification of pathogens, with pass rates typically better than 90 percent, the CDC report says.”
*“Specific areas that saw improvement in the technical assessments were the preparation of vaccines and other countermeasures from the stockpile for distribution and cooperation between hospitals and other medical providers.”
*“The system is ‘an integrated network of state and local public health, federal, military, and international laboratories that can respond to bioterrorism, chemical terrorism and other public health emergencies,’ according to the federal health agency.”
*[[Vaccination]], [[Bioterrorism]], [[Chemical]]
”’Xuanjun Wu , Zhisheng Wu and Shoufa Han”’, “Chromogenic and fluorogenic detection of a nerve agent simulant with a rhodamine-deoxylactam based sensor”, 26 September 2011, RSC Publishing, [] Last Checked 8 November 2011.
*”Herein, we report detection of a nerve agent simulant with N-(rhodamine B)-deoxylactam-2-aminoethanol via tandem phosphorylation-intramolecular cyclization. The cyclization is concomitant with opening of the deoxylactam, leading to the formation of highly fluorescent and colored species. N-(Rhodamine B)-lactam-2-aminoethanol (referred as RB-AE), prepared by amidation of rhodamine B with 2-aminoethanol, was treated with lithium aluminium hydride in anhydrous tetrahydrofuran to give N-(rhodamine B)-deoxylactam-2-aminoethanol (referred as dRB-AE) in 50% yield. dRB-AE is nonfluorescent and colorless due to the intramolecular deoxylactam”
*”Diethyl chlorophosphate, displaying a similar chemical structure and reactivity to Sarin, was widely used as the nerve agent simulant. Upon addition of diethyl chlorophosphate, the dRB-AE solution quickly turned into red color.”
*”Kinetic analysis of the reaction between dRB-AE and diethyl chlorophosphate showed that the fast phase of the signal production (50% of the maximal fluorescence intensity) is complete at about 5 minutes. The change in relative humidity is an important factor that needs to be taken into account for on-spot detection. The tolerance of water in the assay system suggests its potential utility in monitoring nerve agents under practical conditions.”
*”As low as 25 ppm of diethyl chlorophosphate can be detected under the assay conditions. UV-vis absorption spectra of the aforementioned titration solutions showed that the major absorption band centered at 560 nm intensified as the analyte concentration increased. The deep red color of the assay solution suggested the possibility of qualitative detection of nerve agent mimics with dRB-AE by naked eyes.”
*”Sensing of diethyl chlorophosphate with dRB-AE was further evaluated using rhodamine-hydroxamate as the control to compare their efficiency. The dRB-AE based assay furnished highly fluorescent and deep colored species that is suitable for visual detection. Compared to the rhodamine-hydroxamate based assay where the fluorescence emission intensity declined gradually in the late phase, the dRB-AE based assay gave highly stable fluorescence signals, allowing accurate detection of nerve agents by fluorometry.”
*”In summary, a chromogenic and fluorogenic assay of a nerve agent simulant was developed based on reactive organophosphate triggered irreversible opening of the deoxylactam of dRB-AE. The assay is sensitive and exhibited improved kinetics relative to a prior sensor,5 allowing detection of reactive organophosphates with the aid of instruments or possibly with “naked eyes”. We anticipate that rhodamine-deoxylactams which are poised to analyte mediated opening of the intramolecular deoxylactam will be useful as the universal signal reporting platform for fluorogenic sensing of many other chemically reactive species with appropriate structural modifications.”
*[[Chemical]], [[Chemical Surveillance]]
”’Editors”’, “NATO Panel Urges Nations To Eradicate All Chemical Arms”, 11 October 2011, GlobalSecurityNewswire, [] Last Checked 31 October 2011.
*”A key NATO panel on Sunday approved a draft text that urges Iraq, Russia and the United States to eradicate their chemical warfare materials in a safe and secure manner, the ACTMedia News Agency reported.”
*”The NATO Parliamentary Assembly Science and Technology Committee in Bucharest dismissed an effort by Russia to substitute the call for the three nations to complete chemical demilitarization operations “in due time” with the word “soon.”
*”Russia and the United States have announced they do not expect to meet an extended deadline of April 2012 set by the Chemical Weapons Convention to completely destroy their chemical weapons. Iraq also has a small cache of Saddam Hussein-era chemical weapons that it has yet to begin eliminating.”
*”The NATO panel chose to keep its original wording on the thinking that Russia and the United States, as the holders of the world’s two largest chemical arsenals, should act as positive role models to other nations in the elimination of their stockpiles.”We are running late and we need to give an example,” said the committee’s vice chairman and author of the resolution, U.S. Representative David Scott (D-Ga.). “We need to act seriously.”
*”The resolution additionally urges all nations to notify the international community of any secret arsenals of biological and chemical warfare agents and to halt such military efforts. The committee also pressed NATO members to implement steps to thwart potential biological and chemical terrorist strikes.”
*”Terrorists have … largely failed to weaponize biological and chemical agents,” the draft resolution reads. “Nevertheless, measures to counter biological and chemical threats still have to cope with numerous issues to become truly effective tools of arms control, disarmament and nonproliferation.”
*[[U.S. Foreign Policy]], [[Chemical]], [[Bioterrorism]], [[Russia]], [[Iraq]]
”’Editors”’, “Finnish experts suspect that Arctic Sea carried raw materials for chemical warfare”, 16 October 2011, Helsingin Sanomat, [] Last Checked 8 November 2011.
*”The Finnish freighter, the Arctic Sea, which was hijacked in 2009 while en route from Finland to Algeria, is likely to have been carrying raw materials for use in chemical warfare, according to two Finnish crisis security experts, Timo Hellenberg and Pekka Visuri.”
*”he Finnish ship was captured in the Baltic as it was carrying a load of Finnish lumber to Algeria. The Russian Navy captured the ship off the west coast of Africa after it had been in the hands of the hijackers for nearly a month. The hijackers were brought to trial and sentenced, but many questions remained.”
*”Visuri and Hellenberg now believe that the ship was empty when it arrived in the Finnish port city of Pietarsaari to take on the cargo of wood. It is their theory that material that could be used in nuclear technology or in chemical and biological weaponry may have been loaded onto the ship at sea in Swedish waters.”
*”The action was the work of professional criminals, and the probable destination of the goods was the Middle East.”
*”The Finnish government at the time did not get wind of the hijacking until four days after the event, says Risto Volanen, who served as Secretary of State to the government of then-Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen (Centre). The online edition of Helsingin Sanomat was the first to report the news of the hijacking. The police did not inform the country’s leaders about the incident because it is not legally required to do so, Volanen says.”
*”Hellenberg and Visuri do not believe that the ship would have carried heavy anti-aircraft missiles, as has been suggested; such weapons would not have fit in the ship because it was full of lumber loaded in Finland. The researchers do not believe that the Russian government would have been involved, simply because it would have had easier ways of delivering such goods.”
*”In a book scheduled for publication in the coming week – Myrskyn silmässä – Suomi ja uudet kriisit (“In the Eye of the Storm – Finland and New Crises”), Hellenberg, Visuri, Volanen, and Ambassador Heikki Talvitie examine a number of cases that have tested Finnish crisis management capability.”
*[[PSI]], [[Chemical]], [[Bioterrorism]]
”’Tinder, Paul”’, “Army to stop injecting monkeys with nerve-blocking drugs”,, 17 October 2011, [] Last Checked 31 October 2011.
*”The Army has agreed to stop injecting monkeys with high doses of a nerve-blocking drug to simulate a nerve gas attack after they received sustained pressure from animal rights groups and a member of Congress.”
*”The practice, which has been carried out at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Harford County, Md., is meant to train Army medical personnel to respond to chemical attacks on troops, the Washington Post reports.”
*”The Army will instead switch to trained actors, computer programs and high-tech mannequin-like patient simulators.”
*”In August, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine formally petitioned the Defense Department to end the tests of physostigmine on monkeys, saying that they were inhumane and a poor training tool. “Using African green monkeys to try to demonstrate effects of nerve gas exposure on humans is not accurate,” John J. Pippin, a physician with PCRM, said, according to the Washington Post. “The physiology is not accurate. Many of the first signs in humans — sweating, dilation of pupils — can’t be assessed. Also, participants in the course don’t actually do anything except hold a bag to help the monkey breathe.”
*”Other animal rights groups, such as the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Humane Society International, protested the practice.”
*[[Military]], [[Chemical]]
”’Tinder, Paul”’, “Contract announced for nerve agent countermeasures”,, 25 October 2011, [] Last Checked 26 October 2011.
*”Aeolus Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company, announced on Monday that the National Institutes of Health CounterACT program has awarded a $736,951 contract to a University of Colorado scientist to develop medical countermeasures against nerve agents.”
*”Manisha Patel, who works at the school’s Anschutz Medical Campus, will develop AEOL 10150 under the contract ,titled “Evaluation of Neuroprotective Effects of AEOL 10150 against Chemical Threat Agents.” The primary objective of the grant is to evaluate the neuroprotective efficacy of AEOL 10150 against pilocarpine-induced toxicity in rats.”
*”Her laboratory has demonstrated that oxidative stress plays a central role in seizure-induced brain injury and it is important to determine if AEOL 10150 is neuroprotective against nerve agents causing such injury.”
*”The studies will build on prior work showing that AEOL 10150 is an effective countermeasure to protect the lungs from damage due to inhalation of sulfur mustard gas and chlorine gas. The countermeasure is currently under development as a broad spectrum medical countermeasure with support from the U.S. government.”
*[[Chemical]], [[Biodefense]]
”’Dininny, Shannon”’, “Last of Northwest’s chemical weapon stockpile destroyed”, 26 October 2011. The Associate Press. [] Last Checked 26 October 2011.
* “The Umatilla Chemical Depot in Hermiston once stored 12 percent of the United States’ chemical weapons, including deadly VX nerve agent and blistering mustard agent.”
*”Work to begin incinerating the weapons began seven years ago to meet a 2012 deadline imposed by the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, an international treaty.”
*”The completion of work there whittles the number of U.S. storage sites to three: Pueblo, Colo., Richmond, Ky., and the Deseret Chemical Depot in Tooele, Utah, which once held 40 percent of the U.S. stockpile but is expected to complete incineration in January. Once the Utah site completes operations, 90 percent of the U.S. stockpile will have been destroyed.”
*”The stockpile of deadly GB nerve agent, or sarin, and VX nerve agent already have been destroyed at the site. On Tuesday, workers incinerated the last of 2,635 ton-size containers of mustard agent, which causes blisters on skin, scars on the eyes and inflammation in airways.Incinerators heat the chemicals and their containers to thousands of degrees, then run the exhaust through pollution-removing filters and afterburners.”
*”“For decades, the residents of Eastern Oregon have been living next door to some of the most dangerous weapons the world has ever known, so dangerous that the world agreed they should be destroyed. Now they have been,” U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said in a statement.”
*[[Chemical]], [[WMD]]
”’Editors”’, “U.N. Official: Undeclared Chemical Agent Sites Identified in Libya”, 27 October 2011, Global Security Newswire, [] Last Checked 27 October 2011.
*”The Qadhafi regime in Libya possessed facilities with chemical munitions or warfare agents that were not declared to the international organization assigned to ensure the elimination of such toxic materials, the Associated Press quoted the United Nations’ lead envoy to the North African state as saying on Wednesday”
*”Libya joined the Chemical Weapons Convention in 2004, declaring close to 25 metric tons of mustard blister agent, nearly 1,400 metric tons of precursor materials and more than 3,500 unloaded munitions, according to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.”
*”The nation has been believed to still hold roughly 9 metric tons of the blister agent.”
*”The United Nations is working to ensure cooperation between Libya’s transitional government and other groups on securing sensitive materials in Libya, which include a stock of raw uranium, envoy Ian Martin told the U.N. Security Council.”
*””While [Transitional National Council] forces appear to be controlling all relevant chemical and nuclear material sites, centralized command and control remains a concern,” said Martin, who heads the U.N. mission to Libya. “It has become clearer that there are additional sites with previously undeclared chemical weapons or materials that the government is about to formally declare” to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.The Netherlands-based organization said on Thursday it could not comment on Martin’s statement.”
*[[WMD]], [[Bioterrorism]], [[Chemical]]
”’Fitzgerald, Jay”’, “Soldier stand-ins”,, 31 October 2011, [] Last Checked 31 October 2011.
*”The company may have another robotic sensation: PETMAN, a two-legged, 180-pound machine nearly six feet tall.Boston Dynamics, which has created a slew of robots for the military over the years, is expected today to publicly unveil the first video of the nearly fully developed PETMAN, power-walking on a treadmill in the company’s labs.”
*”But it can walk like a person, and it’s set for possible delivery next year to the military, which plans to use it for testing clothing and headgear intended to protect soldiers from chemical warfare agents.”
*”PETMAN has been through preliminary tests in preparation for use next year as part of an anti-chemical-warfare program developed by the Pentagon. Because it can walk, turn, and twist like a person, PETMAN will serve as a stand- in for humans when it is doused with noxious chemicals in tests.”
*”The PETMAN robot will enable a kind of lifelike testing of protective clothing that the [Pentagon] has long sought and never had,’’ said Dr. Robert Playter, vice president of engineering at Boston Dynamics.”
*[[Military]], [[Chemical]]
”’Fitzgerald, Jay”’, “Terminator-like robot will help Army test anti-chemical clothing” Boston Globe. Oct. 31, 2011
*“Boston Dynamics, a Waltham company that three years ago introduced the four-legged BigDog robot, a beast of burden designed to traverse rough terrain, is unveiling its newest creation: an improved version of a walking machine that is shaped like a human being.”
*“plans to use it for testing clothing and headgear intended to protect soldiers from chemical warfare agents”
*“Now, via a $33 million contract with the agency, the company has developed the four-legged successor to BigDog: AlphaDog, officially known as the Legged Squad Support System, or LS3”
*“AlphaDog can carry a 400-pound payload, travel up to 20 miles, and move at 7.5 miles per hour.”
*“He said he envisions robots such as AlphaDog being used to help fight fires and carry commercial equipment to difficult-to-reach locations.Robots like PETMAN may later be used commercially as stand-ins for humans in dangerous assignments, such as working in nuclear power plants”
*[[Chemical]], [[Biotechnology]], [[Biosafety]], [[Military]], [[Emergency Response]], [[Nuclear]], [[Public Health]]
”’Editors”’, “Libyan chemical weapons stockpile intact: inspectors”. Reuters. Nov. 4th, 2011.
*“An OPCW inspection team found that the full stockpile of sulfur mustard and ingredients for making chemical weapons were intact at the Ruwagha depot, in southeast Libya, it said”
*“The abandonment or disappearance of some Gaddafi-era weapons has caused international concern that such firepower could erode regional security if it falls into the hands of Islamist militants or rebels active in North Africa. Some fear they could be used by Gaddafi loyalists to spread instability in Libya”
*“U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday said the United Nations would send experts to Libya to help ensure nuclear material and chemical weapons did not fall into the wrong hands.”
*[[Biosecurity]], [[Biodefense]], [[Bioterrorism]], [[Nuclear]], [[Organizations/Groups]], [[Chemical]], [[Developing Countries]], [[Biosafety]], [[WMD]]
”’Webb, Sara and Lawrence, Janet”’, “Libyan chemical weapons stockpile intact: inspectors”, 4 November 2011, Reuters, [] Last Checked 8 November 2011.
*”Libya’s stockpiles of sulfur mustard agent and chemicals used to make weapons are intact and were not stolen during the uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi, weapons inspectors said Friday.”
*”However, The Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said the Libyan authorities had advised it on November 1 that further stocks of what are believed to be chemical weapons had been found and that Libya would make a new declaration of its stocks soon. An OPCW inspection team found that the full stockpile of sulfur mustard and ingredients for making chemical weapons were intact at the Ruwagha depot, in southeast Libya, it said.”
*”The former Libyan government declared 25 metric tons of bulk mustard agent and 1,400 metric tons of precursor chemicals used to make chemical weapons, the OPCW said. It also declared more than 3,500 unfilled aerial bombs designed for use with chemical warfare agents such as sulfur mustard and three chemical weapons production facilities.”
*”The inspectors returned at the invitation of the new Libyan government and with its full cooperation,” the OPCW said, adding they would return to complete the destruction as soon as the facility was up-and-running again.”The OPCW will continue to work with the Libyan authorities to verify and destroy any newly declared stocks,” it said.”
*”The abandonment or disappearance of some Gaddafi-era weapons has caused international concern that such firepower could erode regional security if it falls into the hands of Islamist militants or rebels active in North Africa. Some fear they could be used by Gaddafi loyalists to spread instability in Libya.”
*”The New York-based Human Rights Watch last month urged Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) to take action on large numbers of heavy weapons, including surface-to-air missiles, it said were lying unguarded more than two months after Gaddafi was toppled in a civil war. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday said the United Nations would send experts to Libya to help ensure nuclear material and chemical weapons did not fall into the wrong hands.”
*[[Chemical]], [[WMD]]
”’Spencer, Richard”’, “Turkey investigated over chemical weapons claim”, 6 November 2011, Telegraph, [] Last Checked 8 November 2011.
*”The activists are circulating gruesome pictures of some of the 24 rebels, from the PKK guerrilla group, killed in the Kazan Valley in air raids that began on October 19. Blackened and dismembered, the corpses lie in a morgue in a nearby town with weeping relatives nearby.”
*”Their allegations have forced their way into the open in Turkey, which is usually fiercely nationalist when it comes to accusations of abuse by the Kurds, whose campaign for autonomy is a long-running sore. The prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, made a public denial of them as a “slander” while on his recent trip to the G20 summit in Cannes.”
*”The activists say the only explanation for the type of burns exhibited is that some chemical agent was used. Their claims has now been raised by MPs from the legal pro-Kurdish party, the BDP, and taken up by the Turkish Human Rights Association (IHD). “One of our branches in the area has acted to investigate whether chemical weapons were used or not,” a spokesman said from IHD headquarters in Ankara. He said chemical samples had been taken from plants in the area, as well as from clothes from the bodies of 13 of those killed.”
*”The statements of both the relatives and eyewitnesses imply the use of chemical weapons. The bodies were completely burned,” the local IHD branch chairman, Ismail Akbulut, said. “This allegation definitely has to be investigated.” He said villagers had been told not to drink local water for two to three days.”
*”It would not be the first time the Turkish authorities had been accused of resorting to chemical weapons – a particularly sensitive issue because of the massacre of thousands of Kurds with mustard gas by the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein in the late 1980s.”
*”The PKK attacks have also been followed a series of arrests of Kurdish intellectuals and BDP members across the country.”
*”Mr Erdogan was asked about the claims by reporters travelling with him to Cannes. “This is slander,” he said. “The operations in the Kazan Valley were carried out by our Air Force. The [bodies of] PKK members who were killed in the caves are currently in the Forensic Medicine Institute in Malatya, where everything is proceeding according to the law, down to the DNA tests.”A spokesman for the Turkish foreign ministry also said: “We reject these claims.”
*[[Chemical]], [[WMD]]
”’Needs, Chris”’, “Disaster Preparedness 2011: Smart phones enhanced with nanotube hazmat detectors bring a new dimension to preparedness”, 7 November 2011, Government Security News, [], Last Checked 8 November 2011.
*”What if your cell phone could detect toxic airborne substances like carbon monoxide, chlorine or even chemical warfare agents? The public would have a new level of personal protection against a range of fairly common airborne chemical-based toxins, as well as against terrorist attacks involving WMDs. And when sensor data is harnessed in an environmental sensing network for first responders and other organizations, it will be the dawn of a new era for disaster preparedness.”
*”While this may sound like science fiction, it has become a reality today, and it is known as Cell-All. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology directorate and a cadre of technology and disaster preparedness partners recently demonstrated the Cell-All capability at a Los Angeles Fire Department training facility. The technology is based on new nanotube sensors developed by NASA and Synkera Technologies and is engineered to work within the small space and power consumption requirements of a cell phone.”
*”Qualcomm technology captures the sensor data, scrubs it of any personal information associated with the owner of the cell phone, and uses a series of algorithms to characterize the confidence, severity, location and other aspects of the incident. The validated incident data is then transmitted to analysts at NC4, a technology and services company that operates incident monitoring centers for government and corporate clients. NC4 analysts are trained to quickly assess the incident, correlate it with other real-time information and contact first responders or other organizations — all within minutes of initial detection.”
*”The benefits of this technology for emergency and disaster preparedness are evident on numerous levels. An individual could be notified immediately if there were abnormal concentrations of a toxic chemical in close proximity.”
*”If the individual opted into the environmental sensing network, hazmat teams and first responders would be notified automatically, helping to alleviate the strain on the increasingly overburdened 9-1-1 system. Sensor-enabled smart phones could become part of standard-issue personal protective equipment for these first responders, better preparing them to assess life-and-death situations without carrying special, cumbersome equipment.”
*”Experienced NC4 analysts perform the critical human-in-the-loop function of identifying false positives, assessing the characteristics of the incident, and correlating it with other information. ”
*”By evaluating this kind of information, and correlating it with other open source information, such as roadway closures from a state DOT, or wind speed and direction from the NWS, or restricted information from law enforcement and emergency response channels, NC4 transforms basic incident information into vetted, value-added and actionable intelligence that consumers in the public and private sectors can trust.”
*”If any sizable proportion of the 300 million cell phones in the U.S. were enabled with this technology, it would also bring a powerful tool to the nation’s anti-terrorism efforts, with minimal investment. The ability to crowd-source the data provided by these sensors could help identify coordinated terrorist attacks more quickly.”
*[[Chemical Surveillance]], [[Emergency Response]], [[Chemical]]
”’Editors”’, “U.S. Acknowledges Possible Threats to Pakistani Nukes” GTI. Nov. 8th, 2011.
*“The Atlantic and National Journal jointly reported last week that the Pakistani army had taken to transporting nuclear warheads around the country via unmarked civilian-style vans on congested roadways in an attempt to keep their whereabouts away from prying U.S. intelligence efforts”
*““The U.S. government’s views have not changed regarding nuclear security in Pakistan,” the U.S. embassy in Islamabad said in a statement. “We have confidence that the government of Pakistan is well aware of the range of potential threats to its nuclear arsenal and has accordingly given very high priority to securing its nuclear weapons and materials effectively.””
*“These new recruits would comprise “handpicked officers and men, who are physically robust, mentally sharp and equipped with modern weapons and equipment, trained in technical skills to the best international standards and practices,””
*[[Public Health]], [[Military]], [[Chemical]], [[Nuclear]], [[Biosafety]], [[Biodefense]]
”’Editors”’, “Survey to compile detailed radiation map in Fukushima begins”. Mainichi Daily News. Nov. 8th 2011.
*“Measurements will be taken by unmanned helicopters around woodland and rivers, while monitoring vehicles will travel along roads in residential areas, it said.”
*“The survey is “the first step of decontamination work by the government,” said Soichiro Seki, a senior Environment Ministry official.”We will try hard to restore normal conditions in Fukushima, keeping in mind that Fukushima cannot be revitalized without decontamination.””
*[[Chemical]], [[Decontamination]], [[Public Health]], [[Nuclear]], [[Biodetection]], [[Biosafety]], [[Biodefense]], [[Biosecurity]]
”’Foy, Paul”’, “US Army destroys Nazi stockpile of nerve agent”, 10 November 2011,, [], Last Checked 15 November 2011.
*”The nation’s largest chemical weapons depot has destroyed its final stockpile of nerve agent — a 4,100-pound supply seized by U.S. troops from Nazi Germany.”
*”The Deseret Chemical Depot says the Nazi nerve agent had been stored in bulk containers since the end of World War II.”
*”The Army depot in Utah’s west desert is ending a 15-year campaign of destroying a variety of chemical weapons. Only small supplies of other chemical agents remain to be incinerated, and that job is expected to be completed by early next year.”
*”The stockpiles are being destroyed under an international treaty to rid the world of chemical weapons.”
*”The Deseret Chemical Depot, 45 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, once held more than 40 percent of the nation’s chemical weapons.”
*[[Chemical]], [[WMD]]
”’Editors”’, “OPCW Monitors to Inspect Undeclared Libyan Chemical Arms” Google. Nov. 11, 2011.
*“”We also hope to keep a small group of inspectors on the ground, to liaise with the government on security arrangements.””
*“Countries in the chemical weapons treaty “have had different kinds of forces on the ground and they have been focused on certain things such as keeping eyes in the sky on the chemical weapons out on the desert, making sure there is a semblance of security,” Luhan said.”
*“The OPCW “will set what we feel would be a reasonable deadline, to keep pressure on the government to address this but also give enough latitude as it is becoming a new government,” the spokesman said”
*[[Biosecurity]], [[CWC]], [[Biodefense]], [[Biosafety]], [[Chemical]], [[Bioterrorism]]

”’Miller, J. Berkshire”’, “North Korea’s Other Weapons Threat”, 12 November 2011, The Diplomat, [’s-other-weapons-threat/], Last Checked 15 November 2011.
*”North Korea’s latent nuclear weapons program is rightfully the main point of concern for its neighbors and the international community. But far less publicized is Pyongyang’s ongoing efforts to build upon its capabilities to produce and maintain chemical and biological weapons (CBW). ”
*”North Korea’s expansion of these programs is no secret to intelligence agencies around the world, and there are a number of reports detailing sites across the country dedicated to the production of CBW.”
*”North Korea isn’t a state party to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and has never been subject to inspections of its chemical industry facilities or sites believed associated with its CW program. Regardless, there’s little debate about the existence of the North’s CW program, with intelligence assessments from Russia, Britain, the United States and South Korea all indicating that Pyongyang continues to produce CW stocks.”
*”Much less clear is the scope of the CW program and its level of advancement. Most assessments concur that the North has produced all of the main chemical agents such as nerve (including VX gas), blood, blister and choking agents.  There’s less certainty regarding the amount of chemical agents stockpiled by the regime, although estimates range from 1,000 to 5,000 tons. However, even if the North’s program is at the low end of estimates, its capacity is bolstered by the fact that its military has a variety of sophisticated delivery vehicles for CW attacks including missiles, artillery and airborne bombs.”
*”While Pyongyang publicly denies the need for transparency on its CW program, its production of biological weapons is muddied and concealed by weak international non-proliferation standards. Unlike the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which has robust verification standards, the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) is plagued by the failure of its members to agree on a universal verification mechanism that would adequately ensure that all state parties are held to account for their treaty commitments.”
*”States at the BWC have been engaged in talks to come to an agreement on a suitable verification arm, but these efforts were cut short after the United States withdrew its support back in 2001. At the time, George W. Bush’s administration insisted that such a mechanism would require considerable financial capital with little pay off in security terms. The Pentagon also stressed that it was concerned about diverting precious resources on combating BW to a multilateral organization that would in turn take away funds from its successful biodefense programs. But perhaps the largest hurdle is to overcome U.S. and other members’ concerns that a strict verification regime may impose heavy restrictions on the biotech industry.”
*”Regardless, Pyongyang has taken advantage of the BWC’s verification gap by using its position as a state party to the BWC in order to blanket accusations that it continues to produce and maintain biological weapons.  The South Korean Defense Ministry claims that North Korea has possession of several biological agents such as anthrax bacterium, botulinum and smallpox – all of which can be weaponized.”
*”The thorniest issue between members of the BWC relates to the dual-use nature of biological agents and how to determine whether a program is peaceful or intended for nefarious purposes. The global science industry relies on the research conducted by studying biological materials. However, from an international security perspective, there’s the potential that this dual-use research could be diverted into a biological weapons program.”
*”There’s also the terrifying possibility that the government may – or already has – traded chemical or biological agents and suitable delivery vehicles to terrorist groups, which could weaponize them to use in an asymmetric attack. The improved ability of intelligence agencies around the world to determine weapons forensics would in theory deter such an illicit transfer, but it can’t be guaranteed”
*”South Korean officials have recently claimedthat their intelligence confirms that CBW factories were constructed in the North Korean province of Chagang last year. In response to this, the South Korean government has indicated that it will continue to pour millions of dollars into programs aimed at detecting, deterring and protecting their citizens and soldiers from a possible CBW attack from an unpredictable regime in the North.”
*”However, while the government is satisfied with its CW prevention efforts, Seoul has largely neglected creating a sufficient biodefense infrastructure. Korean parliamentarian Shin Hak-yong recently outlinedthis, stressing that the country’s“military defense has been excessively focused on preparedness for North Korea’s chemical attacks, rather than for its biological attacks.”
*”Seoul’s new biodefense strategy has three central prongs. The first relies on detection, and has been supported by the government’s planned implementation of scanning technology at ports of entry that will be able to detect ten separate disease threats. The second pillar focuses on deterrence, which is based on South Korea’s continued investment in its hard power resources, such as medium and long range surface-to-air missiles. The final ingredient is the much needed investment in protecting South Koreans in the event of a biological attack through the development and stockpiling of vaccines.”
*”Beginning a serious dialogue on CBW with North Korea is necessary, and could facilitate an opening for a smoother resumption to the stalled Six Party Talks on the regime’s nuclear weapons program.”
*”Kim Jong-il’s regime has displayed its insincerity and belligerence on several previous occasions when such talks resumed. Attempting to include CBW in the Six Party Talks would be counterproductive and would give Pyongyang more avenues to stall and launch salvos against Korea and the United States.”
*[[Chemical]], [[Biodefense]], [[BWC]], [[CWC]], [[North Korea]], [[South Korea]], [[Dual Use]]
”’Editors”’, “Researchers get $7.5M grant to combat nerve agents”, 14 November 2011, OSC, [], Last Checked 15 November 2011.
*”A $7.5 million award will help researchers harness the body’s own defenses to counteract nerve agents and create new types of antidotes for exposure to pesticides and other poisons.”
*”The grant, from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), extends a previous grant and establishes a new Center of Excellence at Ohio State University, where chemists will collaborate with the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense (USAMRICD) at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.”
*”At the new Ohio State center, chemists Thomas J. Magliery and Christopher M. Hadad will lead a team that employs sophisticated methods of protein engineering, high-throughput screening and computational chemistry at the university and the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC). Their goal is to improve enzymes’ ability to destroy a broad array of chemical agents inside the body.”
*”Dr. Hadad’s research group is consistently one of the largest and most sophisticated user groups of computing cycles at the center,” said Ashok Krishnamurthy, interim co-executive director of OSC. “It is gratifying for OSC to provide him with the resources that helped formalize such an important collaboration. Hopefully, it will lead to significant steps toward counteracting these toxic agents.”
*”Nerve agents are chemicals that attack the nervous system, causing paralysis and seizures and –ultimately – killing the victim through asphyxiation. They do so by bonding with the enzyme acetylcholinesterase so that it can’t transmit chemical messages from the brain to the rest of the body. Once attached to the enzyme, nerve agents can’t be removed, explained Magliery. So the researchers are focusing on ways to stop the deadly chemicals before they can attach in the first place. They have engineered souped-up versions of naturally occurring human enzymes that will scavenge nerve agents from the bloodstream. No tests involving actual nerve agents will take place at Ohio State.”
*”Nerve agents like sarin, and even related pesticides, are a significant threat in the hands of terrorists, and we’re really lacking in ways to treat mass casualties,” said Magliery, co-leader of the new Ohio State center. “Fortunately, there are enzymes already in human blood that can deactivate these agents. We just have to engineer them to be more efficient, and we have to be able to produce and formulate them as drugs.”
*”Hadad leads an effort to model the chemical structure of candidate enzymes on the powerful parallel supercomputer systems at OSC, while Magliery is producing synthetic versions of the new enzymes for further testing and preclinical evaluation by the Army.”
*”The preliminary results from the first round of this grant showed that these enzymes can be engineered to have enough activity to use as therapeutic agents,” said Magliery. “But there are still challenges ahead. There are a lot of related agents, and there are few enzymes used as drugs today.” Hadad outlined one of the main challenges. “In nature, each enzyme generally has only one function – one thing that it does very well,” he said. “But we need an enzyme that will deactivate many different nerve agents. “We need one molecule that can do it all.”
*”Magliery added that the ideal enzyme would remain active for days or weeks at a time, pulling toxic agents from the body over and over again. It could be administered as an antidote immediately after an attack, or as an inoculation against future attacks.”
*”Soldiers and first responders are among the likely recipients of such a preventive dose, but so are people whose jobs regularly expose them to nerve agents, even in small quantities.”
*”The program is the centerpiece of the Department of Health and Human Services’ efforts to develop and improve treatments for chemical agents that could be used in terrorism or might be released in industrial accidents or natural disasters.”
*[[Chemical]], [[Biotechnology]], [[Vaccination]]
”’Smith, R. Jeffrey; Warrick, Joby; Lynch, Colum”’, “Iranian help suspected in secret Libyan chemical weapons arsenal” 20 November 2011, Iwatchnews, [], Last checked 23 November 2011.
*”The Obama administration is investigating whether Iran supplied the Libyan government of Moammar Gadhafi with hundreds of special artillery shells for chemical weapons that Libya kept secret for decades, U.S. officials said.”
*”The shells, which Libya filled with highly toxic mustard agent, were uncovered in recent weeks by revolutionary fighters at two sites in central Libya. Both are under heavy guard and round-the-clock drone surveillance, U.S. and Libyan officials said.”
*”The discovery of the shells has prompted a U.S. intelligence-led probe into how the Libyans obtained them, and several sources said early suspicion had fallen on Iran. “We are pretty sure we know” the shells were custom-designed and produced in Iran for Libya, said a senior U.S. official, one of several who spoke on condition of anonymity because the sensitivity of the accusation.”
*”A U.S. official with access to classified information confirmed there were “serious concerns” that Iran had provided the shells, albeit some years ago. In recent weeks, UN inspectors have released new information indicating that Iran has the capability to develop a nuclear bomb, a charge Iranian officials have long rejected. Confirmed evidence of Iran’s provision of the specialized shells may exacerbate international tensions over the country’s alleged pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.”
*”Mohammed Javad Larijani, an adviser to Iran’s supreme leader and the brother of Iran’s former negotiator on nuclear issues, denied the allegation. “I believe such comments are being fabricated by the U.S. to complete their project of Iranophobia in the region and all through the world. Surely this is another baseless story for demonizing [the] Islamic Republic of Iran,” he said in an e-mail. The stockpile’s existence violates Gadhafi’s promises in 2004 to the United States, Britain, and the United Nations to declare and begin destruction of all of Libya’s chemical arms, and raises new questions about the ability of the world’s most powerful nations to police such pledges in tightly-closed societies.”
*”This newly-discovered stockpile will now need to be protected from theft by militia groups or others in the politically unsettled nation. Disposal of the munitions poses an additional challenge for Libya’s new government and allied Western powers, since the chemical-filled shells cannot be readily relocated, and may take as long as a year to destroy in place, according to some estimates.”
*”One U.S. official said Iran may have sold the shells to Libya after the close of its eight-year war with Iraq, in which the Iraqis used mustard and nerve agents against tens of thousands of Iranian soldiers. “These were acquired over many years” by the Libyans, another U.S. official said. Iran ratified the international Chemical Weapons Convention in late 1997, nearly seven years before Libya, and said it would foreswear such arms because they were “inhumane.” But in a subsequent declaration to inspectors — not previously disclosed — it admitted making 2500 tons of mustard agent near the end of its war with Iraq. It said it then shuttered its program.”
*”Pentagon and CIA analysts have asserted that Iran fired chemical artillery shells at Iraqi troops in 1988, a contention supported by secret Iraqi government documents obtained after the fall of Baghdad in 2003. A 1987 letter, written by Iraq’s military intelligence director and stamped “top secret,” described three Iranian chemical attacks and sought to assess what appeared to be a growing Iranian interest in mustard agent. “The enemy has chemical bombs/shells,” concluded the letter, part of an archives acquired by the Conflict Records Research Center at National Defense University. It said Iran probably received help from a foreign power in obtaining the chemicals to fill its munitions, and asserted that Tehran was attempting “by various means to reach an advanced stage of chemical agent production.”
*”Iran’s obligation to report any transfer of such shells – if it occurred — is unclear. The convention requires a declaration of the transfer or receipt of munitions specifically designed for use with mustard and similar agents, but does not require reporting of so-called “dual-use” munitions that could be filled with either conventional explosives or chemical agents.”
*”Libya agreed in 2003, under sustained U.S. and British pressure, to give up all of its work on weapons of mass destruction, and to permit U.S. and international inspection of its declared stocks of mustard and of nerve-agent ingredients. Libya has “provided full and transparent cooperation,” then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair said during a meeting with Qaddafi outside Tripoli in March 2004. But Libya only admitted to producing aerial bombs, not artillery shells, and U.S. officials watched as Libyans flattened some bomb casings with bulldozers and detonated their burster charges in the desert. In total, more than 3500 aerial bombs were destroyed by the Libyans, according to the OPCW. Some of the casings had been hidden in a garage owned by a top Libyan weapons official, while others were kept at a turkey farm.”
*”Inspectors will soon “establish whether these sites contain materials that should have been declared previously,” said Michael Luhan, the OPCW spokesman, in an e-mail. “Libyan authorities have advised us they are preparing to declare a detailed description of their contents, and when we receive that our inspectors will promptly visit the country to verify the inventories. Until then we cannot comment or speculate on the outcome.”
*[[Chemical]], [[WMD]], [[CWC]], [[Iran]]
”’Editors”’, “Guinea Approves Chemical Weapons Law”, 22 November 2011, GSN, [], Last checked 29 November 2011.
*”The government of Guinea on Friday approved legislation prohibiting the production, holding and employment of chemical weapons in the African state, Guineenews reported.”
*”The move by the Guinean National Transition Council is in keeping with the nation’s obligations as a member of the Chemical Weapons Convention.”
*”The law also addresses trade, production and usage of certain chemical materials.”
*[[CWC]], [[Chemical]], [[WMD]], [[Africa]]
”’Beaumont, Peter and Domokos, John”’, “Egyptian military using ‘more dangerous’ teargas on Tahrir Square protesters”, 23 November 2011, theguardian, [], Last Checked 23 November 2011.
*”Egyptian security forces are believed to be using a powerful incapacitating gas against civilian protesters in Tahrir Square following multiple cases of unconsciousness and epileptic-like convulsions among those exposed.”
*”Suspicion has fallen on two other agents: CN gas, which was the crowd control gas used by the US before CS was brought into use; and CR gas.”
*”Both gases can be more dangerous than CS and can cause unconsciousness and seizures in certain circumstances. Concern began to emerge over the use of more powerful incapacitating agents after reports of gassed protesters falling unconscious and having attacks of jerking spasms. Those who have experienced the more powerful gas have described it as smelling different and causing an unusual burning sensation on the skin. Others have complained of rashes.”
*”We have been attacked with four different kinds of gas bombs,” said Dr Ahmad Sa’ad. “I have never seen these ones before because the patients come in with convulsions. I’ve never seen patients like that before. You can see it yourself. You can be 100 metres away from the gas bombs [and it will still affect you].”
*”Another concern, raised by the group Campaign Against Arms Trade, is over the age of some of the CS gas that has been used by Egyptian security forces. Gas canisters more than five years old can become more toxic, and some canisters that have been used in the last few days are up to a decade old.”
*”Describing the effects of gas, activist Ahmed Salah said he was still coughing blood 15 hours after being exposed to it. “I was wearing a gas mask. My eyes and mouth were covered as was my skin. As soon as the gas came people around me fell on to the ground in convulsions. I felt very weak and dizzy. I couldn’t focus and I started coughing. Coughing up blood. “People have seen three different kinds of canisters. Most are marked CS but some have seen canisters marked with the letters CR and there is a third canister that has no markings at all.”
*”In a statement put out via Twitter, Ramez Reda Moustafa, a neurologist at Cairo’s Ain Shams University, described seeing cases where exposure to gas had “caused extra-pyramidal symptoms [involuntary jerks in extremities and trunk mimicking a convulsive seizure, oculogyric crisis, etc] and little respiratory distress”. He added: “The type of gas used is still uncertain but it is certainly very acidic and is not the regular teargas used in January.”
*”Karim Ennarah, who works with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, has been trying to collect evidence about the gases used in Tahrir and the surrounding area since the weekend, and in what circumstances, amid claims the gases have been used in a way that violates international norms.”We are still trying to put together what has been going on. We have seen different symptoms and reactions to gas from what we saw in January,” said Ennarah. “I still have not seen a canister with CR markings but there are accounts of people seeing them.”But we can’t say that it has been confirmed. We have seen more and more videos, however, of people suffering seizures.”
*”What is clear is that gas has been used differently and far more heavily than was used at the beginning of the year and in enclosed areas like Mohammed Mahmoud. The basic principle of the way the gas is being used is not for riot control but as a punishment and that raises questions of violations of its use.”
* [[Chemical]], [[Africa]], [[Military]], [[Public Health]]
”’Editors”’, “International Delegation Investigates Alleged Use of Chemical Weapons”, 28 November 2011, BIA News Center, [], Last Checked 29 November 2011.
*”An international delegation from Europe visited the Kazan Valley in Çukurca (Hakkari) to investigate allegations regarding the use of chemical weapons by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).”
*”The delegation was joined by Feleknas Uca, former member of the European Parliament; German parliamentarian Jan Van Aken and German and French lawyers Clementine Frances, Benjamin Hiller, Marie Avpert, Aledeuy Ledrein Aveco and Torre Dominulle. The delegation took samples from the bombed areas in the valley. They said that they were going to announce their result whether chemical weapons were used or not after having consulted a group of experts”
*”The delegation was accompanied by Mehmet Kanar, Çurkurca Mayor and member of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP). In the course of their investigation the members of the delegation found pieces of bombs and body parts.”
*”Van Aken made a preliminary statement on behalf of the delegation. He said it could be seen that an intense attack happened in an area of 1 to 1.5 km. Van Aken continued, “Burned and destroyed vehicles in the region show us that it was a large-scale bomb and how strong it was. We investigated pieces of the bombs we found on the ground. We can say for certain that ‘MK-82′ and MK-84′ bombs were used. These bombs weigh between 250 and 950 kg and have a very large radius. Right now I am not able to say anything about the use of a chemical bomb or anything similar”.”We are going to share the samples we took and the observations we made with experts in this field. We will only be able to decide whether chemical were used or not after this investigation. We are going to publish our findings in a report”.”
*”Human Right Association (İHD) Hakkari Branch President İsmail Akbulut said in a statement made to bianet in the beginning of this month: “The statements of both the relatives and eye-witness imply the use of chemical weapons. The bodies were completely burned. This allegation definitely has to be investigated”. Akbulut said that samples were taken from the environment and the ground in order to determine whether chemical gas had been used.”
*”The BDP previously called on the government to give a statement on the alleged use of chemical weapons after the bodies of the killed PKK members were reported to have been burned. (AS).”
*[[Chemical]], [[WMD]]
”’Editors”’, “U.S. chemical weapons arsenal threatens world peace'”, 29 November 2011, Tehran Times, [], Last checked 29 November 2011.
*”Iran’s representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has said that the illegal efforts of the United States to maintain its chemical weapons threaten world peace and security. Kazem Gharibabadi, who is also Iran’s ambassador to the Netherlands, made the remarks in The Hague on Monday during the first day of the Sixteenth Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which opened on November 28 and closes on December 2.”
*”He said that the continued existence of chemical weapons stockpiles will endanger international peace and security, and the use of such inhumane and lethal weapons would be a nightmare.”
*”Iran’s opposition to chemical weapons is based on certain principles, the legal dimensions of which are based on the articles of the convention and the humanitarian dimensions of which are based on the disastrous impact of the use of such weapons against innocent people, he added.”
*”The threats to the world can only be eliminated through complete and sincere commitment to the terms of the convention, Gharibabadi stated. He also said that April 29, 2012 has been set as the final deadline for the total eradication of all chemical weapons, but the U.S., which is the country that has the largest stockpiles of chemical weapons, has officially announced that it will not meet the 2012 deadline and has set 2021 as its target date.”
*”The United States’ non-compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention must be addressed by the international community, including the United Nations, because this measure will undermine the only international treaty on chemical weapons, he added. “We doubt the political will of the government of the United States. The U.S. decision to delay the total eradication of its chemical weapons for a long time… has made the world worried,” he stated.”
*”On Monday, OPCW Director General Ahmet Uzumcu visited an exhibition of photographs of Iranian victims of Iraq’s chemical weapons attack on Sardasht, West Azerbaijan Province, which occurred on June 28, 1987. Uzumcu said he hoped that catastrophes like the Sardasht attack never occur again. The exhibition is being held in The Hague on the sidelines of the chemical weapons conference.”
*[[CWC]], [[Chemical]], [[U.S. Foreign Policy]], [[Iran]]
”’Editors”’, “Chemical Weapons Holders Avoid Penalties for Missing Disposal Deadline”, 1 December 2011, GSN [], Last checked 6 December 2011.
*”Libya, Russia and the United States will not be penalized for anticipated failures to destroy their stockpiles of chemical weapons by a April 2012 deadline set by an international arms control treaty”
*”Member nations of the Chemical Weapons Convention on Thursday instead called for a program of heightened reporting and transparency for the three nations’ disposal operations. A decision document produced by a 41-nation Executive Council to the accord’s verification body was approved without amendment in a 101-1 decision of the CWC Conference of States Parties. Iran was the lone dissenter in the vote, after having initially prevented the conference from making its decision by consensus.”
*”Russia and the United States have long acknowledged that they would not meet the final April 29 deadline next year, even after receiving a five-year extension from the original 2007 end date set by the convention for eradicating their world’s-largest, decades-old stockpiles. Moscow now expects to eliminate 40,000 metric tons of chemical warfare materials by 2015. Meanwhile, the U.S. declared stockpile of more than 27,000 metric tons of substances — including mustard blister agent and VX and sarin nerve agents — is due to be finished off in 2021.”
*”While penalties such as stripping the nations of their voting rights at the organization had been possible, they were not expected. Diplomats from Russia and the United States, along with informed observers, have noted the nations’ demonstrated commitment to eliminating the chemical stockpiles in the face of funding challenges and other issues. Walker noted the that the document approved on Thursday made no mention of the three nations being in violation of their treaty commitments.”
*”Iranian delegate Kazem Gharib Abadi signaled his government’s opposition to the declaration earlier this week in a statement that lashed the United States for failing to meet its obligations under the convention while failing to cite Libya or Russia. U.S. envoy Robert Mikulak responded forcefully, adding that the document “has many shortcomings, but it represents a precarious balance of interests and concerns.”
*”The declaration calls for the Executive Council to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to meet immediately after the April 29 deadline passes next year. At that session, the panel would receive a briefing from OCPW Director General Ahmet Üzümcü regarding the amounts of chemical weapons that have been eliminated and those that remain in the three nations. Each of the possessor nations would be required at the council meeting to deliver a “detailed plan for the destruction of its remaining chemical weapons, which are to be destroyed in the shortest time possible,” the declaration states. The plans must offer specific dates by which chemical weapons disposal operations are expected to be completed. The states must then undertake necessary activities to meet those schedules.”
*”Also required would be specifics on the types and amounts of warfare agents to be destroyed each year for all operating and planned disposal plants, along with a count of active and anticipated plants. Each nation and the OPCW director general would also be required to submit reports at every Executive Council meeting on progress in the demilitarization efforts. Additional reports would be delivered at the annual meetings of the full membership to the convention. A “comprehensive review” of Thursday’s decision is also to be conducted at next year’s review conference on the convention.”
*”Separately, the OPCW chief and a delegation from the Executive Council would also be authorized to make biannual visits to the possessor nations “to obtain an overview of the destruction programs being undertaken,” the declaration states. “These visits are to inter alia include visits to destruction facilities as well as meetings with parliamentarians, if possible, and government officials in capitals as a formal part of the visits.”
*[[CWC]], [[Chemical]], [[Russia]], [[Iran]]

”’Dover, Michelle E.”’, “Syria’s Chemical Weapons an Opaque but Alarming Risk”, 5 December 2011, WPR, [], Last Checked 6 December 2011.
*”Recent reports from Syria of military defectors attacking an Air Force intelligence building in Hasrata highlight the growing likelihood that Syrian military sites will become a target in the country’s ongoing conflict. While no other similar attacks have been reported since then, the Hasrata incident illustrates the possibility of escalating instability within Syria’s military command, which could in turn lead to difficulties in controlling and securing Syrian military assets. In such a climate, Syria’s alleged chemical weapons program is cause for particular concern.”
*”The international community suspects Syria of having a comprehensive chemical weapons program that includes production and delivery capabilities, and there is unease among U.S. officials and weapons experts over how control of chemical agents and weapons may factor into the current conflict. Should the violence escalate, shifts in power could jeopardize the security and control of Syria’s chemical weapons, particularly since many of its suspected facilities are located near current or recent sites of unrest.”
*”Syria has never explicitly confirmed its possession of chemical weapons, and public information on the program’s details is neither specific nor thoroughly documented. Damascus also has not signed the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which prohibits the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons. Since Syria does not adhere to the treaty, makes no declarations and allows no inspections, the international community has no easy way of determining what capabilities the country may have.”
*”Initial press and intelligence reports in the 1970s and 1980s indicated that Syria was acquiring a chemical weapons stockpile with help from the USSR, Egypt and Czechoslovakia. This approach appears to have shifted in the 1990s to a focus on domestic production. Syria is thought to have either stockpiles of — or the current capability to produce — mustard gas and more-lethal nerve agents such as sarin and possibly VX.”
*”The only report of possible Syrian use of chemical weapons consists of unconfirmed allegations by Amnesty International (.pdf) that the Syrian regime used cyanide gas in its repression of the 1982 uprising in Hama. A recent statement from Lt. Gen. Ronald Burgess, Jr., the director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, suggests that Syria still relies on foreign assistance for the precursor chemicals needed to produce chemical warfare agents and research-and-development collaboration. If so, Syria’s chemical weapons program is not entirely self-sufficient. News reports of illicit trade of precursor chemicals corroborate such an assessment, and may also indicate that at least some components of Syria’s chemical weapons program remain active.”
*”Syria probably has artillery shells, aerial bombs and ballistic missiles — including SCUDs, SCUD-variants, and SS-21s — that could carry chemical agents.”
*”In the 1990s, for example, Syria allegedly received nerve agent precursors from Russia, while as recently as in the 2000s, Iran may have collaborated with Syria on research and provided precursor chemicals. Russia and North Korea are believed to have aided Syria’s missile capabilities”
*”Since the 1980s there have been numerous open-source reports and declassified documents that list research, production and storage sites of chemical agents and missiles in Syria, many of which are located in or around several of the largest cities that are currently seeing protests. Homs, Hamah and Latakia, for example, have all been cited as locations for chemical weapons production facilities and have been major centers of unrest. Aleppo, another city that has seen major protests and violent repression, is alleged to be the site for missile production and storage. Aleppo is also not far from a suspected chemical weapons production site in Al-Safirah.”
*”The level of security at Syria’s sensitive military sites is unknown, including the number and sophistication of physical barriers, the type of accounting systems in place and the number and training of guards at such sites. Should security at these facilities be breached by outsiders or sabotaged by guards, any number of worrisome outcomes could arise, including use of chemical weapons or their transfer to non-Syrian actors such as Hezbollah.”
*”The United States and Israel have stated they are concerned about the status of Syria’s WMD programs and that they are watching the situation carefully, though they have not said how.”
*”The potentially destabilizing factor of Syria’s chemical weapons program should be a matter of concern to U.S. policymakers, who should aim to ensure the security of sites related to the program, perhaps by engaging in contingency planning with Syrian opposition leaders and other regional powers such as Turkey. Much remains unknown about Syria’s chemical weapons, but what is known warrants closer attention.”
*[[Chemical Surveillance]], [[WMD]], [[Chemical]], [[Military]]
”’Walsh, Liam”’, “World War II plan to poison Japanese crops revealed”, 6 December 2011,, [], Last Checked 6 December 2011.
*”Poisoning Japanese crops with chemical weapons during World War II was a “worthwhile” and justifiable tactic, according to newly declassified Australian military documents. The documents also indicate authorities contemplated testing crop-destroying chemical weapons in central Queensland’s Proserpine.”
*”The thinking contrasts with Australian policy today – in 1993 Canberra signed a global ban on the use and development of chemical weapons”
*”The World War II details emerged on the eve of the 70th anniversary of Japan’s attack of Pearl Harbour, which triggered the US to enter the conflict. The war ended almost four years later with the US dropping atomic bombs on Japan. It was later revealed the US had contemplated a chemical bombardment on Japanese crops.”
*”Documents declassified by the National Archives of Australia, following requests by The Courier-Mail, refer to Australia receiving information from Allies about crop destruction with chemical weapons. Documents refer to targeting “vegetable gardens” in Japanese-held islands and rice crops.”
*”Minutes, from a September 1948 meeting of Australia’s Chemical and Biological Warfare Subcommittee, record a Lt Col N.L. Carter as saying “from a strategic point of view, crop destruction might not be a satisfactory weapon but tactically it might be worthwhile”.”
*”The committee, in contemplating chemical-warfare research topics, also said: “The problem should be very similar to that which was considered in the latter stages of the war when it was thought that an attack on the Japanese vegetable gardens throughout the islands might well be justified.” Chemical weapons were ultimately not used. But an attack on crops would have further squeezed Japan, which suffered hunger shortages.”
*”The Australian committee in mid-1948 received a report from UK experts, detailing how the US by July 1945 had built up chemical stocks theoretically “sufficient to destroy one-tenth of the rice crop of Japan”. But this would have logistically been a “formidable” operation to achieve, the report says.”
*[[Chemical]], [[Japan]], [[Australia]], [[Classified]]
µµ ”’Bigongiari, Jeffrey”’, “Nerve agent countermeasures become top DoD priority “, 20 December 2011,, [], Last Checked 26 December 2011.
*”The development of medical countermeasures against nerve agents has recently become a top priority for the U.S. Department of Defense.”
*”DOD military analysts believe the future use of chemical agents by enemy forces or a terrorist organization against either U.S. troops or civilian targets is possible, according to”
*”Scientists at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency believe bioscavengers have the potential to reduce the toxicity of chemical warfare nerve agents and should have few, if any, behavioral or psychological side effects.”
*”Human butrylcholineterase, a bioscavenger that binds a nerve agent in the blood stream before it can attack the central nervous system, appears to be a definite improvement over existing treatments. Preliminary research on recombinant butrylcholineterase supports its use as the DOD’s next generation countermeasure against nerve agents.”
*”DARPA is confident enough that it has planned a Proposer’s Day workshop on January 20 to provide information on a butrylcholineterase expression in plants initiative that seeks to demonstrate how the countermeasure can be expressed using a pharmaceutical platform in Nicotiana benthamiana plants. “This project will build on the Blue Angel H1 influenza vaccine acceleration program and will show the versatility and flexibility of the plant expression platform for medical countermeasures,” DARPA executive Dr. Alan Magill said, reports.”
*[[Chemical]], [[WMD]], [[Biodefense]]
µµ ”’Levine, Mike”’ , “Beset By Strife at Chemical Security Office, DHS Internal Report Claims Anti-Terrorism Program Now In Jeopardy”, 21 December 2011,, [], Last Checked 26 December 2011.
*”A federal program aimed at securing potentially dangerous chemicals is now in jeopardy after being beset by a series of deep-seated problems, including wasteful spending and a largely unqualified workforce that lacks “professionalism,” according to a scathing internal Department of Homeland Security report obtained exclusively by Fox News.”
*”In 2007, Congress established the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program, which directs DHS to collect and review information from U.S. chemical facilities to determine whether they present a security risk. It is overseen by the Infrastructure Security Compliance Division — or ISCD.”
*”As the Congressional Budget Office describes it, CFATS’ mandate is to ensure that facilities deemed a high threat develop a security plan, and in turn, DHS “conducts inspections to validate the adequacy of” and compliance with the plan. But that’s not how it is happening. The report, which suggests that administration officials are possibly being misled about the program’s success, says the office has yet to conduct a “compliance inspection” and it only recently began approving security plans.”
*”The report identifies several human resources problems, including inspectors who see their jobs within the context of prior law enforcement careers, which the report says has hindered effectiveness, and office employees who are unduly bound by union shops. The report says several of the challenges identified “pose a measurable risk to the program.” A top-ranking DHS official characterized that conclusion as “very true.”
*”The question here is whether or not we can move this program to a level of completion and sustainment,” Rand Beers, undersecretary for DHS’ National Protection and Programs Directorate, told Fox News in an interview Tuesday. Beers has overseen the program since 2009. “As long as I’m here, I’ll certainly strive to do that.”
*”The report, initiated at Beers’ behest over the summer, is accompanied by a detailed “action plan” and shows a clear effort by DHS, which has spent hundreds of millions of dollars for the four-year-old program, to correct issues that have been tolerated — if not condoned — since the previous administration. But a growing concern named in the report is “the prospect that DHS leadership and those within the administration are under the impression that the program is further along than it actually is.”
*”The internal report cites several “serious staff-related challenges,” including “numerous” people not qualified to do the work; a training department with staff lacking its own professional training or educational qualifications; and managers who lack managerial knowledge or experience but in some cases were hired based upon “an established relationship with the selecting official.”
*”With about 200 people employed full-time to work on the CFATS program, more than half are assigned to “inspections and enforcement.” But many of the inspectors were hired before the job requirements were properly defined and as a result have “misaligned expectations about the job of a chemical inspector,” the report says. “For example, certain employees feel that they are entitled to work only on projects that interest them; others have demanded that they be paid if we expect them to answer their cell phones during lunch.”
*”Despite their lack of law enforcement authority, some still actively seek the right to carry a firearm,” the internal report reads. “They wear their uniforms as a symbol of identity and authority rather than a tool to be used when performing work inappropriate for office attire. The insistence upon titles such as ‘commander’ further demonstrates an emotionally charged reluctance to let go of past false assumptions about the nature of the work.”
*”The presence of the union at this stage of the program will have a significant negative impact on the ability of the program to proceed in a timely fashion” because, “as a ‘start-up’ program,” CFATS is still being tweaked, and ISCD is “obligated to bargain on how any new or changed work assignment is implemented,” according to the report. “These efforts alone could potentially set back implementation of the program by months, or even years,” the report reads, noting that ISCD is currently engaged in a months-long dispute over whether inspectors should record their vehicle mileage once a day instead of once a month — a move that has already cut vehicle usage in half.”
*”Beers is banking on newly-installed ISCD Director Penny Anderson and her deputy, the authors of the assessment, to salvage CFATS. Asked who is to blame for the problems now facing the program, Beers said he is “ultimately responsible” because “I am the undersecretary.” But, he added, others within DHS, including former ISCD leadership, “all had some responsibility for failing to deal with this” and failing to “ask for help.”
*”Beers noted that when a new organization is “asked to perform” immediately, “you’re going to have problems.” It’s a sentiment echoed in the report, which says “extraordinary pressure” early on “to proceed at an impractical pace” and “without a well developed direction and plan” created several “unintended” consequences. One of those unintended consequences, according to the report, is “problems with how we have spent our money, and how we are managing those funds.” For example, ISCD bought first responder equipment like hazmat suits and rappelling ropes, even though “as a regulatory entity we do not have a first responder role.” ISCD has also paid more than $20,000 each year to be a member of an international security association.”
*”In addition, while the program is intended to perform compliance inspections, that has not happened because the procedures and processes for compliance inspections haven’t been designed yet. As for security plans, the precursor to a compliance inspection, about 4,200 have been submitted, and 38 have been approved since the conclusion of the assessment in November, according to a senior DHS official.”
*”Through public hearings on Capitol Hill and private letters with lawmakers, Beers has previously acknowledged major setbacks with the program. Earlier this year, DHS leadership determined that perhaps hundreds of chemical facilities had been erroneously deemed high-risk. The issue has since been resolved, but it was another indication that CFATS might need a closer look, Beers said. Beers said he now hopes to approve all plans for high-risk facilities by the end of next year, but, “I have been proven wrong with each of those goals that I have set, so I am a little wary of making a hard and fast prediction.”
*”The program, though, has had some tangible benefits, Beers said. Since CFATS began, about 1,300 facilities have removed all “chemicals of interest.” Another 600 have reduced their chemical levels to a point where they are no longer regulated by CFATS, a trend Beers said he expects to continue.”
*”CFATS is currently funded through September 2012, and lawmakers on Capitol Hill are now engaged in negotiations over whether and how to authorize the program beyond then. For lawmakers still in town ahead of Christmas weekend, DHS leadership will be briefing them later this week on the report’s findings and the “action plan” accompanying the report. That “action plan” lays out more than 80 specific ways to address each of the problems identified. To address staffing issues, the action plan calls for more personnel with regulatory compliance experience or reassigned to more appropriate positions. “I am presuming that this is a program that the American people and the Congress of the United States want, and that we will continue to improve our ability to (implement it),” Beers said.”
*[[Chemical]], [[Chemical Surveillance]], [[Bioterrorism]], [[Homeland Security]]
== 2012 ==

”’Boskabady, et al.”’, “The Effect of Chemical Warfare on Respiratory Symptoms, Pulmonary Function Tests, and their Reversibility 23-25 Years after Exposure.” Toxicology and Industrial Health, Volume 31. 79. 2012.
* ”The chronic effects of sulfur mustard (SM) on respiratory system are induction of asthma, bronchitis, bronchiectasis, airway narrowing due to scarring, and pulmonary fibrosis (PF) as well as tracheobronchial stenosis, decreased forced expiratory volume in one second, airway hyper responsiveness, and progressive bronchiolitis.” – page 79
* ”All the study subjects confirmed to have chemical warfare exposure.” – page 80
* ”A Farsi questionnaire was used to assess the prevalence and severity of respiratory wheezing, tightness, cough, and sputum.” – page 80
* ”The Pulmonary function tests (PFT) in chemical warfare victims and control subjects were measured using a spirometer with a pneumotachograph sensor.” – page 80
* ”All Chemical war victims (100%) reported respiratory symptoms. Wheezing (66.8%), cough (94.2%), and tightness (54.2%) were the most common symptoms and only 15.5% of chemical war victims reported sputum. In addition, 49.3% of chemical war victims had wheeze in chest examination which was significantly higher than the control group.” – page 81
* ”The results of the present study showed significantly greater respiratory symptoms and lower PFT  values in subjects exposed to SM 23-25 years after exposure.”- page 81
* ”The results showed a significant increase in the PFT values due to the inhalation of 200 micrograms salbutamol, indicating the reversibility of airway obstruction in chemical war victims.” – page 82
* [[Chemical]], [[Chemical Surveillance]], [[WMD]]
µµ ”’Rowe, Aaron”’, “Molecules To Protect The Brain From Nerve Gas”, 6 January 2012,, [], Last Checked 16 January 2012.
*”A new family of oxime compounds can cross the blood-brain barrier in mice and protect the animals from nerve gas poisoning. The researchers who developed them hope the molecules could serve as antidotes for exposure to the gases or certain pesticides.”
*”One of the most common antidotes for nerve gas exposure is pralidoxime. (Soldiers carry syringes filled with the compound in case of a chemical weapons attack.) It reactivates cholinesterases when the molecule’s oxime group breaks the bond formed between the organophosphate and the enzyme.”
*”But pralidoxime has a problem: It contains a positively charged quaternary amine, which prevents it from slipping through the blood-brain barrier. So although pralidoxime can undo paralysis in respiratory tissue, it can’t alleviate problems within the central nervous system.”
*”To overcome this problem, John Cashman and his team at the Human BioMolecular Research Institute, a nonprofit organization in San Diego, designed a set of oximes that replace the quaternary amine with an amidine. This group can be neutral in charge, allowing the molecule to pass into the brain.”
*”In a test of the new molecules’ efficacies, several of them protected mice from a lethal dose of a sarin mimic when researchers injected the compounds into the animals. None of the treated mice succumbed to the poison, but half of the mice that received no treatment died. The researchers found high levels of the amidine-oximes in the treated animals’ brains. Next Cashman and his colleagues want to test their compounds to see if they can protect the brain from pesticide poisoning.”
*[[Chemical]], [[Prophylaxis]], [[Vaccination]], [[Ethics]]
µµ ”’Fisher, Maria”’, “Corps gauging public knowledge of ex-Kansas base”, 15 January 2012,, [], Last Checked 16 January 2012.
*”The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been gauging public understanding in the Kansas community of Salina about a site at the former Schilling Air Force base where there is possible contamination from chemical warfare training decades ago.”
*”Tim Rogers, executive director of the Salina Airport Authority, where the site is located, said the investigation into possible contamination from chemical warfare training at Schilling is not related to ongoing negotiations between Salina and the federal government over groundwater contamination at the former base, which closed in the 1960s.”
*”A Corps of Engineers contractor surveyed area officials recently to determine their interest in and knowledge of the site and its potential contamination from two types of chemicals used during training exercises more than 50 years ago.”
*”Diana McCoy, spokeswoman for the Army Corps of Engineers office in Kansas City, said in an email there are no known contaminants at the site, but that there could potentially be two types of chemical agents in the soil — toxic radiological waste and another material containing neat mustard agent, a chemical weapon that causes severe, painful but nonfatal blistering.”
*”McCoy said the corps contractor has been calling civic and elected leaders in Salina to determine their level of interest in and understanding of the site. She said results from the survey would help the corps “tailor the public involvement effort” at the site. Rogers, who was surveyed this past week, said some of the officials interviewed were surprised by the survey and questioned if it was connected to the ongoing mediation between Salina and the federal government over the toxic plume of the chemical TCE in groundwater at the former base.”
*””That’s the consensus back to me. That it would have been nice to know the context in which the calls were being made before the calls were being made,” Rogers said. “The corps would have been best served by doing a public information piece about the upcoming calls.”
*”Rogers also said he’s confident the study will determine that no chemical warfare material had been left behind at the site. McCoy said that survey respondents were given about four to seven days notice and that respondents are normally “cold-called” in order to prevent them from going out and researching the “subject ahead of time since the whole purpose of the survey is to determine what’s already known about the project.”
*[[Chemical]], [[Chemical Surveillance]]
µµ ”’Karuhanga, James”’, “Rwanda: MPs Move to Avert Threat of Chemical Weapons”, 30 January 2012,, [], Last Checked 12 February 2012.
*”This week, the Chamber of Deputies’ Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Security is scheduled to scrutinise a draft law on the implementation of the convention on the prohibition of development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons and their destruction.”
*”The bill defines chemical weapons to include “toxic chemicals or their precursors, except where intended for purposes not prohibited under the convention, as long as the types and quantities are consistent with such purposes. “It will not be discussed tomorrow [Monday] as the programme changed but it will certainly be examined sometime this week. You will get to know more details later,” Gideon Kayinamura, the Chairperson of the committee, told The New Times yesterday.”
*”The bill was set up with the aid of a model by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), an intergovernmental organisation, based in The Hague, The Netherlands, which promotes and verifies the adherence to the Chemical Weapons Convention to prohibit the use of chemical weapons and requires their destruction.”
*”The law will allow Rwanda to appropriately put into practice what is required in other pertinent international treaties it has ratified. Rwanda ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban treaty in 2003 as well as the African Weapons Free Zone treaty in 2004, among others.”
*”It was noted that as industrial activity, agricultural advancements, in addition to medical and research activities advance in the country, it was necessary that there be a law that prohibits chemical weapons.”
*”When passed, the law will allow competent authorities to request other states’ authorities and international organisations to provide relevant data or information. “The competent authorities of Rwanda for crime prevention, criminal proceedings, and implementation of the convention may collaborate with other competent state authorities and international organisations and entities, and coordinate their actions to the extent required by the implementation of this law or of the equivalent foreign statute subject to the other state,” reads part of the bill.”
*[[Chemical]], [[Africa]]
”’Beers, Rand”’, National Protection and Programs Directorate Under Secretary, ”Testimony before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy regarding the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to regulate the security of high-risk chemical facilities under the Chemical Facility Anti-terrorism Standards”, Release Date: February 3, 2012, available at, Last checked June 20, 2012.
*” As you are aware, the Department’s current statutory authority to implement CFATS – Section 550 of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, as amended — was recently extended through October 4, 2012.”
*” Section 550 of the FY 2007 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act directed the Department to develop and adopt, within six months, a regulatory framework to address the security of chemical facilities that the Department determines pose high levels of risk. Specifically, Section 550(a) of the Act authorized the Department to adopt rules requiring high-risk chemical facilities to complete Security Vulnerability Assessments (SVAs), develop Site Security Plans (SSPs), and implement protective measures necessary to meet risk-based performance standards established by the Department. Consequently, the Department published an Interim Final Rule, known as CFATS, on April 9, 2007. Section 550, however, expressly exempts from those rules certain facilities that are regulated under other federal statutes, specifically those regulated by the United States Coast Guard pursuant to the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA), drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities as defined by Section 1401 of the Safe Water Drinking Act and Section 212 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, and facilities owned or operated by the Departments of Defense or Energy, as well as certain facilities subject to regulation by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).”
*”Implementing this program means tackling a sophisticated and complex set of issues related to identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities and setting security goals. This requires a broad spectrum of input, as the regulated facilities bridge multiple industries and critical infrastructure sectors. By working closely with members of industry and academia, and partners in the federal government, we leveraged vital knowledge and insight to develop the regulation.”
*”The CFATS rule includes enforceable risk-based performance standards (RBPS). High-risk facilities have the flexibility to develop appropriate site-specific security measures that will effectively address risk by meeting these standards. NPPD’s Infrastructure Security Compliance Division (ISCD), the Division within NPPD responsible for managing CFATS, will analyze all final high-risk facility SSPs to ensure they meet the applicable RBPS and will approve those that do. If necessary, ISCD will work with a facility to revise and resubmit an acceptable plan.”
*”On November 20, 2007, the Department published CFATS’ Appendix A, which lists 322 chemicals of interest—including common industrial chemicals such as chlorine, propane, and anhydrous ammonia—as well as specialty chemicals, such as arsine and phosphorus trichloride. The Department included chemicals based on the potential consequences associated with one or more of the following three security issues:
**1. Release – Toxic, flammable, or explosive chemicals that have the potential to create significant adverse consequences for human life or health if intentionally released or detonated;
**2. Theft/Diversion – Chemicals that have the potential, if stolen or diverted, to be used as or converted into weapons that could cause significant adverse consequences for human life or health; and
**3. Sabotage/Contamination – Chemicals that, if mixed with other readily available materials, have the potential to create significant adverse consequences for human life or health.”
*” The Department also established a Screening Threshold Quantity for each chemical of interest based on its potential to create significant adverse consequences to human life or health in one or more of these ways.”
*”Implementation of the CFATS regulation requires the Department to identify which facilities it considers high-risk. In support of this, ISCD developed the Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT) to help it identify potentially high-risk facilities and to provide methodologies those facilities can use to conduct SVAs and to develop SSPs. CSAT is a suite of online applications designed to facilitate compliance with the program; it includes user registration, the initial consequence-based screening tool (Top-Screen), an SVA tool, and an SSP template.”
*”Through the Top-Screen process, ISCD initially identifies high-risk facilities, which the Department then assigns to one of four preliminary risk-based tiers, with Tier 1 representing the highest level of potential risk. Tiered facilities must then complete SVAs and submit them to the Department for approval, although preliminary Tier 4 facilities may submit an Alternative Security Program (ASP) in lieu of an SVA. Each SVA is carefully reviewed for its description of how chemicals are managed and for physical, cyber, and chemical security risks.”
*”After completing its review of a facility’s SVA, ISCD makes a final determination as to whether the facility is high-risk and, if so, assigns the facility a final risk-based tier. Each final high-risk facility is then required to develop for ISCD approval an SSP or, if it so chooses, an ASP, that addresses its identified vulnerabilities and security issues and satisfies the applicable RBPS. ISCD’s final determinations as to which facilities are high-risk, and as to their appropriate tier levels, are based on each facility’s individual consequentiality and vulnerability as determined by its Top-Screen, SVA, and any other available information. The higher the facility’s risk-based tier, the more robust the security measures it will be expected to adopt in its SSP. Risk tier will also be a factor in determining the frequency of inspections.”
*” The RBPS cover the fundamentals of security, such as restricting the area perimeter, securing site assets, screening and controlling access, cybersecurity, training, and response. Each high-risk facility’s security strategy and SSP will be unique, as they depend on the facility’s risk level, security issues, characteristics, and other facility-specific factors. In fact, ”’under Section 550, the Department cannot mandate a specific security measure to approve the SSP”’.”
*” To date, ISCD has reviewed more than 40,000 Top-Screens submitted by chemical facilities. Since June 2008, ISCD has notified more than 7,000 facilities that they have been initially designated as high-risk and are thus required to submit SVAs; and ISCD has completed our review of approximately 6,500 submitted SVAs. (Note, not all facilities initially designated as high-risk ultimately submit SVAs or ASPs, as some choose to make material modifications to their chemical holdings, or make other changes, prior to the SVA due date that result in the facility no longer being considered high-risk.) In May 2009, ISCD began notifying facilities of their final high-risk determinations, risk-based tiering assignments, and the requirement to complete and submit an SSP or ASP.”
*”In May 2009, ISCD issued 141 final tier determination letters to the highest risk (Tier 1) facilities, confirming their high-risk status and initiating the 120-day time frame for submitting an SSP. After issuing this initial set of final tier determinations, ISCD periodically issued notifications to additional facilities of their final high-risk status. To date, more than 4,100 additional facilities have received final high-risk determinations and tier assignments, and several hundred that were preliminarily-tiered by ISCD were informed that they are no longer considered high-risk.”
*”As of January 6, 2012, CFATS covers 4,458 high-risk facilities nationwide; of these 4,458 facilities, 3,727 have received final high-risk determinations and due dates for submission of an SSP or ASP. ISCD continues to issue final tier notifications to facilities across all four risk tiers as we make additional final tier determinations.”
*”It should be noted that since CFATS’ inception, more than 1,600 facilities completely removed their chemicals of interest, and more than 700 other facilities have reduced their holdings of chemicals of interest to levels resulting in the facilities no longer being considered high-risk.”
*”Under CFATS, Administrative Orders are the first formal step toward enforcement. An Administrative Order does not impose a penalty or fine but directs the facility to take specific action to comply with CFATS—for example, to complete an overdue SSP within a specified timeframe. If the facility does not comply with the Administrative Order, the Department may issue an Order Assessing Civil Penalty of up to $25,000 each day the violation continues and/or an Order to Cease Operations. In June 2010, ISCD issued its first Administrative Orders to 18 chemical facilities for failure to submit an SSP. During the remainder of the year ISCD issued an additional 48 Administrative Orders to chemical facilities that had failed to submit their SSPs in a timely manner under CFATS. We are pleased to report that all 66 facilities complied with the Administrative Orders issued. As CFATS implementation progresses, we expect to continue to exercise our enforcement authority to ensure CFATS compliance.”
*”To date, ISCD inspectors have conducted nearly 900 Compliance Assistance Visits and have held more than 3,000 informal introductory meetings with owners and/or operators of CFATS-regulated facilities. ISCD staff have presented at hundreds of security and chemical industry conferences; participated in a variety of other meetings of relevant security partners; established a Help Desk for CFATS questions that receives between 40 and 80 calls daily; put in place a CFATS tip-line for anonymous chemical security reporting; and developed and regularly updated a highly regarded Chemical Security website (, which includes a searchable Knowledge Center. ISCD has also offered regular SSP training webinars to assist high-risk facilities to complete their SSPs.”
*”ISCD also continues to collaborate within DHS and with other federal agencies in the area of chemical security, including routine engagement among the NPPD’s subcomponents and with the USCG, the Transportation Security Administration, the Department of Justice’s FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the NRC, and the EPA. An example of this coordination includes the establishment of a joint ISCD/USCG CFATS-MTSA Working Group to evaluate and, where appropriate, implement methods to harmonize the CFATS and MTSA regulations. Similarly, ”’NPPD has been working closely with the EPA to begin evaluating how the CFATS approach could be used for water and wastewater treatment facilities, should the water and wastewater treatment facility exemption be revised by Congress in future versions of chemical facility security or water facility security legislation”’.”
*” The Department supports a permanent authorization for the CFATS program and is committed to working with Congress and other security partners to establish a permanent authority for the CFATS program in Federal law.”
*”In August 2011, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) conducted a survey of CFATS-regulated facility owners covering approximately 800 facilities and received over 139 responses. Among other things, the ACC survey found that the majority of respondents believe extending CFATS will improve chemical security at CFATS-regulated facilities, and that companies have made substantial investments in security upgrades as a result of CFATS, and plan to make additional investments following ISCD approval of their SSPs.”
*[[Chemical]], [[Industry]], [[Law]], [[Compliance]], [[Cybersecurity]]
µµ ”’Choi, Charles Q.”’, “Custom-Designed Proteins Could Counteract Chemical Weapons”, 7 February 2012,, [], Last Checked 12 February 2012.
*”Custom-designed proteins made with the aid of computers could fight chemical weapons such as nerve gas and help decontaminate toxic-waste sites, scientists say.
*”In recent years, computer design of proteins has made great leaps forward, developing molecules with new kinds of structures and properties. However, few efforts have been made to incorporate metals into these computationally designed molecules. Metals are key, highly reactive parts of many proteins—for instance, the iron in the blood-protein hemoglobin helps it transport oxygen inside our bodies.”
*”Now, researchers have used computers to design a protein containing zinc that can degrade molecules similarly to sarin gas, a weapon of mass destruction created by Germany during World War II that attacks the nervous system. “The ability to computationally redesign metal sites in proteins opens up a number of opportunities to use metal ions for performing new and useful reactions of human interest — for example, degrading chemical toxins and synthesizing new drug molecules,”  researcher Sagar Khare, a computational biologist at the University of Washington, told InnovationNewsDaily.”
*”The scientists first analyzed about 150 known zinc-containing enzymes. This research helped them identify 12 with shapes they could redesign for new reactions.”
*”One of the new enzymes, a redesigned mouse protein, broke apart an organophosphate similar to sarin about 10 million times more effectively than its original counterpart. “This was a proof-of-principle effort, and the designer enzyme was not developed against actual nerve agents,” Khare said. “However, because the method is completely general, it should be possible to use it for developing antidotes and decontamination agents.”
*”One goal of improving computational design of new enzymes “is to have the capability to come up with degradation strategies for new chemical warfare agents that we have not seen yet: readily, efficiently and cheaply,” Khare said. “The next steps are to develop catalysts for actual nerve-agent degradation, and extend these methods to the degradation of other environmental toxins.”
*[[Chemical]], [[Decontamination]]
µµ ”’Connor, Steve”’, “Government ‘may sanction nerve-agent use on rioters’, scientists fear”, 7 February 2012,, [], Last Checked 12 February 2012.
*”Leading neuroscientists believe that the UK Government may be about to sanction the development of nerve agents for British police that would be banned in warfare under an international treaty on chemical weapons.”
*”A high-level group of experts has asked the Government to clarify its position on whether it intends to develop “incapacitating chemical agents” for a range of domestic uses that go beyond the limited use of chemical irritants such as CS gas for riot control. The experts were commissioned by the Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of sciences, to investigate new developments in neuroscience that could be of use to the military. They concluded that the Government may be preparing to exploit a loophole in the Chemical Weapons Convention allowing the use of incapacitating chemical agents for domestic law enforcement.”
*”The 1993 convention bans the development, stockpiling and use of nerve agents and other toxic chemicals by the military but there is an exemption for certain chemical agents that could be used for “peaceful” domestic purposes such as policing and riot control. The British Government has traditionally taken the view that only a relatively mild class of irritant chemical agents that affect the eyes and respiratory tissues, such as CS gas, are exempt from the treaty, and then only strictly for use in riot control.”
*”But the Royal Society working group says the Government shifted its position to allow the development of more severe chemical agents, such as the type of potentially dangerous nerve gases used by Russian security forces to end hostage sieges. “The development of incapacitating chemical agents, ostensibly for law-enforcement purposes, raises a number of concerns in the context of humanitarian and human-rights law, as well as the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC),” the report says.”
*””The UK Government should publish a statement on the reasons for its apparent recent shift in position on the interpretation of the CWC’s law enforcement position.” The Royal Society group points to a 1992 statement by Douglas Hogg, the then Foreign Office Minister, who indicated that riot-control agents were the only toxic chemicals that the UK considered to be permitted for law-enforcement purposes. But in 2009 ministers gave a less-restrictive definition suggesting the use of “incapacitating” chemical agents would be permitted for law-enforcement purposes as long as they were in the categories and quantities consistent with that permitted purpose.”
*[[Chemical]], [[CWC]], [[Law Enforcement]], [[U.K.]]

µµ ”’Mauro, Ryan”’, “The Syrian Dictatorship Prepares for Chemical Warfare”, 10 February 2012,, [], Last Checked 12 February 2012.
*”The civil war in Syria escalates almost every week as rebel forces grow stronger and Bashar Assad and his Iranian-backed thugs grow in ruthlessness. And now, chemical weapons have been reportedly delivered near the rebel stronghold of Homs an the regime’s forces in the area are putting on gas masks.”
*”Yesterday, the opposition learned that chemical weapons and their delivery systems have arrived at a school in the province. Soldiers manning checkpoints have been given gas masks. This comes as the regime appears to be winding up for a knock-out punch. Over 130 people were killed in Homs alone yesterday, adding to a death toll of over 600 for the past six days. An armored brigade is headed towards the rebel-held city of Zabadani right now and rebel-friendly areas like Homs, Idlib and Daraa are being bombed more than ever.”
*”Earlier in the month, Turkey intercepted four Iranian trucks on their way to Syria. One had components for ballistic missiles. The other three had a total of 66 tons of sodium sulfate, an ingredient used to make chemical weapons.”
*”There are four possible explanations for what the regime is doing. The first is that the regime is simply trying to scare its enemies into giving up.”
*”The second is that it is actually preparing to use its WMD and say it was the work of “armed gangs” and “terrorists” afterward. The fighting is getting worse, with the Free Syria Army briefly taking over suburbs of Damascus and protests now spreading to the critical city of Aleppo.”
*”The third is that the regime is preparing to use chemical weapons if foreign forces intervene, a prospect increasingly talked about over the past week. In mid-November, Assad met with his commanders to discuss this scenario. The regime is said to have deployed 21 missile launchers near the border with Turkey and armed 600 one-ton chemical warheads onto missiles after that meeting. The Russians supposedly agreed to send an emergency shipment of 3 million gas masks that, according to the plan, would be distributed by the end of 2011.”
*”The fourth possible explanation is that the regime is preparing its forces in case its chemical weapons fall into the hands of rebel forces or Islamic terrorists. The country never signed the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention. Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile is huge, with some assessing it to be the world’s largest, consisting of sarin, mustard, tabun, VX and whatever supplies have come in from Iran and possibly, from Saddam Hussein’s regime ahead of the 2003 invasion.”
*”The regime has multiple WMD facilities in restive areas that the rebels could potentially seize. A disloyal soldier or scientist could sell off these weapons or bring them along with him as he defects. WMD facilities are located in or near Aleppo, Homs, Hama, Latakia and Damascus—all places where the regime is fighting to hold onto power.”
*[[Chemical]], [[WMD]], [[Syria]], [[CWC]], [[Iran]], [[PSI]]
µµ ”’Benari, Elad”’, “Former Army Officer Says Syrian Troops Used Chemical Weapons”, 14 February 2012, israelnationalnews, [], Last Checked 19 February 2012.
*”An officer who recently defected from the Syrian army claimed on Monday that the Syrian security forces are using non-conventional weapons in the crackdown against protesters.”
*”The officer, Captain Abd al-Salam Ahmed Abdul Razek, told the Al-Arabiya television network that President Bashar Assad’s security forces were using chemical weapons against the protesters, under the supervision of Russia and Iran. Razek, who served in the Syrian army’s chemical warfare unit, said that the Syrian military used nerve gas – which is prohibited under various international treaties – to facilitate the entry of troops to the city of Homs.”
*”He added that the army also possesses toxic substances which originate in Russia, and said that a small amount of these materials could lead to widespread destruction of an entire population. Razek noted that the use of the chemical weapons was carried out under the supervision of Russian and Iranian experts, who instructed the army when and where to use it.”
*”Meanwhile, at least 43 people were killed in Syria on Monday, Israel’s Channel 10 News reported. The report said that Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations, Bashar al-Jafari, rejected the accusations against his country during a meeting of the General Assembly. Al-Jafari was quoted by Channel 10 as having said during the meeting that “the Syrian leadership is doing everything possible to respond to the demands for reform.”
*”At the same meeting, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, condemned Syria and said that “Assad has no moral right to lead his people.” “The images of frightened women and children, helpless in the streets, must be engraved in all our consciousnesses,” Prosor said. “The international community must act immediately to stop the systematic killing of children and innocent civilians.” The head of the United Nations Human Rights Commission, Navi Pillay, said earlier on Monday that it would appear that the failure of the UN Security Council to produce a resolution to intervene against Syrian violence has motivated Assad to have the army relentlessly attack the city of Homs.”
*”Russia and China vetoed an initiative in the Security Council on February 4 to end the deadly violence in Syria and have Assad step down from power.”
*[[Chemical]], [[Military]], [[Syria]], [[Israel]]
µµ ”’Joyce, John”’, “USS Mason upgraded with new chemical agent detection capability as Navy begins massive fleet-wide initiative”, 15 February 2012,, [], Last Checked 19 February 2012.
*”A new automated chemical warfare agent detection capability that successfully passed operational tests aboard USS Mason will be installed on warships throughout the fleet, Navy officials announced, Feb. 15.”
*”The Navy plans to install the new system – designed to quickly alert warfighters to the presence of chemical warfare agents – on all active guided missile destroyers and cruisers, aircraft carriers, large and small deck amphibious ships, littoral combat ships and dry cargo/ammunition ships by the end of 2018. “(Improved Point Detection System – Lifecycle Replacement) will provide the Navy continued chemical warfare agent detection, identification and alerting along with the high system reliability they need to perform their mission worldwide,” said Bruce Corso, IPDS-LR System Manager, office of the Joint Project Manager for Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Contamination Avoidance.”
*”Warfighters aboard USS Mason – the first guided missile destroyer protected by IPDS-LR – are now relying on a better performing system that features ion mobility spectrometry. This chemical detection technology creates ions that separate by the time it takes the ion clusters to traverse a constant electric field drift region. ”
*”I am excited to have the Improved Point Detection System – Lifecycle Replacement on board,” said USS Mason commanding officer Cmdr. Adan Cruz after testing concluded Jan. 27. “As Captain, I hold the responsibility for the safety of the crew and this system provides enhanced chemical warfare defense to ensure our sailors will return home safely.” “The install went extremely well,” said USS Mason executive officer Cmdr. Mike Briggs. “Having a reliable chemical detection system onboard to aid in ship’s defense goes towards making Mason a more effective warship.”
*“More DDGs will follow,” said NSWCDD IPDS-LR Project Lead Brian Flaherty. “The sailor will see a system they can turn on and be confident it is protecting them. It samples air from outside the ship, evaluates it for the presence of chemical warfare agents and if there’s an agent present – IPDS-LR will alert them in an adequate amount of time to take precautionary measures.” IPDS-LR components located on the port and starboard sides of a ship sample air through external intakes in the hull. The system analyzes the external air for chemical agents. “If the detector identifies a chemical agent, it sends a signal that displays an alert at both the ship’s damage control central and the bridge,” said Flaherty. “The system also interfaces directly to the ship’s chemical alarm, which broadcasts an audible ship-wide alarm to alert the crew of a chemical warfare agent.”
*”IPDS-LR’s test and Evaluation involved extensive time both in the laboratory and aboard ship – with extensive time at sea as well as an independent underway evaluation by the Navy’s Commander Operational Test and Evaluation Force. “The new system is more maintainable and reliable,” said Flaherty. “Warfighters will see improved false alarm performance and longer periods of time between repairs. It will be easier and cheaper to repair.”
*”Based on a commercial-off-the-shelf concept, a joint team of NSWCDD and JPM NBCCA engineers evaluated IPDS-LR in reliability, availability, and maintainability tests emphasizing a Navy shipboard maritime environment. The team collected over 14,000 hours of underway and in-port test time supporting the RAM analysis with multiple ships – and ship classes – based in the Norfolk and San Diego areas. Additional data collection continued aboard ships in forward deployed locations.”
*[[Chemical Surveillance]], [[Chemical]], [[Military]]
µµ ”’Editors”’, “Qatar organises course for GCC customs officials”, 19 February 2012,, [] Last Checked 19 February 2012.
*”The fourth sub-regional training course for customs authorities in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries on the technical aspects of the “Transfer Regime of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)” opened yesterday at Doha La Cigale Hotel. ”
*”The course, which is organised by the National Committee for the Prohibition of Weapons (NCPW) in co-operation with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), is being held under the auspices of HE the Chief of Staff of the Qatari Armed Forces Major General Hamad bin Ali al-Attiyah. The course will discuss several issues, including an introduction on OPCW, principles and procedures governing the transportation of chemicals and means of identification of chemical and biological warfare agents.”
*”In his opening speech, Brig. Gen. (Pilot) Nasser Mohamed al-Ali, chairman of the Qatar National Committee for the Prohibition of Weapons, stressed Qatar’s keenness to organise such courses for the representatives of GCC Customs as they are geographically contiguous, and that the leakage of any of the materials used in chemical weapons to any of the GCC territory will affect the security of the rest of the GCC states. ”
*”Al-Ali said the customs sector is a manifestation of the state’s sovereignty over its territory and its invincible fortress to protect it from smuggling of chemical weapons, banned substances and the illicit trade. He also warned that while protecting the country is the responsibility of everyone, the customs inspectors are considered the first line of defence.”
*”Brig. Gen. (Pilot) Nasser Mohamed al-Ali pointed out that the themes and topics which will be covered during the course will contribute to building human capacity in the GCC countries, stressing at the same time the Organisation’s continuing co-operation with the OPCW. Meanwhile, al-Ali thanked those in charge of the organisation on easing the task of states’ parties to fulfil their national obligations towards the implementation of the convention.”
*”For his part, head of Implementation Support Branch of OPCW Mark Albon thanked Qatar for hosting the course for the fourth year, stressing that the convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is one of the most important international legal tool to remove weapons of mass destruction. ”
*”He stressed the need of focusing during the next phase to prevent countries that their chemical weapons were destroyed to obtain them again, and this is the role of customs. This course is based on the important role played by customs authorities in GCC countries with regard to the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, where those authorities work as strong barriers to protect the concerned territory of the GCC countries from the risk of chemicals.”
*[[Chemical]], [[CWC]], [[Export Control]]
µµ ”’Starr, Barbara”’, “Military: Thousands of troops needed to secure Syrian chemical sites”, 22 February 2012,, [] Last Checked 26 February 2012.
*”The U.S. military has calculated it could take more than 75,000 ground troops to secure Syria’s chemical warfare facilities if they were at risk of being looted or left unguarded, CNN has learned.”
*”The conclusion comes from a military analysis of options for Syria that the Department of Defense is preparing for president should he request it, according to a senior U.S. official. Securing Syria’s chemical sites would be “extraordinarily difficult” given the scope of the problem, a Department of Defense official told CNN.”
*”The U.S. military believes there are 50 chemical weapon and production sites spread across the country with additional storage sites and research centers as well. The cities of Hama, Homs and al Safira, and the port city of Latakia are all believed to house production facilities.”
*”The analysis was provided by the United States’ Central Command, which has been considering how the U.S. military would handle potential scenarios should U.S. troops be called in, according to a senior U.S. official with direct knowledge of the situation. While the number is large – nearly as many as are currently serving in Afghanistan – any actual deployment should it ever come to that would undoubtedly be significantly smaller than the planning suggested. U.S. officials continue to insist the American position is to push for a diplomatic solution.”
*”The U.S. intelligence community currently believes Syria’s weapons sites are secured by the regime, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Congress last week.  But the senior U.S. official who spoke to CNN said the “nightmare scenario” is what would happen if that situation changes and the regime suddenly fall apart, or the fighting gets to the point that the international community believes military intervention is necessary to secure the chemical weapons.”
*”A defense official told CNN’s Chris Lawrence last week that while the U.S. “continues to monitor the overall situation in Syria,” there are “ongoing discussions specific to the location of, and security around, the various components of their chemical weapons program.” “Syria probably has one of largest programs in the world,” said Leonard Specter with the Monterey Institute of International Studies. “It has multiple types of chemical agents.” Specter said the stocks include World War I-era gases like chlorine and phosgene as well as more modern nerve gases.”
*”The United States is paying particular attention to the possibility of the weapons falling into the hands of extremists, in the event the government loses control of certain areas or splinters among itself, the defense official said. “There would be kind of a vacuum that would lend itself to extremists operating in Syria which is particularly troublesome in light of the large network of chemical warfare, (chemcial biological weapons), weapon-storage facilities and other related facilities that there are in Syria,” Clapper said.”
*”The senior U.S. official said American military commanders are continuing to strongly advocate for a political and diplomatic option in Syria rather than a military one. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Clapper have already voiced concerns publicly about arming opposition groups who are not well known to the United States. But the official also notes the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad itself still has military cards to play. So far the regime has not used its chemical or biological capability or any military aviation units against protestors. If Syrian attack helicopters were called in, he said, “that would be very significant.” “They haven’t demonstrated any interest or any intent to use those,” Demspey said in an interview that aired this weekend on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS.”
[[Military]], [[Chemical]], [[Syria]], [[U.S. Foreign Policy]]
µµ ”’Editors”’, “Block MEMS Awarded SBIR Phase II Enhancement Contract”, 23 February 2012,, [] Last Checked 26 February 2012.
*”Block MEMS has recently been awarded a prestigious Army Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase II Enhancement Contract. This award follows Block’s previous success in winning a Phase II Commercialization Pilot Program (CPP) award for its versatile LaserScan™ Analyzer.”
*”Petros Kotidis, CEO of Block MEMS, stated, “The focus of this new award will be on enhancing the LaserScan’s capabilities through the development of novel chemical recognition algorithms. These algorithms will enable LaserScan to detect liquid and solid chemical warfare agents and other emerging chemical threats, from a standoff distance on a variety of substrates.”
*”LaserScan is a revolutionary next-generation spectrometer that incorporates widely tunable mid-infrared (IR) quantum cascade lasers (QCL). It detects and measures substances on surfaces from a standoff distance of 6 inches to 2 feet. LaserScan identifies bulk materials and detects sub-micron films based on their mid-IR absorption characteristics.”
*”Key applications include detection of explosive materials, traditional and nontraditional chemical agents, biological agents and toxic industrial chemicals. It also analyzes gases and liquids. An alternate version of the device is designed to interface with common FTIR accessories, including liquid and gas cells, fiber optic probes and reflectance accessories. The LaserScan can also be outfitted to function as an IR microscope.”
[[Chemical Surveillance]], [[Chemical]], [[Military]]

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