Chemical Surveillance

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Status Brief

Developmental Milestones/Developments to Date:

Current Assessment/State of the Field:




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


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


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


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


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


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


Schmidt, Michael, S., “In Progress, A Network To Observe Midtown,” NYT A18, May 3, 2010.

  1. “The police Department has been planning a high-tech security network for Midtown Manhattan involving surveillance cameras, license plate readers and chemical sensors…”
  2. “The network could have been triggered via its chemical, biological and radiological sensors…”
  3. “The department secured a $24 million Department of Homeland Security grant last fall to begin building the network.”

Biosurveillance, Chemical Surveillance, Radiological Surveillance


Editor, “Smiths Detection Launches Smallest, Most Advanced Handheld Tri-Mode Threat Detector“, Business Wire, September 12, 2011,;content. Last Checked 20 September 2011.

  1. “Smiths Detection today launched to the global market the SABRE 5000, the latest offering in its state-of-the-art line of handheld systems for detecting trace amounts of explosives, narcotics, chemical warfare agents or toxic industrial chemicals.”
  2. “Jim Viscardi, Vice President of Sales, Smiths Detection, said: “SABRE 5000 is the smallest, most capable tri-mode detector available on the market today. Its design was driven by our customers, who played a tremendous role in helping us determine exactly what tool first responders and security professionals needed.”
  3. “New key features for the SABRE 5000 tri-mode detector include an expanded vapor detection capability giving a wider range of substance identification, faster clear-down for better throughput and built-in troubleshooting for an improved user experience.”

Chemical Surveillance, Emergency Response


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.

  1. “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.”
  2. “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.”
  3. “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.”
  4. “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.”
  5. “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


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.

  1. “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.”
  2. “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.”
  3. “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.”
  4. “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.”
  5. “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.”
  6. “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. “
  7. “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.”
  8. “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


Dover, Michelle E., “Syria’s Chemical Weapons an Opaque but Alarming Risk“, 5 December 2011, WPR,, Last Checked 6 December 2011.

  1. “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.”
  2. “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.”
  3. “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.”
  4. “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.”
  5. “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.”
  6. “Syria probably has artillery shells, aerial bombs and ballistic missiles — including SCUDs, SCUD-variants, and SS-21s — that could carry chemical agents.”
  7. “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”
  8. “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.”
  9. “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.”
  10. “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.”
  11. “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


Levine, Mike, “Beset By Strife at Chemical Security Office, DHS Internal Report Claims Anti-Terrorism Program Now In Jeopardy”, 21 December 2011, Foxnews,, Last Checked 26 December 2011.

  1. “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.”
  2. “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.”
  3. “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.”
  4. “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.”
  5. “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.”
  6. “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.”
  7. “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.”
  8. “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.”
  9. “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.”
  10. “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.”
  11. “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.”
  12. “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.”
  13. “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.”
  14. “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.”
  15. “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


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.

  1. ”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
  2. ”All the study subjects confirmed to have chemical warfare exposure.” – page 80
  3. ”A Farsi questionnaire was used to assess the prevalence and severity of respiratory wheezing, tightness, cough, and sputum.” – page 80
  4. ”The Pulmonary function tests (PFT) in chemical warfare victims and control subjects were measured using a spirometer with a pneumotachograph sensor.” – page 80
  5. ”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
  6. ”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
  7. ”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


Fisher, Maria, “Corps gauging public knowledge of ex-Kansas base” 15 January 2012, Kansascity,, Last Checked 16 January 2012.

  1. “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.”
  2. “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.”
  3. “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.”
  4. “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.”
  5. “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.”
  6. “”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.”
  7. “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


Joyce, John, “USS Mason upgraded with new chemical agent detection capability as Navy begins massive fleet-wide initiative” 15 February 2012, dvidshub,, Last Checked 19 February 2012.

  1. “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.”
  2. “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.”
  3. “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. “
  4. “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.”
  5. “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.”
  6. “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.”
  7. “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, Chemical Surveillance, Military


Editors, “Block MEMS Awarded SBIR Phase II Enhancement Contract” 23 February 2012,, Last Checked 26 February 2012.

  1. “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.”
  2. “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.”
  3. “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.”
  4. “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, Chemical Surveillance, Military


Pierce, David, “Prince William fire and rescue debut new hazmat unit” 26 February 2012, insidenova, Last Checked 4 March 2012.

  1. “Fire officials in Prince William County have a new tool to improve how they handle hazmat calls.The county fire and rescue department launched Hazmat 506, a 2003 Pierce Lance, on Feb. 18. The 42,740 pound, 33-feet long unit, which is garaged at the Coles District Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad outside Independent Hill, replaces a much smaller truck.
  2. “The older vehicle, named Hazmat Support 506, was a four-door pickup with a small walk-in storage unit attached to its rear that Battalion Chief Kurt Heindrichs likened to a “plumber’s truck.” It was impossible for crews to bring all of their equipment with them to incidents with the older unit, the battalion chief said. “We’d have to leave equipment at the station,” Heindrichs said. “It’d cause difficulties because the unit was so small, we had a hard time putting people in it when crews would put their [gear] on their backs.”
  3. “The new unit has ample space for multiple tools used to detect, identify and contain substances in chemical spills, radiation, chemical warfare agents, acids, gases, as well bacteria such as anthrax, officials said. Other items, such as full-body chemical protection suits, fit comfortably in Hazmat 506 with room to grow.”
  4. “Frequently, crews had to also be transported to incident scenes in a second fire engine due to the space crunch in the old unit, Heindrichs said. But the addition of more storage space isn’t the only benefit of having a much-larger response vehicle. Hazmat officials also can now utilize an 8- by 5-foot room with a wraparound desk and computer monitors inside the new unit, to research hazardous materials while in the field. In the past, crews had to work in the elements, with chemistry books and other equipment strewn over a small passenger seat area, or on the hood of the pickup, said Capt. Thomas Denner, who manages the hazmat unit. “The new indoor research area helps us get a cleaner and more accurate sample,” Denner said of hazardous materials.”
  5. “According to Heindrichs, the county purchased the unit used from Manassas fire and rescue officials for $243,000, with another $26,800 used for ancillary equipment. A total of $220,200 for the vehicle came from a fire levy, while $23,000 came from a Virginia Department of Emergency Management grant, officials said. A total of $26,800 from the county fire and rescue department’s general county fund paid for the equipment, Heindrichs said.”
  6. “The new vehicle also upped the county’s hazmat program to be awarded a Level 1 status from the National Incident Management System, Heindrichs said.”
  7. “Hazmat 506 better suits the approximately 60 hazmat technicians in the county, up from only two when the program was launched in late 2002, officials said. Heindrichs said the hazmat crew is “extremely excited” to use the new apparatus. The unit will staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is expected to be used on 160 to 200 calls a year, according to Denner.”

Chemical, Chemical Surveillance, Emergency Response


Editors, “Chemring Detection Systems Awarded $500k for Strategic Research and Development” 27 February 2012, MarketWatch, Last Checked 4 March 2012.

  1. “Chemring Detection Systems (CDS), a Chemring Group PLC (“Chemring”) subsidiary, is pleased to announce that it was awarded two strategic contracts for chemical detection. The awards were made by the Joint Project Manager for Nuclear Biological and Chemical Contamination Avoidance (JPM NBC CA) for the Multi Mission Multi Threat Detection (M3TD) project. “These important contracts help us to evaluate the capability of our new detection products,” said Bill Gural, President of CDS.”
  2. “The first award was in the “Raman” category for test and evaluation of the THOR-1064 product currently in development at CDS. The THOR-1064 detects the presence of compounds in solid or liquid form, identifies the specific compound detected, and automatically alarms to notify users of a positive detection. THOR-1064 provides laboratory quality measurements in a rugged, handheld device.”
  3. “The second award was in the Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS) category for test and evaluation of the Differential Mobility Spectrometer Vapor Detection System (DMSVD), a developmental prototype at CDS. The DMSVD is a non-contact vapor detector based on Differential Mobility Spectrometry. DMS offers improved sensitivity and selectivity over Ion Mobility Spectrometry based devices. DMS technology has been implemented into CDS’ JUNO® handheld vapor detector, currently available for sale, which includes a library of Toxic Industrial Chemicals (TICs) and chemical warfare agents.”

Chemical, Chemical Surveillance


Moore, Nicole, “Nerve gas litmus test could sense airborne chemical weapons” 12 March 2012,, Last Checked 12 March 2012

  1. “Nerve gases are colorless, odorless, tasteless and deadly. While today’s soldiers carry masks and other protective gear, they don’t have reliable ways of knowing when they need them in time. That could change, thanks to a new litmus-like paper sensor made at the University of Michigan.”
  2. “The paper strips are designed to change color from blue to pink within 30 second of exposure to trace amounts of nerve gas.”
  3. “To detect these agents now, we rely on huge, expensive machines that are hard to carry and hard to operate,” said Jinsang Kim, an associate professor in the departments of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering in addition to the program in Macromolecular Science and Engineering. “We wanted to develop an equipment-free, motion-free, highly sensitive technology that uses just our bare eyes.”
  4. “The new sensors combine a group of atoms from a nerve gas antidote with a molecule that changes color when it’s under mechanical stress. The antidote’s functional group binds to the nerve gas, and the resulting stress triggers the color-changing molecule to turn from blue to pink.”
  5. “In their experiment, the researchers used a less toxic “nerve agent simulant” related to Sarin gas. Their sensors were able to detect its presence at a concentration of 160 parts per billion, which is five times less than the amount that would kill a monkey.”
  6. “We believe these paper strips would detect real and potent nerve gases faster and in even lower concentrations considering their high vapor pressure and more volatile properties,” Kim said.”
  7. “The university is pursuing patent protection for the intellectual property, and is seeking commercialization partners to help bring the technology to market.”

Chemical, Chemical Surveillance


Editors, “Nanotechnology-equipped cell phones detect harmful airborne substances” 4 April 2012, nanowerk, Last Checked 8 April 2012.

  1. “The lab of a University of California, Riverside Bourns College of Engineering professor was named on Tuesday, April 3 after Innovation Economy Corporation, a Riverside company that plans to commercialize his research focused on using mobile devices, such as cell phones, to detect harmful airborne substances in real-time.”
  2. “The technology being developed by Nosang Myung, professor and chair of the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, and Innovation Economy Corporation has the potential to be adapted in many industries. These include agriculture (detecting concentrations of pesticides), industry (monitoring evaporation and leaks when using or storing combustible gases), homeland security (warning systems for bio-terrorism) and the military (detecting chemical warfare agents).”
  3. “This collaborative relationship is key to ensuring research conducted in our laboratories can be commercialized.” Myung said. Reza Abbaschian, dean of the Bourns College of Engineering, said he is appreciative of Innovation Economy Corporation’s support of the research. “We are equally appreciative of the support they offer through their mission of connecting our faculty with government and industry and identifying ways to commercialize their discoveries for the benefit of society,” Abbaschian said.”
  4. “Myung’s research is licensed by start-up company Nano Engineering Applications, Inc., which was created and funded by Innovation Economy Corporation. Nano Engineering Applications focuses on commercializing patent pending, air-borne chemical detection technology. The company’s cost-effective and scalable fabrication techniques allow research to be transformed into portable devices that detect minute quantities of harmful air-borne substances.”
  5. “The UC Riverside/Innovation Economy Corporation alliance moves the company closer to integrating toxin detection capabilities with mobile devices, including cell phones that can interface global positioning satellite systems.The technology uses functionalized carbon nanotubes that are 100,000 times finer than human hair and when functionalized are able to detect a multitude of targeted air-borne substances. UCR and Innovation Economy Corporation efforts are supported by the city and county of Riverside. “This model is one of the crowning achievements in our quest to continue to be recognized as one of the most intelligent communities in the world,” Mayor Ron Loveridge said.”

Chemical, Chemical Surveillance


Bozkurt Abdullah, “Turkey monitors Syria’s chemical weapons” 13 April 2012, Sunday’s Zaman,, Last Checked 15 April 2012.

  1. “More than anything else that keeps security analysts working on the Syrian desks in the Turkish capital around the clock with little sleep and many cups of black Turkish coffee is the “unknown” prospect of a chemical weapons stockpile by the Syrian army and whether or not these weapons can be used by Assad’s forces or its militia proxies against Turkish interests when the regime is pushed to the limit.”
  2. “Syria is the only one of Turkey’s neighbors that has not signed the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention, a treaty banning chemical weapons production, possession, distribution and use. Hence, we do not know how comprehensive a chemical arms program Damascus has been running so far, nor do we know the specific nature or capacity of its stockpile and the exact whereabouts of these weapons.”
  3. “There are only estimates from the Turkish, Arab and Western intelligence agencies that have been tracking Syrian efforts since the early 1980s.”
  4. “Assad has stored these weapons in some 50 different cites, mostly located in the northern part of the country that is closer to the Turkish border. For example, there are weapons depots in Hama, Homs, Latakia, al-Safirah, Dumayr and Khan Abu Shamatwere, which are all believed to contain chemical weapons.”
  5. “Last month, during a hearing at the Senate Armed Services Committee, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told members that the US administration had been in discussions with Turkey over their anxieties regarding chemical and biological weapons depots in Syria. He stressed that the US was concerned over Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons, which he said was “100 times worse than what we dealt with in Libya.” In the same committee, Marine Gen. James Mattis, head of the US Central Command, which covers the Middle East and Gulf region, also said, “Syria has a ‘substantial chemical and biological weapons capability and thousands of shoulder-launched missiles’.”
  6. “As the only NATO member bordering Syria, Turkey is also concerned that Assad forces may use chemical weapons against civilians in besieged towns and cities as a last resort in order to escalate the humanitarian crisis and trigger a massive refugee exodus from Syria.”
  7. “On many occasions, Turkish authorities have had to force Iranian cargo planes flying through Turkish airspace to land at Turkish airports for inspection or have seized suspicious cargo carried by Iranian trucks overland en route to Syria.”
  8. “The head of the OPCW is Ahmet Üzümcü, a Turkish diplomat, who was unanimously elected director-general of the organization in 2009 for a four-year term. Ankara has been providing Üzümcü with intelligence reports on chemical weapons in Syria.”
  9. “The red flag was raised last year when Turkish intelligence discovered that Russia, a backer of the Assad regime, had sent 3 million gas masks to Syria. Officials in Ankara believe this shipment may be a sign that the regime has been preparing to use chemical weapons in an armed conflict.”
  10. “In the meantime, Turkey has been preparing for a doomsday scenario in the event of a chemical attack. The security measures around strategic vital assets like dams and water reservoirs in areas close to the Syrian border have been upgraded. The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) has already developed technologies to protect Turkish troops and civilians from chemical attacks as well as early warning and detection systems using airborne scanning devices at the Marmara Research Center.”
  11. “The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK)’s NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical) schools have been mobilized to offer what the army calls “wake up” services to train the personnel on preparedness for the hazards of chemical weapons. Turkish troops on the Syrian border have been trained on a contingency plan for a possible chemical attack from Syria, and the TSK has reportedly taken the necessary precautions to prevent such a possibility.”
  12. “The TSK has been monitoring the troop movements of the Syrian army with an eye on mobile missile launchers that may have the capability of firing missiles with chemical warheads.”
  13. “Turkey is also utilizing NATO’s assets, especially an early warning radar system that was installed in Kurecik, Malatya province, as part the NATO missile shield to track Syrian missiles.”
  14. “Last but not the least, Turkish officials have also been talking to the allies on the possibility of taking out a weapons depot believed to contain chemical arms in a series of surgical air strikes with the participation of Turkish, Saudi and US fighter jets.”
  15. “The Israelis, who are also deeply worried about chemical weapons in Syria, look to Turkey to see if there is room for cooperation on this issue. Considering the expertise of the Israeli Air Force in surgical strikes, their participation may come in handy.”

WMD, Chemical, Syria, Chemical Surveillance, CWC


Editors, “Army orders chemical detectors” 27 April 2012,,, Last Checked 30 April 2012.

  1. “Army has placed a $27 million order for chemical detector systems from Smiths Detection, the company reports.”
  2. “The order was given under the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Chemical Agent Detector program to protect troops in the field.”
  3. “The JCAD program is based on Smiths Detection’s LCD 3.3, an advanced, light-weight device that can be easily strapped to a soldier’s belt. The device samples the air constantly for the presence of chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial chemicals.”
  4. “The threat from a wide range of chemical weapons is both real and immediate and one that the military must be fully equipped to combat,” said Smiths Detection President Mal Maginnis *”Smiths Detection is supplying its enhanced M4A1 JCADs. Delivery of the units has already started, it said. The number of units to be supplied, however, wasn’t revealed. The units are being produced at the company’s facility at Edgewood, Md.”

Chemical, Chemical Surveillance, Military


Editors, “Telops software detects hazardous gas emissions in real time” 24 April 2012, VisionSystem,, Last Checked 30 April 2012.

  1. “Telops, leader in the field of hyperspectral imaging systems and high performance infrared cameras for the Defense and Security, Environmental, Oil and Gas, and Industrial markets, is pleased to introduce Reveal D&I, a real-time detection software designed specifically for detection and identification of gas emissions.”
  2. “Reveal D&I allows to detect in real-time a large portfolio of gases simultaneously with an excellent detection rate. This powerful software also allows the visualization of a gas cloud in a scene and enables users to follow its evolution over time.”
  3. “Reveal D&I is designed to be used with the Hyper-Cam for numerous hyperspectral applications including standoff detection and identification of Toxic Industrial Chemicals and Chemical Warfare Agents, measurement of flares, leak detection, pollution monitoring, and more.”
  4. “This interactive software also allows the visualization of the calibrated spectrum at each pixel on the real-time images as well as providing the ability to adjust detection thresholds. The detected gas clouds appear in different colours in the scene which is being observed.”
  5. “This new software brings hyperspectral imaging to a whole new level as it provides the user with direct feedback from its ongoing experiments and field trials. It was also designed to make thermal hyperspectral imaging more accessible as the user needs only to focus on its application and not on the hardware.” says Marc-André Gagnon, Hyper-Cam Product Line Manager at Telops.

Chemical, Chemical Surveillance


McClelland, Carol Lt. Col., “Small CBRNE teams pack large capabilities” 30 April 2012,,, Last Checked 7 May 2012.

  1. “Called CRTs, a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, high-yield explosives response team is made up of only 15 soldiers but its mission is to do field presumptive identification, which means detecting bio-weapons while donning protective gear and entering sites deemed too dangerous for others.”
  2. “It’s dealing with germ warfare—when the enemy commits a war act by using biological toxins or infectious agents like bacteria, viruses or fungi with the intent to harm or kill humans, animals or plants.
  3. “Bravo Company from the 110th Chemical Battalion (Technical Escort) deployed from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., to South Korea and participated in Foal Eagle, a monthlong, annual, joint/combined field training exercise that concluded, April 30. CRTs were created to deploy within the U.S. or overseas and can conduct CBRNE assessments, disablement, elimination, escort, site remediation and restoration in support of combatant commanders and other federal agencies.”
  4. “During Foal Eagle missions, the CRT worked together with CBRN specialists from 2nd Infantry Division and the Republic of Korea.”
  5. “While some soldiers remained outside establishing decontamination lines, guiding communication flow, or directing the course of events, others entered a dimly lit tunnel to safeguard it from explosives or other possible hazards and provide an initial assessment, followed by a different set of soldiers who gathered and packaged samples for analysis.”
  6. “Members of 2ID’s 4th Chemical Company are CBRN specialists. They include medics, engineers, mechanics and communicators.”
  7. “In order to give the most accurate account of what they saw, they’ll take photos, draw maps and relay detailed information to help the next team – the samplers.
  8. “It’s important for us to give a back brief on what we saw. It could be liquids, solids, powder or could be any kind of chemicals or nerve agents. It could be anything really,” Harris said. “We’re supposed to go narrow down the possibilities.”
  9. “A heads up display inside the mask will help the recon team track remaining air time. The team surveys make-shift rooms inside the tunnel while checking the air quality outside their suits. There are stairs to navigate through fogged up face masks and a laboratory with chemicals still brewing in beakers. The team also discovers six shells that represent chemical munitions and two are leaking. The three end their survey session and head down a steep hill to go through decontamination procedures before providing information that will help the next team.”
  10. “The ROK army has studied and learned from the U.S. for several years so our procedures are similar,” Pyo said. “But I’m impressed by U.S. procedure because the U.S. specifies following the manual step-by-step. ROK procedures are kind of loose compared to U.S. procedures.”

Chemical, Chemical Surveillance, Military, South Korea


Pollick, Michael, “Rapid Pathogen Screening secures Homeland Security deal“ 3 May 2012, heraldtribune,, Last Checked 7 May 2012.

  1. “Rapid Pathogen Screening Inc. — the local company developing test kits aimed at spotting the flu and other diseases — has landed a contract with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.”
  2. “The contract from the agency’s Chemical and Biological Defense Division is for the development and manufacture of a rapid, point-of-care diagnostic test for use during a biological attack or pandemic. All the test would require from a patient is a finger stick for blood.”
  3. “There is a certain combination of things that the Department of Homeland Security gave us a grant to develop a test for,” said RPS marketing manager Laura Lovejoy. “This would be used in a pandemic or a biological attack, with some sort of virus being released into an urban area.”
  4. “Theoretically, the kit format developed by RPS can be aimed at spotting almost any virus or bacterial threat, by measuring the presence of the antibody the body creates on its own to fight the invader.”
  5. “The company, which now employs 30, is beginning to market a second generation of its original test kit, designed to spot the highly contagious viral form of conjunctivitis, or pink-eye.”
  6. “The new version of this kit, called AdenoPlus, was designated this week by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as being a test with the lowest possible complexity. This means that the new version can be used by anybody in the medical office, including, for example, technicians or aides as well as doctors and nurses.”
  7. “If the test shows positive for viral conjunctivitis, the patient would know that antibiotics would not be useful.”
  8. “RPS already has received grants from within the Defense Department establishment to develop a test kit aimed at four different nerve agents, including the two best-known, Sarin and VX.”

Homeland Security, Biodetection, Biotechnology, Public Health, Flu, Chemical Surveillance, Sarin


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