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chemical attack preparation

Public Event Protection from Toxic Chemical Releases

Public Event Protection from Toxic Chemical Releases

By | chemical attack preparation, chemical attacks properness, terrorist attack preparation

Public events present a large platform for terrorist or planned attackers to target. Public venues host a significant number of attendees, therefore the potential risk of a planned attack taking place is extremely heightened. After the tragic events that have taken place at big venue locations like the 2017 Las Vegas Shooting, the November 2015 Paris Attacks on Stade de France, and the Manchester Bombing in 2017 the imminent risk of attacks occurring in an organized public venue has been amplified significantly.

Planned Terrorist AttackIn an effort to reduce or completely eliminate the risk of terror threats or attacks, the United States developed the Department of Homeland Security in 2001, classified to “develop and coordinate the implementation of a comprehensive national strategy to secure the United States from terrorist threats or attacks.” A big goal of this United States department recently was to increase focus on building and venue protection – particularly following the evolution of gruesome attacks that have increased in these settings.

Large crowds of civilians in one area such as in a venue, arena, or anywhere that a gathering of people have amassed has become a major monitored area for officials – but the level of difficulty associated with monitoring a large area such as these presents a daunting task for police forces and government officials. Extensive planning is required in preparation of a large organized event occurring – including communication with local first responders and safety services and selecting the best means to effectively detect and protect the venue from hazardous weapons such as bombs, guns, and even chemical attacks that can severely hurt a large group of people.

This guide is designed to provide an overview of how to prepare and defend an event, public gathering, or venue from potential attacks or accidents involving volatile organic compounds (VOCs), toxic chemicals, and even CWAs that could significantly affect a sizable gathering of civilians – as well as protecting those who protect us, like first responders. 

Background on the Importance of Venue Protection

Background on the Importance of Venue ProtectionTerrorist attacks in the United States is on a steady incline, with the growing issue taking over and increasing worry for civilians and most importantly the United States Government. The terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 2001, along with other international incidents such as the Tokyo subway attack with sarin gas, has forced the United States Congress to focus more on domestic preparedness for attacks that utilize Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).

Preparedness starts with first-responders and police officials, providing proper training on how to deal with attacks, specifically involving chemical agents, is necessary for those designated with protecting civilians. The Domestic Preparedness Act was a bill funded by the U.S. Congress for training of emergency responders and acquisition of equipment to support their efforts. This law or bill has widespread impact on many organizations including the following:

  • Fire/HazMat (hazardous materials)
  • Police
  • EMS (emergency medical services)
  • Hospitals

Also, it is important for event staffers to receive security awareness training to help reduce the risk of attacks occurring during a venue event. Event staffers are many times the first line of defense in creating and maintaining a secure inner perimeter in and around a venue. Therefore, training workers to remain vigilant will help to improve overall security in a large public venue event.

Preparing for Terrorism at Public Events

Dealing with potential attacks or terrorism in a large public event requires careful planning and training in minimizing the risks and dangers to public safety. The Domestic Preparedness Act and the complete planning of first-responders creates an increase insight into the many difficulties and challenges of shielding and protecting a large group of gathered civilians. The greater understanding that officials have in relation to the hazards surrounding terrorism in public events, the more feasible it is to effectively prepare and combat risks at a lower level of danger to the public while still protecting civilians.

First responders and officials walk a fine-line in either over-responding or under-responding to an attack placed on a sizable amount of people.

Over-responding can taint community confidence and public support for the first-responding agencies if they view the actions taken as unnecessary, expensive, and/or time consuming.

Under-responding can lead to panic, mass hysteria, civilian injuries, and even death. Following the attack, news coverage could focus on the ill-preparation from response teams.

Chemical Attack & Release Preparedness

Chemical releases and attacks under ill-preparation will have devastating consequences, placing both first responders and the public at risk. The complications involving chemical releases, and/or a chemical attack is the inability to be able to monitor or get a cohesive description on the exact chemical that is released into the air and in the environment. Depending on the chemical that is released it will require different methods for neutralization of the agent and overall decontamination of the affected environment.

Dangers of Chemical Warfare Agents (CWAs) in Venue Attacks

Dangers of Chemical Warfare Agents (CWAs) in Venue AttacksTerrorists and other attackers have the potential to unveil a lethal chemical force upon civilians. These agents called, Chemical Warfare Agents (CWAs), are chemical compounds designed to either kill or debilitate opposing military forces and is a major factor of concern for security and police experts who acknowledge the threat these chemicals present to civilians. Chemical warfare agents were originally developed from TICs (Toxic Industrial Chemicals) and TIMs (Toxic Industrial Materials) that were created by civilians. In turn, these chemicals have been utilized in attacks on civilians posing a lethal threat to the public in the event of its deployment. Although chemical attacks may appear obtuse and/or unlikely to occur there is a growing concern of chemicals being used as a weapon in large scale attacks – particularly with CWAs.

Weapons of mass destruction preparedness programs were primarily focused only on military CWAs, but it has become apparent that many other equally hazardous chemicals are widely available in many industries which can create an added risk to venues and other large-scale events. What preparedness tools or technologies should be available if or when an incident involving chemical agents occurs upon a group of civilians?

Chemical Neutralization & Decontamination Technology for Event Protection

FAST-ACT® is a proprietary formulation of non-toxic high-performance specialty materials effective at neutralizing a wide range of toxic chemicals with the added capability to destroy chemical warfare agents. The FAST-ACT formulation is non-flammable, noncorrosive, and significantly reduces both liquid and vapor hazards. Since the dry powder neutralizes threats upon contact, on-site incident management and clean up times are reduced.

FAST-ACT works quickly to significantly reduce hazards associated with common industrial chemicals including: acids, acidic/caustic gases, organic compounds, phosphorus and sulfur compounds, and many industrial solvents. By the nature of FAST-ACT’s innovative chemistry, hazards are chemically bound to the surface of the powder minimizing off-gassing.

Chemical Neutralization & Decontamination Technology for Event Protection

Tested by U.S. Soldier Biological Chemical Command (SBCCOM) and Battelle Memorial Institute (Battelle), FAST-ACT is proven to remove over 99.6% (detection limit) of VX, GD (soman) and HD (mustard “gas”) from surfaces in under 90 seconds, converting them to safer by-products.

FAST-ACT is effective against a wide range of toxic chemicals including:

  • Acids
  • Halogenated compounds
  • Phosphorus compounds
  • Acidic and caustic gases
  • Organic compounds
  • Chemical warfare agents
  • Neutralizes both liquid and vapor hazards
  • Rapid-acting upon contact
  • Life-safety threat reduction
  • Reduces on-site management time and cost Non-toxic, non-corrosive, non-flammable Dry powder formulation Safe to apply to all liquid and vapor releases Easy to operate delivery systems
  • No premixing is required
  • All units are portable No special training required Effective over a wide range of temperatures and environmental conditions Compact containers for easy storage

FAST-ACT rapidly (under 2 minutes) treats a wide range of acids (e.g., hydrochloric, nitric, phosphoric and sulfuric), acidic and caustics gases (e.g., sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, chlorine, anhydrous ammonia), oxidizers (ethylene oxide), organics such as alcohols (e.g.,methanol, ethanol), aldehydes (i.e., acetaldehyde), fuels (e.g., diesel, gasoline), aromatics (e.g., p-cresol), organic compounds containing heteroatom such as: sulfur (e.g., mercaptans), phosphorus (paraoxon, dimethyl methyl phosphonate) and nitrogen (4-vinyl pyridine, acetonitrile) and halogenated compounds (chloroacetyl chloride, acetyl chloride).

Venue Protection from CWAs

FAST-ACT’s efficacy against nerve agents GD, VX and blistering agent HD has been tested at Battelle and SBCCOM. The formulation was found to remove over 99.6% (detection limit) of these agents from surfaces within 90 seconds. In a subsequent step the agents are destroyed producing much safer products. In addition to the chemical warfare agents, FAST-ACT was found to destroy simulants of chemical warfare nerve, mustard, blood, and choking agents.

The FAST-ACT product line includes the following:

  • FAST-ACT 5 kg Bulk Pail: The 5 kg bulk pail can be safely applied where known or unknown chemicals are a potential threat. Typical applications include for Hazmat Team spill response and containment, sorbent in decon line shuffle pit, rapid covering of surfaces with decon powder, neutralization of unknown chemical mixtures, and industrial & commercial facility leaks.FAST-ACT 5 kg Bulk Pail
  • FAST-ACT 500-gram Shaker Bottle: The 500-gram shaker bottle can be safely applied to Hazmat teams small scale spill response, fine decon in conjunction with the FAST-ACT Decon Mitt, emergency onsite containment for first responders, laboratories in schools, hospitals, and commercial use, and lastly personal equipment containment and neutralization of containment.FAST-ACT 500-gram Shaker Bottle
  • FAST-ACT Decon Mitt: The Decon Mitt allows for safe and easy wiping and handling of chemical spills and neutralized industrial materials. Typical applications for the decon mitt include Hazmat Teams gear cleaning, military special forces and tactical equipment rapid decon, emergency surface decontamination – small scale, decon lines, and cleanup of unknown hazards.FAST-ACT Decon Mitt
  • FAST-ACT Mask (3pk): The FAST-ACT Mask can be safely applied where known and unknown chemicals are a potential threat. Typical applications include airway defense against vapor release and attacks, airway defense against toxic and noxious chemical malodors, and respiratory protection during chemical decontamination and cleanup.FAST-ACT Mask
  • FAST-ACT Pressurized Cylinder (Available in 1, 2, or 4 kg): The Pressurized Cylinders offer a solution for vapor or liquid chemical releases in both enclosed and large spaces. Typical applications include for Hazmat team’s airspace decontamination, neutralization of acidic gases, rapid decontamination of gear, enclosed spaces knockdown of vapor and odors, and decontamination of shelter/tent cleanup.FAST-ACT Pressurized Cylinder
  • FAST-ACT Microfiber Towel Pack: The Microfiber Towel Pack includes two microfiber towels, one to absorb the excess liquid chemical from the surface, and the other to contain the surface chemical decontamination with the FAST-ACT technology. Typical applications include surface decontamination, chemical decontamination of small and intricate items, and gear cleanup.FAST-ACT Microfiber Towel Pack
  • FAST-ACT Powder Bottle Pack: The Powder Bottle Pack can be utilized in conjunction with the FAST-ACT Microfiber Towel Pack or Decon Mitt, it can be applied for surface decontamination, chemical decontamination of small and intricate items, and gear cleanup. FAST-ACT Powder Bottle Pack
Tear Gas Effects & Protection for Civilians

Tear Gas Effects & Protection for Civilians

By | chemical attack preparation, chemical attacks properness

Have you ever witnessed a riot or large crowd that is increasingly growing more and more dangerous? Whether it be a local protest, fight, or demonstration a large group of people in an area can erupt into chaos, particularly for law enforcement officers. A major riot control agent, like tear gas can be used in many instances for security forces, but due to the nature of the chemical there are strict international guidelines in place around its use and the way in which it can be deployed against civilians for crowd control measures. How dangerous can tear gas be to human health and what can be utilized to protect yourself from this chemical agent?

Tear Gas vs CS GasTear Gas vs CS Gas

Tear gas is classified as a non-lethal irritant that contains a couple different chemicals, including a variant of capsaicin, but the gas most commonly used on protesters is “CS Gas”, or 2-chlorobenzalmalonitrile. According to “Tear Gas, With an Emphasis on Self Defense,” there are three kinds of tear gas a consumer can buy:

  • CS (chlorobenzylidenemalononitrile)
  • CN (chloroacetophenone) – often found in Mace
  • Pepper spray – made from chili peppers mixed with a vehicle like corn oil

What is CS Gas?

CS gas is among one of the most commonly used tear gases in the world. Law enforcement agencies and officials have found this agent valuable when faced with combative suspects, riot control, and for hostage and siege situations. Exposure to CS gas will cause distressing symptoms including lacrimation, eye pain, blepharospasm, a burning sensation in the nose & throat, chest tightness, sneezing, & coughing. CS gas starts to affect the environment and those exposed to it within 30 to 60 seconds after deployment.

What is CN Gas?

 CN gas, also known as Chloroacetophenone, is the active ingredient utilized in maze, to help as a riot control or tear agent for law enforcement officials. This gas has a sharp, irritating odor that disperses upon deployment. The CN gas can be absorbed by ingestion and inhalation in humans. CN has similar affects to CS gas and can include temporary loss of balance and even permanent skin damage. Overall, the effects of CN gas last longer than that of CS gas.

What is Pepper Spray?

The active ingredient in pepper spray is oleoresin capsicum (OC), a natural oil found in many types of hot peppers. Pepper spray is usually dispensed from an aerosol canister to disperse quickly into the environment. Exposure from pepper spray can result in blisters to the skin.

What Does Tear Gas Do to Human Health?

Tear gas, despite its name, is not a gas, but an aerosol. The chemical agent CS that is utilized in tear gas is a solid at room temperature and mixed with liquid or gas dispersal agents when used as a weapon designed to trigger the pain-sensing nerves. Tear gas works by triggering a reaction from the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, mouth, and lungs. According to the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993, signed by nearly every country in the world, banned the use of tear gas in warfare but found it legal in domestic riot control. When tear gas is deployed the chemical can create a cloud that affects the area the discharge took place. The chemical cloud will affect a person’s eyes, nose, and respiratory system – and can illicit other health reactions.

The Effects of Tear Gas

Tear gas has strong and lasting effects on human health. This vapor release will potentially irritate the mucous membrane of the eyes, nose, mouth, and lungs which can lead to tearing, coughing, burning, and stinging sensations. According to German toxicologist Uwe Heinrich, the dispersion of this chemical at a concentration of one milligram per cubic meter will cause symptoms of irritation. The overall composition of tear gas is designed to disable humans – rendering them from being able to fully function upon exposure.

This release also presents difficulty when removing from any impacted structure. Where tear gas is deployed, canisters are shot from launchers that heat the deployed canisters prior to its release, this helps increase area of dispersion more effectively. The particles that are released from the deployment are heavy and they settle eventually but can move from a powder state to gas under heat – which increases the likelihood of recontamination in the environment.

Tear Gas Protection Plan

There are many myths surrounding the different methods to implement for protection against tear gas, and it can be hard to see through them all. Some of the debunked myths include the following:

  • Soaking a bandana or cloth in apple cider vinegar and tightly covering your mouth with it.
  • Smearing lime or lemon juice on the inside of a cloth and tightly covering your mouth with it.
  • Soaking a bandana in water and tightly covering your mouth with it.
  • Smearing toothpaste under your eyes.
  • Or Sniffling a freshly cut onion

The chemical CN, utilized in tear gas is a potent, sharp, and irritating chemical that can be released into indoor air as fine particulate smoke, vapor, or liquid and due to the nature of this chemical many DIY protection methods simply fall short in providing real protection. For personal protection from tear gas, a protective mask is the best tool to implement. Tear gas is released into the air and can be inhaled or ingested when exposure occurs. In an effort to prevent chemical exposure and inhalation, utilizing a protective face mask can be critical. The FAST-ACT VapourKlenz Face Mask is ideal for toxic chemical vapor releases in the environment. FAST-ACT utilizes a patented earth mineral technology that is designed to attack and neutralize a broad spectrum of chemicals including chemical warfare agents (CWAs). Chloroacetophenone (CN), when dissolved in a solvent and released as an aerosol, FAST-ACT can interact with the compound at different active sites for neutralization. FAST-ACT also functions by knocking the liquid spray down when it has been released to an air space.

Tear Gas Neutralization

The Dangers of Acid Attacks in London

The Dangers of Acid Attacks in London: A List of the Most Corrosive Acids

By | chemical attack preparation, chemical attacks properness, Uncategorized

Violence was once predominately accomplished through the use of guns & knives, but as time has progressed attackers have turned to a new method of violence focusing on a new weapon – corrosive acids that have been deployed in many acid attacks that have increasingly occurred throughout the UK. The United Kingdom has one of the highest rates of acid attacks per capita in the world, according to the Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTI).

Why has acid become the new weapon of choice among gang members and attackers? Acid use to be a weapon of last resort, however, due to its easy accessibility and the fact that it is hard to monitor has amplified the use of these acids in attacks ten-fold. Recently attacks in the UK have transpired on the streets – particularly to food delivery drivers in an effort to steal their scooters, on the London trains, and even in London nightclubs where frequent acid attacks have happened leading to a dangerous environment to many as the chemicals/acids quickly disperse into the air. What can be done to protect UK civilians from these dangerous attacks & chemicals?

The Rise of Acid Attacks

Acid attacks in London have increased dramatically in recent years, and lawmakers and the police force are now contemplating methods to make acids that are commonly used as weapons, more difficult to obtain for the general public.

Chief Superintendent Simon Laurence of Hackney borough in east London said, “that between 2015 and 2016, acid attacks have increased by 74%”. Between 2014 to 2016, acid attacks have steadily increased each year; 2014 saw 166 acid attacks, 2015 saw 261 acid attacks, and lastly 2016 saw a dramatic jump of 454 acid attacks. Last year also experienced a significant rise of acid attacks and was regarded as the worst year ever for these attacks, with more than 400 incidents reported in the six months to April 2017 alone!

The culprit for these steadily increasing acid attack statistics is primarily from gang disputes. The UK acid attackers saw a strong correlation of male victims, unlike many countries that saw about 80% of acid attacks against women. This could be due to the high poverty and lack of opportunities for many young men in London that are led into the world of gang violence.

What is an Acid Attack – and Why is it so Lethal

Acid attacks, also known as acid throwing, is a form of violent assault explained as the act of throwing corrosive acid onto somebody’s body with the intention of significantly harming, disfiguring, or killing the intended victim. The most common acid used in these attacks are sulpheric acid, which is found in car batteries. Also, commonly used is nitric and hydrochloric acids.

These acids when thrown onto a person’s body will start to melt the flesh, sometimes to the bone, and leave permanent scarring or even physical disfigurement. The overall long-term consequences of these lethal acid attacks can include blindness, permanent scarring of the face or body, and also social, psychological, or economic difficulties.

Identifying the Most Corrosive Acids Used in These Attacks

Buying corrosive acids have never been so easy to purchase as they are now. Well-known high street chains and online outlets make it increasingly easy to purchase sulphuric acid as well as other corrosive acids with just a few clicks of your computer mouse. Scary, right?

Acid attacks typically utilize different chemistries of corrosive acids and chemicals in these planned attacks. The chemistries involved can include acid family, base family, vapor threats, and toxics. Each of these different chemistries can interact and create different results when exposure occurs, understanding the different acids/chemicals in each category and the best solution to implement to neutralize the release or dispersant of these agents can help to minimize exposure risks to civilians.

Acid Family

Corrosive, can quickly damage the skin, eyes, and rapidly go into the vapor phase upon release. These are all dangerous characteristics of acid chemicals composed of the acid family utilized in acid attacks. The major forms of acid in this category include the following:

  • Sulfuric Acid: This acid is commonly found in common household products such as drain cleaner and fertilizer and is a clear, colorless, and odorless liquid. This dangerous chemical is capable of corroding the skin, paper, metals, and even stone in some cases. If this chemical makes direct contact with your eyes it can cause permanent blindness and if it is internally ingested it can even cause internal burns, irreversible organ damage, and possible death.
  • Nitric Acid: Nitric acid is a colorless or yellow liquid with a caustic odor and extremely corrosive properties. This chemical is used in the manufacturing of a wide variety of products including explosives, ammunition, rocket propellant, inks & dyes, aging pine and maple wood, and commercial cleaning agents. The acid is extremely corrosive, capable of causing severe chemical burns very rapidly.
  • Hydrochloric Acid: Approximately 20 million tons of hydrochloric acid are produced globally every year, and you can even find this acid in your home. This acid is corrosive and if it comes into contact with the skin, eyes, or internal organs the damage can be irreversible or even fatal.
  • Chromic Acid Solution: An acid solution that is identified as a human carcinogen. This acid can affect your breathing and can irritate the nose, throat, and lungs causing coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
  • Formic Acid: Commonly used as a preservative and antibacterial agent in livestock feeds – this acid pesticide is a clear, colorless liquid with a strong odor. When exposure to this acid occurs, you can expect burning of the skin or eyes, as well as respiratory irritation.

To effectively combat these corrosive substances, a need for an efficient neutralization agent like FAST-ACT is high. FAST-ACT works by converting the inorganic acids to metal salts and water. Once FAST-ACT is deployed the proprietary technology works to contain and neutralize the acids to a safer pH.

Base Family

Chemical bases utilized in many acid attacks are both corrosive and can significantly damage the skin & eyes. The major forms of bases in this category include the following:

  • Potassium Hydroxide: A chemical base that is commonly found in drain and pipeline cleaners & bleaching agents. This corrosive substance can be damaging to the eyes, the skin, and the respiratory tract. Potassium Hydroxide can be absorbed into the body by inhalation – particularly when acid attacks occur.
  • Sodium Hydroxide: Sodium hydroxide is a chemical found in industrial solvents and cleaners, including drain cleaners and oven cleaners. This chemical is a strongly irritating and corrosive substance that can cause severe burns and permanent damage to any tissues that come into contact with this base.

To effectively combat these corrosive substances, a need for an efficient neutralization agent like FAST-ACT is high. FAST-ACT works by suppressing the vapor & containing the liquid with the excess FAST-ACT bringing its pH into a safe range.

Vapor Threats

Chemical & liquid threats used in many acid attacks can corrode and cause severe respiratory issues as it rapidly expands to fill the air space. The major vapor threats released in an acid attack include the following:

  • Ammonia: Ammonia is one of the most commonly produced industrial chemicals in the United States. This chemical is found in many household and industrial-strength cleaning solutions. Ammonia gas is released into the air and quickly disperses due to the fact it is lighter than air. Exposure to high concentrations of ammonia in the air will cause immediate burning of the nose, throat, & respiratory tract.
  • Chlorine: Chlorine is a chemical used in industry and household cleaning products. The substance is among the ten highest volume chemicals made in the United States. Chlorine can enter the body as a result of breathing, swallowing, or skin contact with the substance. The acid is corrosive and can damage cells in the body upon contact.

To effectively combat these corrosive substances, a need for an efficient neutralization agent like FAST-ACT is high. FAST-ACT works by interacting with Chlorine to form MgCl, as well as the nitrogen in ammonia react with the metal in the FAST-ACT metal oxides and OH groups. Upon contact with FAST-ACT, chlorine will be knocked down and neutralized and ammonia will be knocked down and contained.

Toxics

Toxics found in acid attacks are compounds that impact the central nervous system upon exposure. The major toxic substances you may be exposed to during an acid attack include the following:

  • Sodium Nitrite: This compound is commonly used in the manufacturing of fertilizers and explosives. Sodium nitrite is an odorless, yellowish white chemical that when exposed can affect the respiratory system, eyes, and skin. High levels of exposure to sodium nitrite can reduce the blood’s ability to transport Oxygen, leading to headaches, dizziness, and a blue color to the skin and lips.
  • Thiofanox: Thiofanox is a colorless solid with a pungent odor, that is classified as a carbamate pesticide. This chemical is widely used in homes, gardens, and agriculture. When exposure to this pesticide occurs headaches, salivation, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea can plague the exposed individual.
  • Zinc Phosphide: A dark grey solid with an odor similar to that of decaying fish. Zinc phosphide is used as a rat and mice poison that is on the Hazardous Substance List. Chronic health effects that can occur from major exposure to this substance include potential cancer and reproductive hazards, irregular heartbeat, and damage to the liver and kidneys.

To effectively combat these corrosive substances, a need for an efficient neutralization agent like FAST-ACT is high. FAST-ACT interacts with the Nitrogen, Phosphorous, or Sulfur of the compounds to break the bond with the large molecule resulting in a byproduct bound to the FAST-ACT material resulting in neutralization.

Acid Attack Neutralization Solution

Treating not only an acid attack victim but also the environment in which the acid attack took place is critical to minimize exposure to others from the abrasive & corrosive acids used in these hazardous attacks.

The first step to implement when someone has been attacked with acid is to make sure the area where the incident took place is safe and take the necessary actions to ensure the corrosive acids and substances are neutralized. The many different chemical families used in these attacks are problematic for responders because of the various mechanisms needed to address all of the present substances in the environment. First responders would have to test and determine what mechanisms to use to neutralize the substances. However, a solution like FAST-ACT can address both liquid and vapor threats from the Acid, Base, Vapor, & Toxic categories, including CWAs.

Acid Attack Neutralization

Secondly, you will want to treat the victim by dousing the burn with water for at least 20 minutes. Try to gently remove any clothing with the substance on it and call first responders ASAP for treatment.

The steady increase of acid attacks in the UK has not gone unnoticed, as plans of recourse are being strategically made in an effort to reduce this growing number of acid attacks. Former Home Secretary Amber Rudd has a plan to ban the sale of corrosive substances to those under the age of 18. However, being prepared – particularly the police in the UK, as well as other countries – with the necessary solution for acid attack neutralization is vital in helping to reduce the imminent threats present in the environment.

 

Ultimate Guide to Chemical Hazmat Decontamination

By | chemical attack preparation, chemical spill clean up

What are the procedures or steps to take when a chemical has been released into your environment? Something that most emergency departments, emergency medical services (EMS) and even the military are armed with is both the knowledge and the equipment to have the ability to decontaminate such instances of chemical releases. Chemical releases can occur from terrorist attacks, chemical spills, or even chemical accidents in the workplace. The slight possibility of a chemical release requires those emergency responders & HAZMAT to be prepared for such an event with a decontamination plan. There are tailored training classes and programs geared to teaching the necessary decontamination training needed for chemical releases – including the necessary hazmat equipment desired to decontaminate the released chemical. Therefore, understanding what decontamination is and what hazmat decontamination equipment and procedures are required to accomplish the potential chemical contamination is grave to overall safety and health.

What Does Decontamination Mean

Decontamination is the process of removing, reducing, or neutralizing contaminants that have accumulated on personnel, equipment and in the environment – it is critical to health and safety in hazardous conditions. Decon is a vital component to hazardous emergency response, as time becomes of the essence when dealing with a chemical release or attack. The process of decontamination is so important that, in many cases, no one is permitted to enter a hazardous area until decon is set up and ready to implement. However, sometimes containing a hazardous environment or area can be difficult, particularly when you are left dealing with the aftermath of a terrorist attack that released chemicals into a large populated area. Thus, the importance of decontamination is critical to public health and safety.

Importance of Decontamination

Every day, there are large quantities of hazardous chemicals that are created, transported, stored, and even applied for industrial or household purposes. While keeping in mind other potential threats like opposing countries that have stockpiles of chemical weapons that could be deployed unknowingly into the environment. Therefore, the importance of decontamination is high as proper decontamination practices can help aid in the reduction of hazardous chemicals, thus protecting health and ensuring safety in the environment. Chemicals can settle onto the surfaces and contaminate the area, therefore releasing airborne chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) agents into the air. When these chemicals become airborne into the air, the risk of exposure increases for those in the environment which leads to the need for emergency responders and military members to quickly react to the chemical in the area, by utilizing a decontamination plan and chemical decontamination applications.

When chemicals are released into the environment, they can quickly spread throughout the infected area and reach for pass the deployed space. Three areas to monitor for contamination of chemicals includes surfaces, air, and on your skin.

Chemical Contamination on Skin

Chemical contamination on your skin will require almost immediate action. To start, you will quickly want to remove your clothing, as clothing can contribute to contamination and contact to your skin because the chemicals can become absorbed into the fabric of your clothing. Also, you will want to remove hazardous skin and hair from your skin with any dry absorbent material and follow with a wet decontamination – shower, swimming pool, etc.- to aid in the removal process.

Chemical Contamination on Surfaces

Chemical agents will disperse into the environment and begin settling onto the surfaces. When chemicals proceed to contaminate the surfaces, having a successful and effective decontamination solution is imperative to complete decontamination. Particularly, when dealing with Chemical Warfare Agents (CWAs) the difficulty in completely neutralizing and decontaminating the toxic chemical can be no easy task. Utilizing a surface decontamination application such as those of FAST-ACT can help to rid the surface of potentially hazardous chemicals that people can become exposed to and come into contact with.

Chemical Contamination in the Air

Vapor chemical releases that find their way into the air can become potentially toxic depending on the chemical at play and the quantity of the chemical in the air. Chemical exposure can occur when you breathe in air that is contaminated by hazardous chemicals that have circulated in the air. A chemical vapor release can be difficult to decontaminate and control as it can quickly make a significant impact on public health and safety. To effectively neutralize and decontaminate the hazardous chemical vapors you will need a vapor neutralizing pressurized cylinder that can work to decontaminate the sources of toxic vapor.

Types of Decontamination

There are a couple different methods for decontamination that first-responders, HAZMAT, and the military utilize. These different types of decontamination include water/soap wash, oxidation/hydrolysis, and hydrolysis. Going through each of these types of decontamination will help to determine the necessary chemical hazmat decontamination you will need for each chemical contamination situation.

Chemical Decontamination for Skin: Water/Soap Wash

Can soap and water do the trick for complete chemical decontamination on your skin? For a quick and immediate response to a chemical release, soap and water might be the quickest solution within reach. Soap and water is a low-cost decontaminant that removes chemicals by washing them off the skin. In most cases, large amounts of water or soap and water are effective for washing most agents including chemical, biological, and radiological contaminants.

Chemical Decontamination for Surface: FAST-ACT Chemical Decontamination Kit

Surfaces, following a chemical release, can become contaminated and therefore create a hazardous environment for those exposed. Combating chemicals on the surface will require effective chemical neutralizing applications such as the FAST-ACT Chemical Decontamination Kit. The effective FAST-ACT Chemical Decon Kit provides an assortment of popular surface decon products all contained in a compact storage box. These surface decon products all utilize the proprietary FAST-ACT technology for neutralizing and decontaminating a broad spectrum of chemical agents. FAST-ACT contains a proprietary formulation of non-toxic high-performance specialty materials that are effective at broad spectrum chemical neutralization including chemical warfare agent neutralization. Included in the FAST-ACT Chemical Decontamination Kit is the following:

  • FAST-ACT Decon Mitt (4 Mitts): Allows for safe and easy wiping and handling of chemical spills. Simply secure the mitt on your hand and apply to the contaminated surface.
  • FAST-ACT Sorbent Powder Bottle Set: Two 50-gram proofer bottles of FAST-ACT. Just tear, open the pack, flip open the bottle top, aim and squeeze on the surface contamination.
  • FAST-ACT Microfiber Towel Set: 2 microfiber towels, just open the pack, unroll towels, and use the green towel to absorb the excess liquid chemical from the surface, then use the FAST-ACT containing towel for surface chemical decontamination.
  • FAST-ACT/ VapourKlenz Face Masks (3): Offers our patented neutralization technology in a comfortable face mask for nuisance particulates and chemical odors.

Chemical Decontamination for Air: FAST-ACT Pressurized Cylinder

Whether you are dealing with a chemical release, spill, or attack, the chemical(s) can become airborne in your environment, tainting the quality of your air and increasing your risk of danger. When hazardous chemicals are in your air it increases the risk of inhalation and exposure, therefore having a vapor chemical decontamination application is imperative to control the safety of the environment and those exposed. The FAST-ACT Pressurized Cylinder is a vapor chemical decontamination product contained in an extinguisher for easy release. This vapor decontamination application is effective at removing harmful vapors in an enclosed space and can also be used to decontaminate gear, vehicles, or vapors in the air.

Personal Protection Safety Gear: Gas Mask vs Respirator Mask

By | chemical attack preparation, chemical spill clean up, terrorist attack preparation, Uncategorized

Are you prepared with personal protection gear in the event that your safety is compromised? Safety is of the utmost importance, whether you are a concerned parent who fears for your child’s safety, work in a field that has you exposed to hazardous chemicals, or even if you are just a concerned human that wants to have the proper safety gear within arm’s reach in the event that it becomes critical to your health. Personal protective equipment can include protective clothing and ensembles, eye safety, and most importantly air respirators. When hazardous chemicals are released into your environment, the chemicals can enter into your body through your skin, eyes, or through inhalation, and therefore having protection from these toxic chemicals with personal protection safety gear has become a direr need for all. Chemicals have the ability to spread rapidly and aggressively throughout the exposed environment, and inhalation can be the area with the most exposure for humans. In recent years, gas masks have been the ultimate protective solution for any chemical or gas release in the environment, however, could there be an alternative solution that can more effectively guard you against chemical exposure? Many people have begun to prepare themselves with protective air respirator masks as a form of chemical protection for their air, rather than using gas masks, but is an air respirator mask better than a gas mask?

why do people wear gas masksPersonal Protection Preparedness: Why Do People Wear Gas Masks?

Disasters, attacks, or even a chemical spill can happen unexpectantly, and sometimes in the blink of an eye. Preparation for these unwanted and alarming situations can be critical, and in many cases having the proper preparations and protective safety gear in place can significantly minimize the risks and hazards presented in the environment no matter the situation at hand. For many people who work in an environment that has the potential for chemical releases or exposure such as in a lab or plant, they will be provided with the necessary personal protective equipment as an OSHA standard, but if you are more concerned about the imminent threat of chemical exposure in your every day, you may want to collect these safety gear to have on hand in the rare case that it is required to protect your health. The area in which most people are concerned with is air protection following a chemical release, spill, or attack. The average adult inhales and exhales close to 7 or 8 liters of air per minute, a total of 11,000 liters of air in a day. Therefore, when the air in your environment has become tainted with chemicals the inherent risk of breathing in a substantial level of chemicals is significantly high. Many people will turn to gas masks as a form of protection for chemical contamination in their air. Gas masks have long been the solution for chemical protection for hazardous air in the environment, dating back as far as World War I. And if a gas mask has been used for that long, how could it not be the best choice for protection against toxic contaminants in the air?

Benefits of Wearing Mask for Protection

Air pollutants and chemicals that find their way into the environment can have a significant impact on your overall health, especially when toxic chemicals such as chemical warfare agents have invaded your air. If this occurs in your environment a mask to protect yourself could be immensely beneficial.

Depending on the chemical released in the environment the health risks of exposure could vary. Chemical exposure health risks are contingent on the type of chemical present, the amount of the chemical, the length of exposure, and the age and health of the person exposed. The potential health effects that can occur from exposure to chemicals include:

  • Organ damage
  • A weakening of the immune system
  • Reproductive problems and birth defects
  • Effects on the mental cognitive or physical development of children
  • Cancer

A protective face mask will aid in the reduction of possible exposure symptoms, thus a key benefit of utilizing a face mask. Also, face masks will filter out the small particulate matter in the air that can cause severe symptoms, this particulate matter can be a result of a fire, explosion, or even from the residue of a chemical release.

Gas Mask vs Respirator Mask

Gas masks are a protective mask used to cover a person’s face as a defense against poisonous or hazardous gases and chemicals. This type of mask will cover your face almost completely and includes a face piece or mask, along with a filter or cartridge device. Most gas masks utilize activated carbon or charcoal as a filtering technology, however, charcoal only removes certain chemicals and once the charcoal is full it will begin re-releasing the captured chemicals. Thus, gas masks are effective only if used with the correct cartridge or filter for chemical substance and it also requires more replacements for the filter, so the time for effectiveness per filter is hard to determine, especially when exposed to a hazardous environment.

A respirator, on the other hand, is usually only effective at protecting against particles. These types of masks usually do not protect against chemicals, gases, or vapors and are really intended for low hazard levels. Particulate respirators are categorized as “air-purifying respirators” because they clean particles out of the air as you breathe, which is great, but for chemical protection, respirators tend to fall short. However, what if there was a respirator that was both effective at particulate removal and chemical/gas neutralization? The FAST-ACT VapourKlenz Face Mask utilizes a proprietary technology that is highly reactive against a broad spectrum of chemicals and noxious odors including chemical warfare agents, as well as particulate removal. This mask is lightweight and can easily be carried around for immediate use, which is critical in preparedness for chemical exposure.

Why Buy a Gas Mask?

Buying a gas mask has its perks but it also has its downfalls as well. Gas masks offer protection from chemicals and gases in the environment. However, you need to be aware that not all gas masks are the same. Not all gas masks and filters are effective against chemical warfare and riot control agents. Without protection from these agents, the job of the gas mask is greatly reduced, and almost entirely useless. Thus, it is important to ensure the filter that accompanies the masks is effective at protecting against nuclear and chemical threats. Also, size and fit are critical. Many gas masks will fit differently which can significantly impact filtration of the hazardous chemical agents in the air.

Filter life on your gas mask can also become a major issue present when using it in a hazardous environment. Most gas mask filters need to be replaced within hours of initial use, which is not conducive when presented with a hazardous environment. Lastly, in the event of a chemical attack, release, or spill it is almost always too late when you get your gas mask on. Gas masks are not easily transported or carried every day, which results in a delay in getting the protection on when you need it. This can severely impact your health and can lead to high levels of exposure.

Why Buy a Chemical Respirator Mask?

Chemical respirator masks can offer a vast amount of benefits compared to gas masks for protection against chemicals and particulates. Firstly, unlike gas masks, chemical respirator masks offer protection without full face coverage. Chemical respirator masks go over the ears and will cover your nose and mouth for inhalation protection. Although this does not offer eye protection, it is for many people, a better option as it does not invoke claustrophobia in people who are claustrophobic. All you need with this chemical respirator mask is a pair of protective goggles and your face will be protected.

Also, chemical respirator masks, specifically the FAST-ACT VapourKlenz Face Mask is a broad spectrum chemical neutralization filter that is able to neutralize a vast amount of chemicals that come into contact with the filter. Gas masks only work against certain chemicals; therefore, a chemical respirator mask can offer more protection against chemicals. The filter life on a chemical respirator mask can also have a longer lifespan than that of a gas mask. Gas masks that use carbon technology filtration can fill up within hours after exposure to a toxic environment, whereas a chemical respirator mask, FAST-ACT VapourKlenz Face Mask, will last up to 3 months in hazardous conditions. Lastly, a chemical respirator mask offers more accessibility as the lightweight mask can be easily carried wherever you go, allowing you to be prepared to place the protective gear on as soon as chemicals are exposed into your environment.

Personal protection safety gear should be a concern for every and all individuals that want to protect themselves and the ones they love in the case of an emergency situation like a chemical attack or spill. Having the proper protective safety gear such as a chemical respirator mask will aid you in minimizing exposure and protecting your overall health.

Modern Chemical Weapons

Deadly Chemicals to Humans – Modern Chemical Weapons to Protect Yourself Against

By | chemical attack preparation, terrorist attack preparation

War is ever present in the world, as conflict is always to be an issue when dealing with different ideals, religions, and government structures throughout varying countries. As time has progressed the art of war has been molded and refined. And with the introduction of new deadly chemicals and warfare agents over the last century, military’s have taken to deploying these agents to strike the greatest level of destruction amongst their enemy. Military leaders around the world have even stated publicly that chemical weapons pose one of the biggest threats to soldiers in modern combat. This demonstrates the perilous nature of chemical warfare agents and the importance of knowing how you can protect yourself in the ill-fated event that you become exposed to these potentially deadly chemicals.

What Are Chemical Weapons

The action of chemical warfare involves the use of toxic chemical substances as weapons, that is then deployed onto the enemy. Chemical weapons are any chemical which through its chemical action on life processes can cause severe effects such as death, temporary incapacitation, or even permanent harm to humans exposed to this agent. And with modern chemical weapons increased the level of sophistication and complexity, the danger presented by these weapons is at an all-time high. Modern chemical weapons come in a variety of forms, including solid, gas, and liquid.

Before modern chemical weapons came to be there were over 160 years of chemical warfare deployment used in battle. It all began with the British forces in the Crimean War and the Union forces in the American Civil War. They would fill artillery shells with chlorine gas and fire it against the enemy. Although these were the first actual deployments of chemical weapons in war, the first full weaponization of chemicals occurred during World War I where all sides used a variety of different chemical agents, most notably chlorine gas. However, as wars progress through time the level of danger has only heightened, with dangerous agents being introduced into war with each new conflict that arises.

Three Types of Chemical Weapon Agents

Chemical warfare agents all possess different characteristics which arrange them into different categories. This classification is based on the agent’s potency, persistency, mode of delivery, size, and mechanism of action. The three major chemical warfare agent classes include nerve agents, blister agents, and choking agents. Each of these classifications presents different hazards and effect to the environment and to those exposed to the toxic chemical agents. Identifying, understanding the effects, and knowing what measures to take with each chemical weapon agent classification is important in preparing for the unfortunate case that the agent is dispersed into your environment.

 1.) Nerve Agents

Nerve agents have had an entirely dominate role since World War II. The name for this classification was established due to its effect on the functions of the nervous system, specifically the transmission of nerve impulses in the nervous system. Nerve agents were first developed in the early 1930s by a German chemist that was on the pursuit to develop a pesticide, rather than a toxic chemical warfare agent. By the ending of World War II, the three “classic” nerve agents, Tabun, Soman, and Sarin were established making up the known G agents class. Nerve agents have been recognized as being more toxic than the other reported CW agents, as they are highly toxic and can cause death within a few minutes to a few hours after exposure.

The signs and symptoms of nerve agent exposure can impact the eyes, nose, mouth, pulmonary tract, gastrointestinal tract, sweat glands, muscular systems, and central nervous system. Nerve agents can be hazardous as it can be absorbed through inhalation or skin contact, making most nerve agents quite volatile and worst of all colorless which makes it extremely difficult to distinguish. When you have exposed to nerve agents in your environment the chemicals in the agent work by disrupting the central nervous system, creating a build-up of a molecule found in the body called Acetylcholine. The body constantly has to remove those acetylcholine molecules from the receptors or the build-up can cause extreme danger and lead to an array of health issues.

After the development of the “classic” nerve agents, an even deadlier nerve agent was born called VX, “venomous agent x”. VX was discovered in Britain in the 1950s, and in the past years following its development, the agent was recognized as one of the most lethal chemical warfare agents. In its purest form, the agent is colorless, tasteless, and odorless. The VX chemical molecules interfere with the way glands and muscles function by blocking an enzyme that allows them to relax. Thus, leading to uncontrollable muscle clenching and ultimately an inability for the victim to breathe.

2.) Blister Agents

Blister agents or “vesicants” are chemicals which have severely irritating properties that produce fluid-filled pockets on the skin and can lead to damage of the eyes, lungs, and other mucous membranes. These agents were the most commonly used chemical warfare agent used during World War I. However, they were first tested in combat in 1917 by Germany and have been used in several conflicts since, specifically in the Iran-Iraq war.

The major types of blister agents include sulfur mustard (H, HD), nitrogen mustard (HN), lewisite (L), and phosgene oxime (CX). They are primarily dispersed in liquid or vapor (aerosol) form and may persist for a day in the environment. When exposure occurs in humans that have been impacted by blister agents in their environment they can start to experience issues upon inhalation that will affect the upper respiratory tract as well as the lungs, producing pulmonary edema. Blister agents may be fairly hard to detect as it does not have a strong smell – with only a hint of garlic, geraniums, or fish – so detection could be a potential issue for many in a tainted blister agent environment.

3.) Choking Agents

Choking agents are defined as chemical agents who attack lung tissue, primarily causing pulmonary edema. This type of chemical weapon agent is depicted by noticeable irritation of the upper and lower respiratory tract. This group includes the chemical agents such as phosgene (CG), diphosgene (DP), chlorine (CI), and chloropicrin (PS). The two main types of choking agents that are most commonly used are phosgene (CG) and chlorine (CI). Both of these agents could be easily obtained by a terrorist group, and once deployed into the environment it will become a gas rapidly but will be non-persistent in the environment. After exposure to these agents, it can begin to elicit irritation to the eyes and the airways. Associated symptoms could also include coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, and pulmonary edema.

Protection from Chemical Attack – Chemical Attack Survival Kit

In protection against chemical warfare agents, the decontamination process is an important unavoidable part. The aim of this process is to quickly and effectively render the chemical agents harmless and to remove the toxic substance from your environment. Decontamination can be time-consuming and may require additional resources to eradicate. However, when potentially deadly chemical warfare agents are progressing throughout your environment, time is really of the essence, and you want to be able to deploy a decontamination process quickly and effectively to neutralize hazards. The FAST-ACT proprietary technology is that quick and effective solution to decontaminating chemical warfare agents. The technology is highly reactive against a broad spectrum of chemicals including chemical warfare agents such as Mustard (HD), Tabun (GA), Soman (GD), Lewisite (L), and VX agents. FAST-ACT comes in a variety of applications to immediately contain or neutralize in a single response tool. If you want to stay protected from potential chemical weapons in your environment, the FAST-ACT Chemical Decontamination Kit is something you want to have on hand. The FAST-ACT® Chemical Decontamination Ready Kit provides an assortment of our newest and most popular surface decon products in a compact storage box. This kit includes the following:

  • FAST-ACT Decon Mitt (4 Mitts)
  • FAST-ACT Sorbent Powder Bottle Set
  • FAST-ACT Microfiber Towel Set
  • FAST-ACT VapourKlenz Face Mask (3)
  • User Manual and product information

Can You Survive a Chemical Warfare Agent Attack

By | chemical attack preparation, chemical attacks properness

Chemical warfare has gained an increasing notoriety in recent years as chemical warfare agent attacks have grown in number, especially in countries like Syria who has experienced devastation at the hands of these deadly warfare agents. Chemical warfare agents are defined as any chemical substance whose toxic properties are used to kill, injure, or debilitate an enemy in warfare. Nevertheless, when these toxic chemical agents are used on masses of unarmed civilians that have no protection from these chemical warfare agents the complete wreckage can be insurmountable.

The long history of chemical agent use dates back as far as before World War I, where it reached its peak. Many countries even began developing a stockpiling of these agents in the preparation of war, after seeing the magnitude of wreckage that could be caused by the use of these agents. However, with these deadly agents freely possessed by different countries worldwide, the need to have a plan of preparation and awareness of the impact of different types of lethal chemical warfare agents has become necessary. Furthermore, having access to the necessary resources and information can better equip you to be able to survive a chemical warfare agent attack if ever faced with these dangerous agents in your environment.

Background on Chemical War Attacks in Syria

The use of chemical war agents in Syria have been occurring since 2012, with an increase in these attacks as years have progressed. Below is a timeline of chemical war attacks in Syria, and the level of destruction created by each attack to unarmed Syrian civilians.

  • The war in Syria has been progressing since Mid-July of 2012, the time of the first acknowledgment from the Syria government that they possessed chemical weapons such as mustard gas, blister agents, and nerve agents such as sarin and VX gases.
  • On August 21st, 2013, the Assad government gassed to death over a thousand people (using sarin gas), including hundreds of children.
  • April 11th, 2014, reports began to surface of a chlorine-gas bomb attack in Kafr Zita, a village in Northwestern Syria.
  • August 10th 2016, reports of a chemical weapons attack using chlorine gas in Aleppo.
  • April 4th, 2017, Chemical weapons were used in an attack that killed dozens of people. The use of sarin gas was the suspected chemical weapon used in the attack.
  • February 1st, 2018, the third chemical weapon attack in 2018 occurred in Douma, Damascus. Two earlier attacks on January 13th and January 22nd all reported used chlorine gas.
  • April 7th, 2018, a major chemical weapons attack killing at least several dozen civilians occurred in Douma.
  • From this point, the Human Rights Watch has documented 85 chemical weapons attacks since 2013 in Syria.

*Reported by Arms Control Association (Timeline of Syrian Chemical Weapons Activity, 2012-2018)

As time progresses the threats and level of danger in Syria is at an all-time high. With over 1,000’s of unarmed civilians injured or killed in the careless acts of war, the dangers of chemical warfare agents have grown for all citizens who want to be prepared.

Chemical Attack Symptoms

When dealing with exposure to chemical warfare agents, depending on the type of exposure the symptoms can range from situation to situation.

  • Liquid exposure can easily penetrate the skin and clothing and symptoms can begin starting as soon as 30 minutes after exposure. Symptoms include:
    • Sweating
    • Muscle Twitching
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Difficulty breathing
  • Vapor exposure symptoms can occur within seconds after its release into the environment.
    • Blurred vision
    • Eye pain
    • Red eyes
    • A runny nose
    • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
  • Other symptoms include:
    • Respiratory tract symptoms
    • Headaches
    • Dizziness
    • Numbness
    • Difficulty walking

4 Lethal Chemical Warfare Agents to Know

Chemical warfare agents all possess some defining qualities that have proven to be dangerous to humans in some capacity. However, some chemical warfare agents are more lethal than others especially when distributed in large amounts in the environment. The top lethal chemical warfare agents that are not only extremely dangerous but also very commonly used in chemical wars include sarin gas, chlorine gas, mustard gas and VX agent.

Sarin Gas

A long used chemical warfare agent, sarin gas is a man-made, lethal toxin that possesses no color, taste, or odor making it not only dangerous but very fatal to those exposed. This nerve gas is often times released into the air in either vapor spray or aerosol form, deployed on the intended targeted area. Sarin, although produced as a liquid, due to its low evaporation point, it allows it to turn into a gas quickly when exposed to the environment and spread rapidly throughout the area. Because sarin gas is colorless and not easily detected in the environment, it is very difficult for people to know whether or not they have been exposed to this nerve agent. Thus, keeping an eye out for symptoms is important, these symptoms may include a runny nose, eye pain, drooling, excessive sweating, rapid breathing, coughing, increased urination, and nausea according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In even more extreme circumstances loss of consciousness, paralysis, convulsions, and respiratory failure could occur.

Sarin was first created in the late 1930s by a German chemist, Gerhard Schrader. Schrader originally developed this nerve agent to be a pesticide but as Schrader kept developing this agent it was able to effectively render him blind and even made him lose most of his muscular coordination. Therefore, after seeing its capability and witnessing the potential destruction that it could ignite, the German military acquired this agent (they referred to it as GB) as a means for deploying and rendering their enemy harm. As more and more militaries began to obtain this chemical warfare agent, stockpiling this chemical started to become a norm for many countries. Ultimately, this leads to the outlaw of Sarin in 1997 by the United Nations’ Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993. Today, recent chemical attacks in Syria have used this deadly agent, with the attack in 2013 in Ghouta, Syria being the most lethal use of chemicals in global warfare since the 1988 Halabja Massacre.

Chlorine Gas

Chlorine gas (ChG), also known as bertholite, is one of the ten hazardous chemicals most commonly involved in gaseous releases, and that one that is most likely to result in death or human injury. Once the gas is released into the air, those exposed may start to experience a smell similar to pepper and pineapple in the air, followed by a metallic taste in their mouth. When chlorine gas is inhaled in low concentrations you may start to experience symptoms similar to mild irritation of mucous membranes, coughing, choking and shortness of breath. And when exposed to high concentrations, more severe symptoms such as damage to the respiratory tract, and other life-threating ailments could occur.

This gas is another chemical agent with a long history of use going back almost 100 years. Chlorine gas was used during World War I and even used by the German Army during the Second Battle of Ypres in Belgium. When chlorine is released as a gas, it stays closer to the ground and spreads quickly, making it ideal for warfare and terrorism as they aim for those on the ground to impact. Although this gas is arguably less deadly than sarin or mustard gas because of its ability to be filtered out with a gas mask, many civilians are not equipped with this type of protection. Finding an effect air-purifying respirator mask that you can have on hand if a chemical attack occurs could be vital to your overall health. The FAST-ACT VapourKlenz Face Mask is ideal for chemical warfare situations especially those that use chlorine gas. FAST-ACT uses a proprietary technology that is extremely effective at neutralizing a broad spectrum of chemicals and odors that come into contact with the technology, including chemical warfare agents in the environment. The FAST-ACT VapourKlenz Face Mask is ideal for chemical vapors and gases that are released into the environment, with a filtration piece in the front of the mask with the FAST-ACT technology, it will filter out any chemicals that try to pass through the filter.

Mustard Gas

Mustard gas (or sulfur mustard) is a chemical weapon that originated with World War I trench warfare. This substance is both a cytotoxic and vesicant chemical agent, that has the ability to cause blistering of both the skin and lungs of those exposed. Mustard gas can be absorbed through inhalation, ingestion, or by contact with the skin or eyes. Victims of mustard gas exposure will rarely experience symptoms on the onset, so many are unknowingly exposed to high amounts without knowing so, which could leave them to believe they are completely fine. One of the first indicators tends to be an overwhelming odor similar to mustard plants, garlic, or horseradish. Soon intense itching will take place over the period of 24 hours following mustard gas exposure.

Mustard gas was first used on the battlefields of the Second Battle of Ypres, where the German Army unleashed the first large-scale use of poison gas as a weapon on the battlefield. Since World War II, there have been sporadic deployments of mustard gas and other chemical agents. In recent, the use of Mustard gas has been deployed during the civil war in Syria, thus bringing the attention back to the dangers of Mustard gas on the health of those exposed.

VX Agent

The synthetic chemical compound VX agent is considered to be the deadliest nerve agent known to man, described as the “baddest of the bad”. VX agent, or “Venomous agent x” is extremely toxic and has the potential to kill very quickly, although it is rarely used. Even worse, is the amount of time that is required for the substance to evaporate, as it evaporates extremely slow and persists in the environment it was used in for quite some time after it’s deployed. Once VX agent is administered, either by direct spray or by poisoning food or water, victims exposed will start experiencing violent convulsions, followed by unconscious paralysis, and finally death in extreme cases.

The best way to describe this chemical warfare agent is as a “pesticide for people” as it will gradually make the body tired and eventually suffocating the body. The substance can be very silent as it is completely odorless and tasteless, typically resembling an oily, yellowish-brown liquid. In the wrong hands and with the right devices, this nerve agent can lead to an insurmountable number of casualties.

How to Protect Yourself from Chemical Warfare

The planning process for a potential chemical warfare attack is not only important but can be somewhat of a challenge to begin. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly where to start in your preparations. Thus, our guide can help you to gain more insight and clarity on how to prepare yourself and your family in the event of a chemical warfare attack in your environment.

  1. Layout an Evacuation Plan: When a chemical warfare agent is deployed in your environment, you will want to have an exit plan in place. Getting as far away from the tainted environment is critical, so try to flee as quickly and safely as possible. If you have children or even a spouse, you need to have a plan in place that you both are aware of in case you happen to be separated from each other. Have a designated meeting place selected that you can meet them at so that you can reunite safely to flee.
  2. Seek Higher Ground: Sarin and chlorine gases are denser than air, which makes them sink lower to the ground. In this case, you will want to go to higher grounds to provide yourself with less exposure to the released chemical agent.
  3. Chemical Protection Gear: FAST-ACT uses a proprietary technology that integrates “destructive adsorption” technologies into customer-driven applications. FAST-ACT works on a broad spectrum of chemicals and odors in the environment, include toxic chemical warfare agents, having the ability to decontaminate and neutralize the chemical at the source. With the FAST-ACT Chemical Decontamination Kit, FAST-ACT provides the prepper with a solution and resource to all chemical releases in your environment. The chemical attack survival kit includes the following:
  • FAST-ACT Decon Mitt (4 Mitts)
  • FAST-ACT Sorbent Powder Bottle Set
  • FAST-ACT Microfiber Towel Set
  • FAST-ACT VapourKlenz Face Masks (3)
  • User Manual and product information

 

 

How to Prepare for Chemical Exposures in Your Environment

How to Prepare for Chemical Exposures in Your Environment

By | chemical attack preparation, chemical spill clean up, terrorist attack preparation

Chemicals are everywhere, and in insurmountable numbers even if you are not aware of it. Chemicals can be used in a variety of applications as well as helping to keep our food fresh to even cleaning our bodies. Under certain conditions, chemicals can be useful but in others, they can present hazardous and harmful effects to our health. Some chemicals that are even safe to use in normal circumstances, can become hazardous in large quantities. Preparing for potentially hazardous situations is something we do almost every day, from putting our seatbelt on to protect ourselves, having a fire extinguisher in our home in case of a fire, or even having a first-aid kit available when an injury occurs in your home. So why wouldn’t you want to be prepared for a chemical exposure in your environment as well?

What Types of Chemicals are Hazardous

Determining the level of hazard presented by each type of chemical will depend on a variety of different aspects, such as the composition of the chemical and the amount of which is present in the environment. Some of the most well-known and classified hazardous groups of chemicals include Anticholinergic Agents, Biotoxins, Caustics, Choking Agents, Blistering Agents, and Nerve Agents. You may have never heard of these chemical groups before, but the chemicals contained in these groups will refresh your mind.

  • Mustard gas
  • Chlorine
  • Sarin
  • Tabun
  • Soman
  • Lewisite
  • VX
  • Acids
  • Bases
  • Organics

Symptoms of Toxic Chemical ExposureSymptoms of Toxic Chemical Exposure

Chemicals can enter the body through the three main “routes of exposure”, including inhalation, skin or eye contact, and ingestion.

  • Inhalation is the act of breathing in chemical hazards whether the chemical is a gas, mist, or dust that is in the air.
  • Skin & Eye Contact occurs when chemicals make contact with your eyes or skin they can damage the skin and even be absorbed through the skin and find its way into your bloodstream.
  • Ingestion of chemicals can happen when the chemicals spill or settle onto your drink, food, beard, or hands.

The health effects and symptoms of toxic chemical exposure vary depending on a few components such as the chemical exposure, the length of time of exposure, and the amount spilled of the chemical. The effects of toxic chemicals can thus be classified into two groups, acute and chronic effects.

  1. Acute effects will become present immediately or very shortly after exposure to the chemical. The symptoms may be minor such as a nose or throat irritation, or they can be serious like eye damage or fainting.
  2. Chronic effects could potentially take years to become apparent to yourself. Usually, chronic effects are caused by regular exposure to a harmful substance over a long duration of time, with these effects most likely being permanent.

The Different Types of Chemical Exposures

When you are surrounded by or in the presence of chemicals, the possibility of an exposure occurring is plausible. Chemicals in the workplace, in your home, in a laboratory, or even in potential threat situation can present hazards to those exposed to the chemical.

Laboratory Chemical Scenarios

Laboratories are one of the main environments that could be exposed to chemicals and hazards. With over hundreds of different chemicals in their facility, the risk factors and dangers are drastic. Due to the nature of this environment and the processes that are undertaken in this atmosphere, planning and being prepared for potential chemical exposures and spills is vital. The first steps in a laboratory are to have employee and personnel have a basic understanding of the risks and precautions involved with dealing with chemicals. Also, having a plan to implement when a chemical exposure occurs and placing chemical decontamination equipment in an accessible area is critical. Chemical spills are the most common form of chemical exposure in this environment, thus having a fast-acting chemical decontamination application to deploy on the infected area is a necessary step to take. The FAST-ACT 500-gram Shaker Bottle provides you a fast and easy solution to liquid chemical spills in your environment. Simply unscrew the lid and apply the powder directly onto the spilled chemical. Be sure to fully apply the powder on the liquid chemical to fully decontaminate and neutralize the chemical.

Hazmat Exercise Chemical Scenarios

The United States National Response Team has conducted training to a composed group of 15 federal agencies that have major responsibilities in environmental, transportation, emergency management, worker safety, and public health areas. The U.S. National Response Team is responsible for coordinating federal planning, preparedness, and response actions related to oil discharges and hazardous substance releases in the environment such as weapons of mass destruction and other environmental incidents. During these training scenarios, they go over response mechanisms and make recommendations regarding the improvement of the response system. When discussing response steps to take for chemical scenarios for hazmat exercises a potential resource that can be used is the FAST-ACT technology that is effective at quickly deploying and neutralizing chemical hazards in the environment. FAST-ACT utilizes a proprietary formulation that is effective at neutralizing a wide range of chemicals, with the added capability to destroy chemical warfare agents that are extremely hazardous chemicals. When dealing with a chemical warfare agent, deploying the FAST-ACT Pressurized Cylinder can be an optimum solution to neutralizing chemical vapors in the air. The simple application of the FAST-ACT pressurized cylinder allows you the ability to quickly deploy and reduce the potential hazards presented in the environment.

Terrorist Attack Chemical Scenarios

The potential possibility of a terrorist attack occurring in the United States is no longer an empty threat but a possible scary reality. And with the use of chemical or biological weapons of mass destruction being the source of the attack, learning how to prepare for these attacks is critical. The United States has taken serious steps in preparing for terrorist attacks using these weapons and even went as far as to enact the Defense Against Weapons of Mass Destruction Act in 1996. Although it is a positive step to know that your state has in place a plan of protection in this circumstance, you still want to have personal protection on hand that you can use in the event that this type of chemical scenario is present in your environment. The FAST-ACT Chemical Decontamination Kit provides an assortment of surface decontamination products that can be used in an emergency situation. Whether you are dealing with a liquid chemical or vapor chemical release, the FAST-ACT Chemical Decontamination Kit can arm you with chemical protection. The kit includes the following products:

  • FAST-ACT Decon Mitt (4 Mitts)
  • FAST-ACT Sorbent Powder Bottle Set
  • FAST-ACT Microfiber Towel Set
  • FAST-ACT/ VapourKlenz Face Masks (3)
  • User Manual and Product Information

Chemical Protection- The Steps to Guard Yourself from SLUDGEM

Chemical Protection- The Steps to Guard Yourself from SLUDGEM

By | chemical attack preparation, chemical attacks properness, terrorist attack preparation

Chemical protection has become a scary reality in recent years, as the use of these dangerous and volatile chemical weapons have been used in several attacks that have taken place, specifically in Syria. Chemical weapons are usually a toxic chemical contained in a delivery system such as a bomb or shell that will release a chemical agent or nerve agent into the environment. These weapons may lead to massive destruction and danger to those exposed. Taking steps to protect yourself from chemical exposure or SLUDGEM (Salivation, Lacrimation, Urination, Defecation, Gastrointestinal upset, Emesis, Miosis) will be essential in ensuring you guard your health and environment against chemical harm.

SLUDGEMWhat is SLUDGEM

The acronym SLUDGEM- also known as Salivation, Lacrimation (tearing), Urination, Defecation, Gastrointestinal upset, Emesis, and Miosis- is used to describe the acute effects of nerve agent exposure. Nerve agents will elicit an overstimulation of the muscles by an excessive collection of neurotransmitters acetylcholine. When nerve agents are released into the environment either in liquid or vapor form, the “human pesticides” will affect those exposed and can lead to health conditions like SLUDGEM. Inhalation will create an onset of these symptoms within minutes or even seconds, whereas being absorbed through the skin the symptoms may show up in 30 minutes to even 18 hours after exposure. Chemical protection, based on the symptoms above, are items to consider, and gear that you may want to be armed with in case a chemical attack or release occurs in your environment.

What Does Nerve Gas do to Human Health?

Nerve agents are classified as highly toxic and quick acting chemicals that affect exposed individuals. These agents enter the body primarily through the respiratory tract but can also be absorbed through other means including the eyes and skin. When an individual is exposed to nerve agents, the agent before it enters the body will inhibit the normal acetylcholinesterase action- a chemical within the body that’s normal function is to break down the chemical acetylcholine-will block the acetylcholinesterase from breaking down the acetylcholine which will cause extreme muscle cramps. Also, other symptoms will possibly be elicited such as SLUDGEM signs.

Types of Nerve Gas Used in Chemical Attacks

Nerve agents are all colorless liquids that can be used in different methods to attack or harm many people. Nerve agents have developed a dominant role among lethal CW agents since World War II. The name nerve agents come from its ability to affect the transmission of nerve impulses in the nervous system. The top types of nerve gas used in chemical attacks in recent years are Sarin, VX, Tabun, and Soman. VX gas will mainly be effective through direct contact with the skin, whereas conversely, Sarin will be mainly taken up through the respiratory organs. And both Soman and Tabun gas can easily be taken in through skin contact or through the respiratory system.

Chemical attacks such as in Syria has invoked a major concern to be prepared with chemical protection gear that can shield yourself and your environment in the event of a chemical attack or release in your area. Syria has the world’s largest stockpile of chemical weapons following Russia and the United States. Thus, having chemical decontamination gear and a plan of attack for a potential chemical attack can be vital in ultimate protection.

FAST-ACT Chemical SpillsSLUDGEM – Steps to Protect Yourself

How can you protect yourself from a potential chemical attack? Planning accordingly for any type of chemical release is your first step in ensuring that you minimize the potential risks to not only your health but your environment. Below is a step by step guide on the necessary steps to implement when dealing with a chemical attack or release.

Step 1: Remove Exposed Individuals to a Safe Area

Identifying and being aware of the areas that are compromised by nerve agents is vital. You want to make sure that if you are in an exposed environment that you immediately and as swiftly as possible go to a safe area to help reduce the looming risks. The longer the time of exposure the increased level of danger to your body and health.

Step 2: Chemical Decontamination-Surface & Air

The next step is to neutralize the released chemicals or nerve agents that have been exposed in your environment. Finding a product and technology that can effectively neutralize the exposed chemical warfare agents is needed to ensure that you are safely and efficiently ridding the environment of the toxic chemicals. FAST-ACT utilizes a proprietary formulation of non-toxic high-performance specialty materials effective at neutralizing a wide range of toxic chemicals with the added capability to destroy chemical warfare agents. FAST-ACT comes in a variety of applications from surface decontamination to vapor decontamination products. The FAST-ACT 500 Gram Shaker Bottle is ideal to use for liquid chemical releases, the powder is applied on the direct chemical release giving it the ability to work to completely neutralize the nerve agents or chemicals. The FAST-ACT Pressurized Cylinder is used for vapor chemical releases and acts like a fire extinguisher releasing the technology out into the air to neutralize the chemicals.

(FAST-ACT also offers compact chemical decon products that are lightweight and easily applied in chemical releases. Check out the FAST-ACT Chemical Decontamination Kit for more information!)

Step 3: Health Support for Those Exposed

Exposure, in any increment, could lead to health problems and getting a check-up to ensure that you are in good health following this event is important. In some cases, you may need to be administered atropine- a medication used to treat certain types of nerve agent and pesticide poisonings- to aid in the removal of nerve agents in your body and stop symptoms of SLUDGEM in its tracts.

Chemical exposure can be hazardous to your health and environment, and thus having chemical protection gear can be critical in protecting both these things. The effect of nerve agents such as SLUDGEM can be stopped before they happen, with the help of handy chemical protection gear within arms reach.

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EDC Survival Items for Chemical Protection

EDC Survival Items for Chemical Protection

By | chemical attack preparation

EDC (AKA Everyday Carry) are items that you on a continual basis bring with you as a means to protect yourself from possible emergency situations that can occur in your environment. Natural disasters, economic collapses, and even terrorist attacks could happen but the timing in which it will occur is ambiguous. You never know when disaster will strike, and thus having prepper gear like EDC items on hand can help you better be prepared for any unforeseen event that can strike and have a shtfplan ready to implement.

The Importance of Everyday Carry Gear for Chemical Attacks

The basic EDC items usually consist of knives, flashlights, multitools, wallet, smartphone, and lighters to name a few. Although these items can be extremely useful in a variety of situations, these items will not provide protection against chemical attacks, a potential imminent threat that people should be prepared against. Chemical attacks are the spreading of toxic chemicals with the intent do to harm to the exposed area and the people in the environment. The danger lies in the chemicals used in the attack as chemical warfare agents such as mustard gas, sarin gas, lewisite and chlorine can be deployed causing destruction and harm. Recently, chemical attacks have become an increased risk as attacks of this nature have been used in Syria for the last year. Understanding the dangers and threats that a chemical attack can present in the environment is reason enough to consider including chemical protection gear in your EDC items. The list below are a few chemical protection items to ponder including in your EDC bag or ultimate bug out bag.

1.) Hazmat Suit

A hazmat suite, or hazardous material suit was designed as a full body garment to protect wearers against dangerous chemicals and substances that are in the environment. Hazmat suites are a form of personal protective equipment (PPE) that offer ultimate protection. When a chemical attack is deployed dangerous chemicals are released into the air and can be absorbed into the body through the skin. Thus, having proper protection such as a hazmat suit to guard and protect your skin from this intake will aid in defending your overall health.

2.) Extra Clothing

After exposure to a chemical attack your clothing can become contaminated by these chemicals, as the chemicals can become absorbed into the fabric of the clothing. When chemicals are contained in clothing it can then be spread onto your skin leading to chemicals getting into your body from contact. Making sure you have a pair of extra clothes to change into after a chemical release will ensure that you minimize the risk of chemical exposure.

3.) Decontamination Supplies

If chemicals make their way into your personal environment, especially in a liquid form, decontamination and neutralization of these chemicals are vital to yourself and your environment. FAST-ACT provides quick and effective applications with their varying products that work to decontaminate chemicals at the source. The FAST-ACT technology is a proprietary formulation of non-toxic high-performance specialty materials that are effective at neutralizing a wide range of toxic chemicals with the added capability to destroy chemical warfare agents. All you need to have on hand for a chemical release is the FAST-ACT Chemical Decontamination Kit that provides you a variety of different supplies in a compact size for your EDC and that can work to neutralize the released chemical. The FAST-ACT Chemical Decontamination Kit includes:

  • FAST-ACT Decon Mitt (4 Mitts)
  • FAST-ACT Sorbent Powder Bottle Set
  • FAST-ACT Microfiber Towel Set
  • FAST-ACT/ VapourKlenz Face Masks (3)
  • User Manual and Product Information

4.) Eye Protection

Serious and possibly irreversible harm can occur when chemical substances contact the eyes in the form of either splash, mists, vapors, or fumes. Thus, having proper eye protection to shield yourself from chemicals in the air can be critical in protecting your vision. Goggles are the primary eye protection to have on hand, as goggles seal around your eyes to prevent chemicals from seeping into this area.

Air Purifying Respirator5.) Air Purifying Respirator

Breathing in chemicals is one of the biggest health dangers associated with a chemical attack, which correlates with having proper breathing protection against chemical threats. An air purifying respirator could be an important EDC item to include in your arsenal. An air purifying respirator is a mask that has either filters, cartridges, or canisters that remove contaminants from the air by passing the ambient air through the air-purifying element before it reaches the user. The FAST-ACT VapourKlenz Face Mask offers the FAST-ACT patented neutralization technology in a comfortable face mask to aid in nuisance particulates and chemical odor removal. The mask is lightweight and can easily be included into your EDC bag for ultimate chemical vapor protection.

Everyday Carry (EDC) items may be critical in aiding you during an emergency situation, which makes selecting your EDC items carefully very important. Keeping chemical protection in mind and having the necessary protective gear in your EDC bag to defend against a chemical attack could ultimately be a lifesaver!

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