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chemical attacks properness

Decontamination of Chemical Threats: from Person to Electronics

By | chemical attacks properness, chemical spill clean up, Uncategorized

Decontamination is a process of making any person, object, or area safe by absorbing, neutralizing, or destroying chemical agents released in the environment. Chemical Warfare Agents (CWAs) are very complex and destructive agents that can be deployed or released into an area causing significant issues to both public health & overall safety. Chemical agents can be classified as nerve agents, blood agents, choking agents, and TICs (Toxic Industrial Chemical) – each category of chemical agents contain different characteristics that create a lethal concoction.

Chemical threats may be dispersed in many different forms ranging from liquid form to vapor form, which can both have their own hazardous effects on the environment, human health, and on decontamination equipment. CWAs in vapor form can penetrate into the interior of decon equipment and damage the equipment if the chemical agent is highly corrosive. Whereas CWAs in liquid form can adhere to a surface, spread over the surface, and penetrate into tiny spaces such as cracks and crevices – this type of adsorption can cause changes to the properties of the material, which can affect the decontamination equipment. Decontamination of chemical threats can be a very challenging process and having the proper equipment and trained personnel can help to accomplish a complete decontamination of a chemical threat.

What is the Purpose of Decontamination?

What is the Purpose of DecontaminationDecontamination is a multi-faceted topic that involves several components including health issues, hazardous materials (HAZMAT) issues, emergency response issues, and crime scene issues. This practice is set in place to facilitate the neutralization or destruction of hazardous chemicals that may get released into an environment.

Decontamination practices offer a rapid solution to limiting the spread of contaminants from the “hot zone”, where chemicals affect a specific area. There are many components included in the decontamination process, such as cleaning contaminated victims from a wide spectrum of chemical threats and neutralizing a contaminated area from hazardous materials.

Unfortunately, the reality is that often times decon is only conducted as an afterthought after an incident occurs, and because of this, decon can sometimes be dismissed as not an integral or important part of the response procedure. And when decontamination procedures are not implemented it can lead to a very volatile environment that can be significantly hazardous to humans.

What are the Basic Principles of Decontamination?

Decontamination overall is essential to have for emergency responders, HAZMAT, and military members who are typically the individuals who are exposed to and on the scene at a contaminated area. The resources required to perform a proper and effective decontamination is fairly costly in terms of manpower, time, space and even material, but the benefits that decontamination provide to the safety of the environment and humans is invaluable.

The process of decontamination is composed of basic principles to help facilitate a successful decon application – these four basic principles include speed, need, limit, and priority. Of these four principles, speed is amongst the most crucial when it comes to decontamination. Contamination of a chemical threat on personnel or in a specific area can pose an immediate hazard and become lethal within minutes after contamination takes place. Therefore, implementing immediate action and decontamination practices will play a key role in the effect of a chemical release or outbreak.

What are the Three Main Levels of Decontamination?

Depending on the level of hazard, the amount of the chemical present, and the actual chemical that is at play can all lead to a specific form of decontamination that needs to be activated. There are two categories of decontamination that can be used during a chemical release – Passive or Active Decontamination. Passive decontamination is accomplished by exposing an object to high temperatures, sunlight, and wind, which is a very time-consuming process for decontamination. Whereas active decontamination is a process of removing and neutralizing liquid or solid contamination of CWAs, this is a rapid decontamination solution that most emergency responders will utilize during a chemical release.

The active decontamination process is subdivided into three main levels of decontamination – immediate, operational, and thorough.

  • Immediate decontamination: Decon that is performed by the individuals and can include the decontamination of personal clothing and/or equipment. This can save lives, minimize casualties and limit the spread of contamination. It can also be performed on individual protective equipment to sustain personal protection.
  • Operational decontamination: Decon that is performed by an individual and/or unit on a specific part of operational significant equipment. This helps to minimize contact, transfer hazard, and to sustain operations.
  • Thorough decontamination: Decon that is performed by a unit to reduce contamination on personnel, equipment, material, and working areas to the lowest potential level.

All three levels of decontamination focus on both personnel decontamination and environment/surface decontamination. The process of decontaminating surfaces can be complex, as there are many factors you must take into consideration before containing and neutralizing the chemical threat. Many decontamination solutions require the identification of the chemical to properly neutralize the chemical threat, and this can be extremely time consuming. However, with the aid of a universal chemical decontamination solution, emergency-responders can quickly contain and neutralize the environment in which a chemical threat was present. FAST-ACT is a chemical decontamination provider that utilizes a proprietary formulation of non-toxic, high-performance specialty materials effective at neutralizing a wide range of toxic chemicals with the added capability of destroying CWAs.

How Do You Decontaminate Someone

FAST-ACT is revolutionary for liquid/vapor chemical decon with its ability to decontaminate a broad range of chemicals without the need of identifying the chemical at play. Thus, eliminating precious time wasted and minimizing health effects for those exposed.

How Do You Decontaminate Someone?

What are the Three Main Levels of DecontaminationDecontamination is most effective if victims first remove their clothing, as this has been shown to eliminate alone as much as 80-90% of all contamination. The effectiveness of removing clothes prior to decontamination rapidly decreases with time following exposure, so quick action should be taken following contamination. Victims are typically decontaminated in the water shower deluge of the decontamination corridor. Depending on the type of chemical exposure, the decontamination process can vary, the variations include the following:

  • Vapor Chemical Threat: A victim that has been exposed to the vapor should rub with either their hands, a soft cloth, or a sponge to remove the contaminants, from head to toe.
  • Liquid Chemical Threat: A victim that has been exposed to the liquid should use soap or a solution of detergent and water can be applied immediately to the skin.

Understanding and knowing the processes of implementing decontamination practices can be very vital to an emergency -responder who comes across a contaminated environment. Learning the purpose of decontamination and the best practices will help you to minimize the risks and contain a hazardous situation.

Chemical Threats the 'C' in CBRNe

Chemical Threats: the ‘C’ in CBRNe

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

CBRNe Chemical ThreatsChemical threats, an increasingly prepared for and prevalent form of attack, has become significantly highlighted to first-responders, military, and hazmat teams. The term CBRNe is a widely known and popular term for medical professionals and military defense individuals. CBRNe involves chemical threats as the ‘C’ that is found in CBRNe. The risks of chemical threats have come from recent terrorist attacks that have deployed the use of toxic and hazardous chemical agents. Chemical agents can include common chemicals utilized in laboratories (TICs), as well as deadly chemical warfare agents (CWAs).

Among the different weapons categorized as Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), chemical warfare is identified as one of the most dangerous weapons created by mankind that can create utter brutality upon deployment. Chemical threats are extremely hazardous chemicals that can be dispersed as a gas, liquid, or aerosol that spreads aggressively throughout the environment. Chemical threats have been one of the key weapons used in Syria over the last few years, as the conflict among the Ba’athist Syrian Arab Republic and foreign/domestic allies continues to rage on throughout the Country. These recent attacks have highlighted the strength and brutality of chemical threats, leaving many countries grasping for solutions and protection strategies to implement for a possible chemical agent threat upon their area. CBRNe education and training has become a much needed and explored topic after recent chemical threats, with many fields quickly adopting this specific training into their environment.

What Does CBRNe Stand for?

CBRNe is an acronym for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and high yield Explosives. The weapons classified under this acronym all have the ability to create extremely hazardous conditions that can lead to mass casualties and disrupt society completely. CBRNe events are commonly comprised of deliberate or aggressive acts, with the malicious intent of inciting fear or causing grave harm to humans and the environment.

Emergency responders are being taught how to recognize and mitigate attacks from such weapons and learning the key identifying characteristics between the different CBRNe weapons. The characteristics of CBRNe weapons are found below.

  • Chemical Threats: Chemical threats consist of weapons that utilize a hazardous chemical that is designed to cause intentional death or harm through its toxic properties. The four different types of chemical agents include choking agents, blister agents, blood agents, and nerve agents. This chemical threat has a direct effect on many human organs and systems including the respiratory system, lungs, heart, and skin. Symptoms that can occur upon exposure to a chemical agent includes watery eyes, itching, coughing, difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing, chest pain, dizziness, nausea, and potentially death.
  • Biological Threats: A biological weapon, also called germ weapon, is any number of disease-producing agents such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, toxins, and other biological agents, that can be used as a weapon against humans. Lethal biological weapons are capable of causing mass deaths upon humans and have been responsible for more deaths than from those employed by combat. There are five different categories of biological agents including bacteria, rickettsia, viruses, fungi, and toxins. The symptoms a human may experience from a biological threat can range depending on the different category of biological agent.
  • Radiological Threats: Radiological threats are weapons that disperse radioactive agents to inflict injury or cause contamination and damage. A commonly used radiological threat is the dirty bomb, which utilizes a conventional explosion to disperse radioactive contaminants into an environment. The effects of radiological threats upon the health of an individual can vary depending on the intensity, duration, and type of radiation. Symptoms from this classification of warfare can include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, fever, diarrhea, infection, bleeding, gastrointestinal symptoms, and even death.
  • Nuclear Threats: Nuclear weapons are devices designed to release energy in an explosive manner as a result of nuclear fission, nuclear fusion, or a combination of the two. This classification of weapon can lead to extreme danger to human health.
  • Explosive Threats: An explosive weapon generally uses high explosives to project a blast and fragmentation from the point of detonation. Explosive weapons can lead to mass casualties in the affected area.

What is a CBRN Attack?

CBRNe attacks can happen either accidentally or intentionally – but no matter the circumstance the effects are bound to be grave. An accidental CBRN attack is typically caused by human error, natural, or technological reasons. This can include spills, accidental releases, or leakages that cause the incident to occur. When an accident occurs with these weapons it is usually referred to as DG or a HAZMAT accident.

Whereas intentional CBRN incidents involve criminal acts, maliciously motivated poisoning of an individual, or a terrorist attack or act. An intentional CBRN attack can leave great devastation after deployment, with a calculated plan to harm a large area with many individuals present when the attack occurs. These weapons are usually described as ‘low probability, high risk’, because of the relatively low risk of a CBRNe attack occurring but the high threat risk to public health upon an attack taking place in the environment.

The Risk of a Chemical Attack

The Risk of a Chemical AttackThe severity of an attack is dependent upon several different factors, particularly the toxicity of the chemical and its concentration when it reaches people. The release of a chemical agent or a chemical attack in an enclosed space (such as a subway, airport, or an office space) could deliver lethal doses, high enough to severely hurt or kill a large group of people. In comparison, when a chemical attack is deployed in an open area, a toxic chemical cloud, or plume, would become less concentrated as it spreads and would have to be released in a large quantity to produce significant casualties.

Immediate health impacts can start to effect humans upon exposure to a chemical agent that has been deployed during a chemical attack. Symptoms from exposure to toxic chemicals will start to appear quickly, sometimes a couple hours or even a couple minutes following exposure. The health risks alone from a chemical attack solidify the strength and devastation that a chemical attack can wreak over an environment.

CBRNe Terrorism

Terrorism or terrorist attacks that involve the use of CBRNe materials pose a very real and dangerous threat to public health and safety. Terroristic threats utilizing CBRNe weapons can also impact national security, economic, and political stability on a global level. When these types of weapons are deployed in an act of terrorism, the complete destruction could be insurmountable – leading to unrepairable effects on the human population and environment.

Preventing the risks of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) weapons has been a top U.S. national security priority for a long period of time. The United States has become hyperaware and vigilant in preventing terrorist groups from obtaining these weapons to protect U.S. civilians. The main used devices for terrorist attacks include chemical, biological, and radiological weapons.

What are Chemical, Biological, and Radiological Devices?

CBR (Chemical, Biological, and Radiological) devices are without a doubt dangerous threats to public health and safety. Chemical, Biological, and Radiological devices produce airborne hazardous contaminants that can be in the form of gases, vapors, or aerosols. These types of airborne contaminants can be very dangerous as they enter the body rapidly and impact health within hours or even minutes after exposure.

What Does a CBRN Specialist Do?

Decontamination providers have focused on providing a means to protect individuals who are exposed and decontaminate the source of hazard in the environments. The way that these decontamination solutions are delivered to the appropriate field workers and experts (such as the Military, Emergency-Responders, and Hazmat) is through CBRN Specialists. The specialist has many job duties including assisting in CBRN defense measures, provide training advice and supervision of CBRN equipment, & operate CBRN detection and decon equipment.

The CBRN specialists’ job is quite complex and vital to the safety of a large population of people in the country, therefore, having efficient and easily deployed decon solutions is critical for the CBRN specialist. For example, a decontamination solution for chemical warfare such as FAST-ACT can help a CBRN specialist, especially given the fact that FAST-ACT does not require identification of the chemical deployed in the environment. FAST-ACT is a decontamination provider that utilizes a proprietary formulation that is able to break down and neutralize a broad spectrum of chemical agents including chemical warfare agents (CWAs). The FAST-ACT technology is adapted into several different applications for both liquid and vapor chemical hazard containment and decontamination.

Chemical Decontamination Solution for Chemical CBRNe Threats

The Importance of Medical Preparedness in CBRNe

The Importance of Medical Preparedness in CBRNe

By | chemical attack preparation, chemical attacks properness, Uncategorized

Medical PreparednessThere are many threats that plague the community whether it be from natural occurrences like weather, disease, or even from planned attacks taken out on a large population of people. Chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive (CBRNe) agents are some of the most toxic agents that can be used for attacks and war in the world. With the growing threat of these agents and their uses, the increased hazard to business and communities is significant.

Medical professionals are trained individuals that are prepared with a vast knowledge of health ailments and medical remedies that are capable to improve the circumstances of someone suffering from a chronic or acute ailment. Many health care professionals are trained on the day-to-day, commonly seen diseases and conditions that are mostly seen and treated. However, these professionals are not regularly taught the symptoms and medical solutions for exposure to or ingestion/inhalation of CBRNe agents.

Public Health Emergency Preparedness

Health care professionals are often times the first line of defense when it comes to identifying and treating patients that have unfortunately come into contact with the dangerous CBRNe agents. When a patient arrives with severe symptoms and time is of the essence – the pressure is on for the medical team to quickly come to the correct diagnosis and treatment for the patient’s future health. If someone is experiencing nausea, vomiting, and tremors – a physician who is inept in CBRN training can easily diagnose the patient with a number of other medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, or even an opioid overdose. Whereas medical professionals with a background or training in CBRN may consider a diagnosis of nerve agent exposure or even mild radiation sickness. Therefore, having medical preparedness in CBRN, especially our medical professionals can be life-saving.

CBRNE Training

The training for medical professionals on CBRNe agents is done through a four-day course that is designed to prepare responders to effectively respond to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE) or mass casualty incident. This training is designed for emergency medical services, healthcare, public health, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, and hospital staff- this includes physicians, nurses and responders.

Medical CBRNE training, The Emergency Medical Operations for CBRNE Incidents (EMO), provides classroom lectures and extensive hands-on-training that allows responders to implement the emergency-response knowledge and skills when the need for them occurs. This training is organized by the Center for Domestic Preparedness.

CBRN Preparedness Program

A relatively new initiative, the CBRN Preparedness Program (CP2) is designed to work with partnering nations to help them prepare for, respond to, and mitigate the effects of a CBRN disaster. Regardless, if a country is threatened by intentional use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or is susceptible to a natural disaster or industrial accident involving CBRN hazards, their ability to respond quickly and justly can save lives and reduce damage.

The program is geared towards training and equipping military and civilian first responders to deal with the absolute worst-case scenarios and in turn they will become a valued partner in the mission to identify, reduce, and eliminate WMD and their potentially devastating effects.

National Strategy for CBRNE Standards

Prior to several instances that have taken place with toxic CBRNE agents, there was no national strategy for CBRNE standards put in place. The pursuit for a national strategy is critical as it is vital that the nation has reliable countermeasure equipment and knowledge on chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive (CBRNE) agents. The strategy highlights the importance of medical preparedness and training for our first-responders and medical personnel workers. The importance for medical personnel to be trained in CBRN identification, treatment, and standards is essential to preventing mass casualties upon a potential CBRN agent outbreak.

 

The national strategy for CBRNE standards also consists of six goals, and they are as follows:

  1. Establish an interagency group for CBRNE standards to promote the coordination of these standards among Federal, State, local, and tribal communities.
  2. Coordinate and facilitate the development of CBRNE equipment performance standards and promote the use of standards for Federal, State, local, and tribal communities.
  3. Coordinate and facilitate the development and adoption of interoperability standards for CBRNE equipment.
  4. Promote enduring CBRNE standard operating procedures for Federal, State, local, and tribal use to improve National preparedness and response.
  5. Establish voluntary CBRNE training and certification standards for the Federal, State, local, and tribal communities and promote policies that foster their adoption.
  6. Establish a CBRNE equipment test and evaluation (T&E) infrastructure and capability to support conformity assessment standards.

Medical Preparedness for CBRN

With the numerous attacks and incidences that have occurred within the last decade or so the need and focus of medical preparedness has been highlighted. The way the United States health care system is able to respond to mass casualty incidents is important to protecting civilians. Training and preparing physicians and other medical personnel with CBRN awareness and identification will provide the healthcare worker with an understanding of chemical threat agent history, toxicology, medical intervention, etc.

CBRNe agents can be quite hazardous and sometimes deadly when contact or exposure occurs. There are many things that can be done to minimize the inherent health risks including environment and surface decontamination, protective gear, and medical preparedness upon release and exposure of these agents. Being prepared and having a preparedness plan in place will play a significant role in the reduction of risks to public safety following a CBRNe agent release or attack.

Decontamination Solution for CBRNe

How to Protect Against a Chlorine Gas Attack

How to Protect Against a Chlorine Gas Attack

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

Chemical attacks utilizing a plethora of potentially deadly chemicals have been utilized in the past decades for warfare – impacting a large group of people in record amount of time, making chemical warfare a deadly threat to be reckoned with. There is a wide variety of lethal and even incapacitating chemical agents that can place a great hazard and danger to not only an area but to those exposed to the agent.

Humans may come into contact with chemical agents everyday whether that be because of the work environment (labs, plants, etc.), accidents, spills, or other disasters. However, the effects from these types of interactions are fairly minimal in comparison to large exposure in the form of a chemical attack.

One agent that we commonly hear news and reports of usage is the chemical agent Chlorine. Chlorine is a highly used chemical in both industries and in society and depending on the level of exposure to the agent – like a chlorine gas attack, the impact could be extremely hazardous to human health. With the threat of chemical attacks becoming more and more real, learning how to protect yourself against a threat like a chlorine gas attack could help you to sustain minimal health impacts and hazards.

What is Chlorine?

Chlorine is a very well-known chemical that is utilized commonly in everyday life. This chemical is used widely for chemical manufacturing, bleaching, drinking water and swimming pool disinfecting, and cleaning agents. Chlorine itself is a reactive chemical that when used on the human body can be very toxic. The production of chlorine is high making it an abundant chemical for people to get their hands on – including terrorist or planned attackers. When this chemical is released in an enclosed space or environment, that is when the strength of the attack is the strongest and the chemical can do the most destruction/harm.

How Dangerous is Chlorine Gas

Chlorine is a versatile chemical that can sometimes be in the form of a poisonous gas. Chlorine gas is a fast-acting gas that can spread quickly throughout the environment, staying closer to the ground. The odor that this dangerous chemical emits is easily recognized as a pungent odor, that is irritating to the senses, with an odor similar to bleach.

Chlorine gas was first registered in the U.S. in 1948, as a disinfectant for use in swimming pools and drinking water. The dangers of chlorine in the form of gas can be extremely hazardous and elicit reactions such as eye and throat irritation, airway obstruction, wheezing, coughing, abnormal chest radiographs, and bronchiolitis. Due to the ability of chlorine gas to spread quickly throughout the entire area, the impacts on the respiratory system is high and can result in serious health ailments- making chlorine gas quite dangerous to human health.

How Long Does Chlorine Gas Stay in the Air

There are many variables that play a role in the time the chlorine gas will be present in the environment. Two main variables include the size of the environment in which the gas was released into and the concentration/pressure of the gas. If chlorine gas is dispersed into a large area, then it will spread rapidly throughout the whole environment requiring more time to dissipate or be removed from the air. The amount of chlorine gas that is used and deployed also plays a role in the length of time the gas will stay in the air, the more chlorine released into the air the longer it will stay within the air of the impacted environment.

What Does Chlorine Gas Do to People

Chlorine gas can have a significant impact on a person –the gas acts as a pulmonary irritant that can cause damage to the upper and lower respiratory tract. This can include oral, nasal, and ocular pulmonary damage, which can lead to further ailments down the road. The chemical chlorine falls under the category of a choking agent as it can have altering effects on respiratory health. Most of the damage done by chlorine is caused by its dissolution into hydrochloric acid which can cause damage to inflammatory cells that lead to the release of oxidants and proteolytic enzymes. Overall, exposure to chlorine gas can be not only hazardous to humans but quite damaging to the health of those exposed.

Symptoms of Chlorine Gas Exposure

Upon exposure to chlorine gas there are many potential effects that may occur. The symptoms may vary based on different variables, but the most common symptoms include the following:

  • Blurred vision
  • Burning pain, redness, and blisters on the skin
  • Burning sensations in the nose, throat, and eyes
  • Coughing
  • Chest tightness
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Fluid in the lungs
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Watery eyes
  • Wheezing

Could Chlorine Be Used for a Terrorist Attack?

Chemicals, depending on the type, maybe easy to obtain, such as chlorine. Chlorine is heavily produced and easily accessible to the public, which has led to concerns as those with mal-intent could utilize this chemical in a dangerous way, such as a terrorist attack. When or if chlorine is released from an attack it will form a toxic gaseous plume that when carried by the wind is able to inflict potentially debilitating and catastrophic loss of life to the exposed population. Therefore, preparing for and protecting yourself from a potential chemical attack with the use of chlorine gas is becoming almost necessary for military, first-responders, and even civilians.

Recent Chlorine Gas Attacks

The use of chlorine as a chemical warfare agent was first deployed in the early beginning of World War I. As it began to be used in more wars, the damage created by this agent was seen as it killed more than 800 soldiers in the battle of Ypres. More and more commonly this chemical has been used in recent wars including in Iraq, where they detonated bombs that were rigged onto containers of chlorine. The United Nations Monitoring, Inspection, and Verification Commission found that at least 10 attacks involving chlorine occurred in Iraq up to June 1, 2007 which results in many casualties. This has progressed as time has passed, and now the war in Syria has demonstrated several attacks of chlorine onto civilians, leaving devastation, death, and many health issues to the Syrians impacted.

How to Decontaminate Chlorine

If you are exposed to chlorine gas in any capacity, including spills, accidents, or attacks, be sure that a decontamination procedure and gear are available to put into action. Chlorine is a heavy chemical that is heavier than air, and due to the weight of the chemical it will accumulate in low-lying areas unless a strong wind is present. If you are not a trained individual on decontamination methods, you will want to promptly evacuate the area or go to higher ground to seek shelter from the hazardous gas. Chlorine gas can spread far, and wide so evacuation is advised for 3 miles downward of a small chlorine release, and 5 miles downwind for a major release, and anywhere within 1500 feet of the source.

Once a chlorine gas attack occurs, rapid action is required to decontaminate the air in the environment, as well as the surfaces that have become contaminated. Many times, however, it may be difficult to determine the exact chemical that has been released in an attack – which requires time, sometime a lot of time, to determine the chemical and subsequently the best decontamination method to implement. But what if there was a decontamination method for vapor and liquid chemical releases that did not require the identification of the chemical agent released?

FAST-ACT, a chemical neutralization and decontamination technology, is a patented decon method for vapor and liquid spills that have become a hazard to the environment and that require immediate neutralization/decontamination of the chemical agent. FAST-ACT has the ability to adsorb and neutralize the immediate threat of a broad spectrum of hazardous chemicals including chlorine gas releases. The decon gear/products of FAST-ACT contain a proprietary formulation that consists of a number of active ingredients including MgO that helps to neutralize hazardous acids such as chlorine. When the toxic chlorine gas comes into contact with FAST-ACTs proprietary powder, a stable adduct is formed, where the chlorine is chemisorbed on the metal oxide surface.

FAST-ACT Testing Against Chlorine Gas

To determine the effectiveness of FAST-ACT a sealed chamber (214 L) was charged with a given concentration (ppm) of chlorine gas. After charging the chamber, FAST- ACT was sprayed into the chamber using pressurized nitrogen. Ten (10) minutes was allowed to elapse and the concentration of chlorine was determined using Drager tubes. At a ratio of 100:1 FAST-ACT to chlorine, the percent reduction was 98% when the initial concentration of chlorine was 500 ppm. This data indicated that 1-Kg FAST-ACT unit is capable of complete chlorine vapor neutralization in a 1,000 cubic foot space filled with 200 pm of Cl2 vapor. Correspondingly, the 2-Kg unit will remove 400 ppm and the 4-Kg 800 ppm from a same sized space.

Chlorine gas and an attack utilizing this chemical agent could be hazardous and sometimes deadly to a large population of people that may become affected by the release. Therefore, learning the potential dangers and the decontamination methods for neutralizing chlorine gas can protect civilian’s life and our beloved military and first-responder members.

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.

 

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

 

 

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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The Ultimate Doomsday Prepper Spill Kit to Have When SHTF

The Ultimate Doomsday Prepper Spill Kit to Have When SHTF

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

The term “Doomsday Prepper” has gained an increased popularity in recent years as the potential fears presented to human life from wars, conspiracy theories and overall concerns of natural disasters presented in the environment have driven people to start “prepping” for these potential situations. When the average American hears the words “Doomsday Preppers” they may associate these people as being paranoid, worried or even crazy but do they preppers really have the right idea and overall advantage over the rest of us when potential SHTF?

The survivalists who make preparations and collect supplies for various doomsday scenarios have been around for years, dating as late back to the Mayans or even before! In actuality, years ago no one used the term “prepping” because everyone was essentially a prepper. People would grow their own food and crops, perform their own first aid remedies, and many other “survival skills”. Today, however, with our lack of knowledge on many of these “survival skills” we have to depend on prepping supplies like first aid kits, canned foods, and protective gear to aid us in these situations. As “preppers” stock up their survival supplies in preparation for hazardous conditions, there may be one area in which preparation and supplies are lacking, thus being chemical & gas protection. Potential attacks using chemicals and gases like chlorine and mustard gas could be a looming threat to humans as recent wars in Syria and potential threats from North Korea have increased worry in preppers minds on this issue. We are going to discuss the best chemical protection gear to have in your supply arsenal and what potential situations in which this gear will come in handy.

doomsday gear list

Preparing Your SHTF Plan – Get Your Survival Kit Ready

Most preppers are identified as being predominantly middle-class people with average jobs. The number of preppers is unknown, but a poll done by the National Geographic Channel indicated that 28 percent of Americans know a “prepper”. Today’s preppers worry about a list of possible disastrous events such as an economic collapse, war, oil shortages, and natural disasters. With these worries, an experienced and well-versed prepper will have a when SHTF (Shit Hits the Fan) plan ready to execute when the time presents. SHFT is a prepper word that is commonly used in the prepper “lingo”. Some other common words that most preppers use include TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it), WROL (without rule of law), and BOB ( Bug-out-Bag). Bug out bags are an essential aspect of many survivalists SHTF plans as preparing items like food, water, and ammunition are commonly stored in this prepper bag, as well as an array of devices and tools that will come in handy should there be no electricity or water supply.

Many survivalist sites will give you a well-formed list of supplies to include in your SHTF plan and bug out bag. However, in this list protective gear from chemical attacks is a lacking component and potentially crucial missing piece in your SHTF plan. Chemical warfare is still a looming threat with attacks going on in Syria, as well as possible threats from countries like North Korea. Chemical protective gear including a VapourKlenz Face Mask (for removal of chemicals and odors in your air), Powder Bottle Pack (for quick chemical decontamination in a powder formula), Decon Mitt (for easy cleaning and patting of chemicals on items), and a Microfiber Towel (that absorbs up large chemical spills). These four products make up the ultimate doomsday prepper spill kit to have on hand when SHTF.

shtfplan

 

Dangers of Chemical Attacks & Protecting Yourself

A chemical weapon is a toxic chemical that is contained in a delivery system of either a bomb or shell, according to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Chemical weapons were first introduced in 1915 when the German military opened 168 tons of chlorine gas in Ypres, Belgium resulting in the death of 50,000 fighters. Two years later, the first deployment of sulfur mustard was released and led to the main cause of casualties in World War I. The main different types of chemical weapon agents include Nerve Agents (sarin& VX), Vesicating or blistering agents (mustard gas), and choking agents (chlorine), all potential chemicals used in chemical warfare.

Although a number of international treaties have restricted the production and stocking of these hazardous chemical weapons, there are still reports that several countries continue to stock these chemical agents. In July of last year, the Syrian government appeared to admit their guilt of possessing these chemical weapons. And just as recently as two days ago, there were casualties in Syria related to Chlorine attacks making chemical attacks a major danger to civilians. For those that find themselves in a situation of chemical hazardous or end of the world preparation, make sure to learn how to prepare for a chemical attack in case you find yourself in the need of chemical protection.

Chlorine Attack- Syrian AttacksChlorine Attacks -Syrian Attacks

Chlorine attacks have become a common form of attacks in Syria within the six-year war, with the use of other nerve agents in densely populated areas striking fear in many. Medical staff treating those affected by these attacks have shown breathing difficulties as well as other health problems. The potential health damage that chlorine attacks can pose to those in affected areas can be quite dangerous. Preppers, after seeing these attacks may want to take steps to protect their health if a situation may ever occur similar to those in Syria. The FAST-ACT VapourKlenz Face Mask is the ideal protective gear to have when exposed to chlorine or other nerve agents in the air. The FAST-ACT technology has been evaluated against some of the most dangerous chemical warfare agents including VX, GD, and mustard gas. The technology is applied in the VapourKlenz Face Mask to break down chemicals and odors through our mini filtration device on the mask that allows you to avoid breathing in toxic chemicals caused by chemical attacks.

History of Mustard Gas: Is it Still Used Today?

Mustard gas is a chemical agent that can cause severe burning of the eyes, skin and respiratory tract. This type of gas was first introduced into chemical warfare during World War I, as the gas is able to affect its victims in masses. It is known for its ability to be absorbed into the body through inhalation, ingestion, or by coming into contact with the skin or eyes. The FAST-ACT Decon Mitt protects against mustard gas releases and when you or your personal items have been contaminated by this chemical. It is a safe and easy method to wipe away chemical spills or contamination. Mustard gas can be harmful and “preppers” may want to consider being prepared in case of a circumstance where mustard gas is released into their environment.

Doomsday Prepper Spill Kit: Essential for Your Bug Out Bag

Nobody wants to be in a situation where they have to drop everything and leave-dodge ASAP. In an emergency situation many “doomsday preppers” take precaution and have an escape bag packed and ready to go, this bag is commonly referred to as a Bug Out Bag. A Bug out Bag consists of necessary survival items that one feels is necessary when SHTF, one might even have a travel bug out bag packed and prepared for when they are on the go. When composing your best bug out bag some common items that many have stocked away ready to go include food, water, first-aid kits, weapons, and other survival gear. Other protective gear you may want to consider includes chemical protection products for your ultimate bug out bag for doomsday preppers when they are exposed to chemical releases in your environment. The FAST-ACT Powder Bottle Pack includes two 50-gram proofer bottles of FAST-ACT. Just tear open the pack, flip open the bottle top, aim and squeeze in the direction of the surface you need to decontaminate. The powder reduces both liquid and vapor hazards and works great in conjunction with the FAST-ACT Microfiber Towel Pack. The FAST-ACT Microfiber Towel includes two microfiber towels that easily absorb excess liquid chemicals from any surface. It can be used for surface decontamination, chemical decontamination, and even gear clean up.

gear up prepper

 

 

Doomsday Preppers need to think about preparation for chemical releases and attacks. When planning and preparation go into packing your BOB or EDC survival items or even stocking your doomsday bunker, having a Doomsday Prepper Spill Kit is essential for when SHTF.

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