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terrorist attack preparation

Civil Support Team (CST) Response

Civil Support Team (CST) Response

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

The growing threat that looms in response to terrorist activities or incidents has exponentially grown over the years. More and more terroristic acts have occurred throughout the world, in what seems to be an alarming rate, has forced the United States to take action in preparation for a potentially heinous act on our Country. Weapons of Mass Destruction are at the forefront of concern for the government and government officials, these weapons pose a tremendous risk to a large population of people and potentially even an entire country, depending on the WMD deployed.

In order to combat these extremely dangerous Weapons of Mass Destruction, the U.S. Government has implemented a number of different measures to enhance the Country’s ability to deter, prevent, respond to, and recover from terrorist activities within the United States. Therefore, the U.S. developed a team called the Civil Support Team (CST) as a high priority response unit supporting civil authorities in responding to a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) situation.

What is a Civil Support Teams ResponsibilitiesWhat is a Civil Support Teams Responsibilities & When Are They Called Upon

The mission of a Civil Support Team is to support civil authorities at a domestic CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and high-yield Explosives) incident site with responsibilities such as identification and assessment of hazards, advice to civil authorities, and facilitating the arrival of follow-on military forces during emergencies and incidents.

Each member of the CST provides unique capabilities, expertise, and technologies to assist the governors in preparing for and responding to a CBRN situation. These teams are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for rapid deployment for any response operation. There main mission is consequence management support for an incident or attack involving weapons of mass destruction – this occurs after an incident has happened in the environment or post-incident.

How Many Civil Support Teams are There?

The United States Civil Support Team is designed to support an immediate and quick response to any and all major population centers within the U.S. In total, there are 27 Civil Support Teams that place 90 percent of the country’s population within 250 miles of a team. When stationing these teams there were several factors considered including transportation access, facilities, proximity to airlift, and the closeness to other state and regional planning organizations. These teams are each composed of 22 highly skilled, full-time National Guard members who are federally resourced, trained, and exercised. The Civil Support Team consists of six sections: command, operations, communications, administration/logistics, medical, and survey.

The 27 teams that are composed of Civil Support Teams are located in several states including Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, California, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, & Virginia.

Capabilities & Functions of a CST

The Civil Support Team for Weapons of Mass Destruction was/is designed to provide a specialized capability to respond to a CBRNE incident. The teams respond under the authority of the governor and provide both the state and local agencies with any intentional or unintentional release of CBRNE agents or natural disasters. Although CST does provide assistance to large-scale situations and disasters, they also have the capability to respond to and support smaller-scale incidents where specific technical capabilities are required.

The functions associated with Civil Support Teams includes identifying CBRNE agents and substances, assessing current and projected consequences, advising on response measures, and assisting with appropriate requests for additional support.

Identifying CBRNE Agents and Substances

Identifying CBRNE agents and substances is among the functions conducted by the Civil Support Teams. They use assets to detect, characterize, identifying, and monitor any unknown CBRNE agents & substances. By utilizing multiple detection technologies, the Civil Support Team is able to generate the best possible analysis to identify the agent in the field.

The members of CST utilize sophisticated detection, analytical, and protective equipment that allows them to operate in many different situations involving both TIMs and CBRNE materials. CST also uses some of the highest standard PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), such as Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) Levels A & B. These levels of PPE provide members with more extensive protection than the PPE utilized by most military units.

Assessing Current & Projected Consequences

Assessments from the Civil Support Team need to occur prior to, during, and after an incident. These assessments take place with both local, state, and federal response organizations to properly ensure that the CST is successfully integrated with local and state emergency plans. When they undergo assessments, they are able to support both deliberate and crisis action planning for any type of incident.

The Operation Center (OPCEN) for Civil Support teams collect a variety of information that will include valid & appropriate sources, identification of critical & necessary information, and then evaluating the collected information to aid in determining threats – this includes hazards, risks, possible course of actions (COAs), possible targets, potential probability of an attack, etc. Based on the assessments conducted by the Civil Support Team, they will create Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Response Plans for situations.

Advising on Response Measures

The Civil Support Team after utilizing the identification & assessment results, will than advise the incident commander (IC) and those emergency responders on the potential hazards and countermeasures associated with both the intentional and unintentional release of CBRNE or natural disasters that could result in catastrophic lost. When advising on response measures the CST will cover the key methods for protecting and mitigating potential loss of life, damage to critical infrastructures, and/or extensive property damage to private property. Emergency response implements this advice to assist emergency responders and authorities to tailor their actions to minimize the impact of an event.

Assisting with Appropriate Requests for Additional State/Federal Support

The last function of CST is to provide assistance to the IC by giving input on the capabilities and utilization of assets that are currently gathered at the incident. The Civil Support Team offers an extensive background, specialized training, and scope of liaison between local, state, and federal agencies – and because of this they provide a much larger view of the specific assets and capabilities available to emergency responders.

Civil Support Team Training / Equipment

The training required for a Civil Support Team member consists of both military and civilian emergency response training. These trainings and instructions are provided from several DOD schools, and agencies like FEMA, DOJ, EPA, and DOE. Altogether the members of CST will receive more than 600 hours of high-tech training with topics covering planning, management, individual and collective training, goals, doctrinal aspects of training programs and how they relate to Civil Support Teams.

A Civil Support Team is equipped with high-end detection, analytical, and protective equipment, as well as satellite, secure and cellular communications to provide communication with both civil and military forces. They are required to maintain PPE that are far more intricate than those PPE provided to military members.

Chemical Decontamination Equipment

Chemical Decontamination EquipmentChemical weapons contain chemical agents or materials intended to kill or severely hurt a group of people. Terrorists have already showcased their capability to use chemical weapons in a terroristic act against their enemies, and therefore preparation for these types of attacks is vital for Civil Support Teams.

In part of preparing for this type of situation, it is necessary to have on hand a chemical decontamination solution equipment to aid in the neutralization of a chemical agent deployment. FAST-ACT is a proprietary formulation of non-toxic high-performance materials that are effective at neutralizing a wide range of toxic chemicals with the added capability to destroy chemical warfare agents. The FAST-ACT technology works quickly to reduce hazards associated with common industrial chemicals including acids, acidic/caustic gases, organic compounds, phosphorous and sulfur compounds, and many industrial solvents.

FAST-ACT is provided in a variety of applications including pressurized cylinders for liquid and vapor hazards, manually dispersed containers, kits for liquid hazard treatment, and mitts for equipment and small-scale decontamination. Best of all, FAST-ACT can be applied to any liquid spill or vapor release enabling Emergency Responders to utilize one technology when faced with a wide variety of known or unknown chemical hazards.

Detecting CBRN Threats

Detecting CBRN Threats

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

All around the world there is a need for emergency responders, whether in a small or large community or city, to have access to reliable and interoperable CBRNe detectors to protect not only property but also human life. “CBRNe” is the abbreviation that is commonly used to describe the malevolent use of Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, & Explosive materials/weapons with the intention to cause mass casualties and destruction. Access to full CBRN protection can be extremely expensive to implement, but with the right CBRN mitigation tools and detection devices, prevention and protection of CBRN threats is achievable.

Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear materials can possess hazardous effects, these effects can include the following in each category:

  • Chemical: Poisoning or injury caused by chemical substances. This can include military Chemical Warfare Agents (CWAs), harmful industrial chemicals, and household chemicals.
  • Biological: Illnesses that are caused by a deliberate release of a hazardous bacteria, virus, or even a biological toxin.
  • Radiological: Illness caused by exposure to harmful radioactive materials.
  • Nuclear: Extreme life-threatening health effects that are caused by exposure to harmful radiation, thermal, or blast arising from a nuclear deployment.

Detecting these materials and weapons has been optimized over the last couple of years, with new and improving devices being brought forward for the utilization of emergency responders. These CBRNe detection devices have capabilities that allow for identification and communication of CBRN threats, as well as the capacity to recognize potential CBRNe threats through equipment, education, and effective protocols.

CBRN Attack

CBRN is what can be described as a low probability, high risk threat. Although the chances of an attack utilizing these materials is low, if it were to occur the results could be significant and even deadly. A CBRN attack can occur in several different manners which include:

  • Criminal acts, a deliberate dumping or release of hazardous materials to avoid regulatory requirements.
  • A maliciously motivated poisoning of one or more individuals.
  • Or a terrorist act that involves serious violence or brutality to people or property.

A CBRN attack differs from a normal terrorist attack significantly in many aspects. CBRN agents cause contamination and specific health hazards depending on the type of agent utilized and the amount of the agent deployed into the environment. Conclusively, CBRN attacks can present complete destruction and mass casualties with the sole intent of harming a whole group of people.

CBRN Threat Brief

Terroristic threats are a dangerous potential crisis for large populations of people. The development and utilization of CBRN weapons has proven a lethal threat and one that must be prepared for heavily. The full extent of the potential CBRN threats cannot be predicted as they can evolve in unanticipated ways depending on a number of outside factors. The unpredictability and uncertainty of these threats can pose a challenge in preparing for a possible CBRN threat.

Also, before a CBRN threat occurs, there are no warnings that are initiated prior to the threat, so being alert of potential indicators that may appear is critical. Indicators can occur suddenly and seem out of place such as powders, liquids, or strange smells.

CBRN Threats in Relation to TerrorismCBRN Threats in Relation to Terrorism

Terrorism and terrorist threats has been a main focus for the U.S. government. As of the past decades we have seen a growing recognition that vigilance in preventing terrorist groups from obtaining dangerous weapons, such as CBRN threats, is vital to protecting the health and safety of a large group of individuals. The strategy for countering terrorism is strengthened by counter programs that aim to reduce or abolish CBRN materials produced and stored by states.

The use of CBRN materials and the developing expertise of these weapons remains a haunting terrorist threat. Many terrorist groups have stated their intent to acquire, develop, and implement these materials. Within the last couple of years these threats have rung true, as ISIS was found responsible for a hazardous sulfur mustard attack in Syria on August 21, 2015. This attack gave the United States a proactive mission to disrupt and deny ISIS’s CBRN capabilities.

What Does a CBRN Specialist Do?

Chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear specialists also known as CBRN or chemical operations specialists, are U.S. Army personnel who are responsible for protecting the country from weapons that fall into any of those categories. Specialists that are called to respond to a disaster will distribute protective gear or enter into impacted areas to begin the decontamination process. The CBRN specialist are trained to manage, train, and maintain protective gear that military members will wear when exposed to CBRN threats.

A CBRN specialist protects the country from the threat of these weapons of mass destruction and any weapon of a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear type. They plan and use highly advanced equipment in coordination with defense systems that are used against CBRN threats.

Types of Chemical Agent Detection Devices

Chemical agent detection methods will be an essential part of both medical crisis and consequence management. Detection and identification of the chemical agent or agents at the scene of a terrorist incident has to be accomplished but not at the expense of rapid and appropriate medical treatment of chemical casualties. Normally, an incident that involves the release of any chemicals or toxic materials will be categorized as a hazardous materials incident. Therefore, the first emergency responders who arrive on the scene must be capable of determining the Hazmat incident and be able to implement chemical agent detection devices at the scene.

Chemical detection equipment that is currently used by Hazmat teams varies considerably by the location. Large metropolitan areas and their current detectors can range from adequate to no capability for CWA detection. However, Hazmat teams are routinely equipped with a variety of chemical detectors and monitoring kits that can provide useful when chemical threats occur in the environment.

Chemical Decontamination Solution

When a chemical threat is detected in the environment the use of a chemical decontamination solution is needed. Depending on the chemical threat many chemical decon products require a different solution that is needed to apply to the chemical to achieve decontamination – this can be a lengthy process of identifying and decontaminating. However, with the FAST-ACT decontamination products, hazmat and first responders are able to quickly decontaminate a broad spectrum of chemical agents, including CWAs, without having to identify the chemical before deploying the decontamination process. The proprietary technology undergoes a patented process that makes the earth mineral ingredients highly reactive against a broad spectrum of chemicals, adsorbing and neutralizing chemical threats from the surface and air.

Chemical Decontamination Solution

CBRNe threats and detection devices are a very helpful and effective measure to have when a threat of this magnitude and danger is present to an environment and a population of people. Being prepared and protected with CBRN detection devices will aid in the overall safety of civilians and emergency responders upon the deployment of these potentially deadly CBRN materials.

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

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

Personal Protection Safety Gear: Gas Mask vs Respirator Mask

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

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

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

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

Benefits of Wearing Mask for Protection

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

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

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

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

Gas Mask vs Respirator Mask

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

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

Why Buy a Gas Mask?

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

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

Why Buy a Chemical Respirator Mask?

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

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

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

Modern Chemical Weapons

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

By | chemical attack preparation, terrorist attack preparation

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

What Are Chemical Weapons

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

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

Three Types of Chemical Weapon Agents

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

 1.) Nerve Agents

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

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

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

2.) Blister Agents

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

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

3.) Choking Agents

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

Protection from Chemical Attack – Chemical Attack Survival Kit

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

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

How to Prepare for Chemical Exposures in Your Environment

How to Prepare for Chemical Exposures in Your Environment

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

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

What Types of Chemicals are Hazardous

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

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

Symptoms of Toxic Chemical ExposureSymptoms of Toxic Chemical Exposure

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

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

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

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

The Different Types of Chemical Exposures

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

Laboratory Chemical Scenarios

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

Hazmat Exercise Chemical Scenarios

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

Terrorist Attack Chemical Scenarios

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

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

Chemical Protection- The Steps to Guard Yourself from SLUDGEM

Chemical Protection- The Steps to Guard Yourself from SLUDGEM

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

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


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.



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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