IntelCenter Chem-Bio: Frequently Asked Questions (CB-FAQ)

$ 19.99 USD

ISBN: 978-1606760406
Size: 6.9 x 4.3 inches

Pages: 190

The Chem-Bio: Frequently Asked Questions (CB-FAQ) book is designed to assist those who suddenly need to quickly develop a working knowledge of chem-bio terrorism or who need a quick refresher on various aspects of chem-bio. The pocket-sized book is in a question and answer format and has been written for people who do not have a scientific background in chem-bio.




Chemical and biological weapons have been used since antiquity. The first recorded use of chemical weapons occurred more than 2400 years ago in a war between Sparta and Athens. Dating back to the Old Testament, wells were poisoned by dropping putrefying corpses into them. In 15th century Crimea, the Mongols catapulted corpses infected with bubonic plague into Genoese settlements. It has only been in modern times that these weapons have been rendered sufficiently deadly to become regarded as "weapons of mass destruction" (WMDs) or, in a phrase commonly used, the poor man's atomic bombs. Today, a few pounds of these agents can cause thousand or hundreds of thousands of deaths and crippling poisoning or disease. Recently the capability to produce these weapons has moved from being the sole possession of governments to being within the means of terrorist organizations and even, in some cases, individuals. This migration of technology has raised the threat that the average citizen may be exposed to these weapons to a level unprecedented in history. This book is intended to help those charged with meeting this threat by helping them to understand it. It is an overview of the essentials of biological and chemical weapons - what they are, what they do, and what (in broad terms) can be done about them. It is expected that different people will use this information in different ways. A reporter may wish to review the information on specific agents to allow an incident to be placed in perspective and described both clearly and correctly, the planner may wish to review the descriptions of the specialized terms - vector, contamination density, and LD50 - that the experts use when talking about these weapons, the trainer may wish to use some of the descriptions to clarify points or help make them memorable, and the First Responder may use it to assess what is happening if faced with these agents and to communicate with experts who may be attempting to assist in the response. To meet the needs of this diverse group of users, we have organized this book into two major sections covering, respectively, biological and chemical weapons. Each major section is further divided into subsections in which topics related to a single theme are grouped. Finally, discussions of major points related to a theme are offered as responses to frequently asked questions - hence, the title of this book - Chem-Bio: Frequently Asked Questions. The answer to each question is written so that it can stand alone without referring to other parts of the book (although related sections may be referenced). Thus, it is possible to simply look for the question related to what you want to know, read the answer, and move on. However, it is expected that this book will be used for education prior to an incident rather than as a reference during an incident (although some of the tables in the appendix may be useful for incident management). For such use, the authors suggest that the best results will be obtained by reading the general material in Sections 2.1 and 3.1 first, and then reading the other subsections in an order determined by the needs and interests of the individual.

Table of Contents


2.1 Overview
2.1.1. What are biological weapons?
2.1.2 What are pathogens?
2.1.3 What are toxins?
2.1.4 How are biological weapons used?
2.1.5 What makes a microorganism a potential biological weapon?
2.1.6 Do all biological weapons kill?
2.1.7 Do all biological agents have spectacular and horrible symptoms?
2.1.8 What is a bubo?
2.1.9 What are the risks of a biological weapon attack causing an epidemic or pandemic?
2.1.10 What is a vector?
2.1.11 What is a vehicle?
2.1.12 What is a carrier?
2.1.13 How is the effectiveness of a biological agent measured?
2.1.14 Why are people concerned about anthrax spores as well as the bacterium?
2.1.15 Are there any other types of microorganisms besides those listed in Section 2.1.2 that may be of interest?
2.1.16 What is the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) and why does it send microorganisms through the mail?
2.1.17 Why did the ATCC send samples of biological warfare agents to Iraq?

2.2 Toxins
2.2.1 Do all biological weapons act by using toxins?
2.2.2 Are all toxins potential biological weapons?
2.2.3 Which toxins are considered candidates for biological weapons?
2.2.4 How are toxins named?
2.2.5 What is a cytotoxin?
2.2.6 Are neurotoxins the same as nerve agents?
2.2.7 How is the effectiveness of a toxin measured?

2.3 Production and Delivery
2.3.1 How difficult is it to prepare toxin weapons?
2.3.2 What is the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989?
2.3.3 Can new biological weapons be created by genetic engineering?
2.3.4 Why are fermentors and fermentation important?
2.3.5 What is a medium?
2.3.6 How are bacteria and fungi cultured?
2.3.7 Why was there so much interest in the several tons of medium bought by Iraq?
2.3.8 How are viruses cultured?
2.3.9 How do you grow blood in a blood culture?
2.3.10 How are biological weapons delivered to their targets?
2.3.11 What are aerosols and sprays and how are they used to deliver biological weapons?
2.3.12 Besides aerosols and sprays, what other methods can be used to deliver biological weapons?

2.4 Detection, Defense, and Treatment
2.4.1 How can doctors and hospitals tell if they are dealing with a bacterium or a virus?
2.4.2 How quickly can a biological attack be detected?
2.4.3 What defenses are available?
2.4.4 What is prophylaxis and what sort of prophylactic measures can be taken?
2.4.5 What is barrier protection?
2.4.6 Why are sterilization and disinfection important?
2.4.7 What are vaccines and how do they work?
2.4.8 Is an antigen the same as a vaccine?
2.4.9 What is an adjuvant?
2.4.10 What are emulsifiers and stabilizers?
2.4.11 What are antibiotics and how do they work?
2.4.12 What are antimycotics?
2.4.13 Can a person take antibiotics before an attack to prevent becoming a victim?
2.4.14 What other therapeutics can be used to combat the effects of biological weapons?

2.5 Terminology and Usage
2.5.1 Is the term biological warfare the same as germ warfare?
2.5.2 What general rules of grammar and style apply when dealing with biological warfare organisms?
2.5.3 What rules of grammar and style apply when dealing with bacterial names?
2.5.4 What rules of grammar and style apply when dealing with virus names and abbreviations?
2.5.5 Can virus or toxin be used in place of bacterium or bacteria?
2.5.6 Is “virii” the plural of virus?
2.5.7 How can a person tell if an organism is a bacterium or a virus?
2.5.8 Can the disease be used to describe the organism?
2.5.9 Is it Bacillus anthracis or Bacillus Anthracis?
2.5.10 Do Latin names have to be italicized?
2.5.11 Why have some biological names changed over time?

3.1 Overview
3.1.1 What is chemical warfare?
3.1.2 What are chemical weapons?
3.1.3 How do chemical weapons differ from conventional weapons?
3.1.4 What are chemical warfare agents?
3.1.5 Are chemical weapons and biological weapons related?
3.1.6 What is the difference between toxins and chemical warfare agents?
3.1.7 Are chemical warfare agents and nerve gases the same thing?
3.1.8 How are chemical warfare agents classified?
3.1.9 Are all chemical warfare agents gases?
3.1.10 What are “lethal” and “nonlethal” agents?
3.1.11 What are major classes of agents?
3.1.12 What are nerve agents or nerve gases?
3.1.13 Is there a difference between nerve agents and neurotoxins?
3.1.14 What are blister agents (vesicant agents)?
3.1.15 What are mustard agents (mustard gases)?
3.1.16 What are radiomimetic compounds?
3.1.17 What are the organoarsenic compounds?
3.1.18 What are the halogenated oximes?
3.1.19 What are blood agents?
3.1.20 What are choking agents?
3.1.21 What are riot-control agents?
3.1.22 What are tear gases?
3.1.23 What are vomiting agents?
3.1.24 What are incapacitating (INCAP) agents?
3.1.25 What are particulate and particulated agents?
3.1.26 What are poisons?
3.1.27 What are reactants (reactant agents)?
3.1.28 What is a simulant?

3.2 Production, Delivery, and Physical Properties
3.2.1 How are chemical warfare agents prepared?
3.2.2 Are the methods of preparing chemical warfare compounds all top secret?
3.2.3 How difficult is it to obtain precursors and equipment to produce chemical warfare agents?
3.2.4 Does burning Teflon produce a deadly chemical?
3.2.5 Once made, how long can chemical warfare agents be stored and still remain effective?
3.2.6 Given the ease of making CW agents, can future terrorist CW attacks be anticipated and even prevented?
3.2.7 How are chemical warfare agents delivered to their targets?
3.2.8 Is a chemical weapon the same as a conventional weapon with some of the explosive replaced with a chemical warfare agent?
3.2.9 What are binary munitions?
3.2.10 What physical forms can a chemical warfare agent be delivered in?
3.2.11 What is the difference between a vapor and a gas?
3.2.12 What are aerosols and sprays and how are they used to deliver chemical weapons?
3.2.13 What are primary and secondary clouds?
3.2.14 How are liquid chemical warfare agents used?
3.2.15 What are flow characteristics?
3.2.16 How are solid chemical warfare agents used?
3.2.17 What is persistence? How long do chemical warfare agents remain effective after they have been used?
3.2.18 What is volatility?

3.3 Toxic Effects and Treatment
3.3.1 Do all chemical warfare agents act instantly?
3.3.2 How likely is an agent to kill the individual exposed to it?
3.3.3 How many people will a given amount of agent X kill?
3.3.4 What is an effective concentration?
3.3.5 What is contamination density?
3.3.6 What are LD50s?
3.3.7 What are LCt50s?
3.3.8 So if I double the LD50 (or LCt50), does that mean everyone dies?
3.3.9 In addition to LD50s and LCt50s, what are the other indicators of toxicity?
3.3.10 What was the Barcroft’s dog experiment?
3.3.11 What are the various routes that allow agents to affect people?
3.3.12 How does percutaneous (through the skin) administration work?
3.3.13 In general, can anything be done for someone exposed to a CW agent?
3.3.14 How do organophosphate nerve agents work?
3.3.15 What is miosis (and other symptoms of nerve agent intoxication)?
3.3.16 Are there long term effects from exposure to nerve agents?
3.3.17 Is exposure to low levels of nerve agent dangerous?
3.3.18 Is there any treatment for exposure specifically to nerve agents?
3.3.19 What is an autoinjector?
3.3.20 Can anything be done before exposure to nerve agents to protect against them?
3.3.21 How do mustard agents affect people?
3.3.22 How is exposure to mustard agents treated?
3.3.23 How do organoarsenic compounds affect people?
3.3.24 How is exposure to organoarsenic compounds treated?
3.3.25 How does exposure to halogenated oximes affect people?
3.3.26 How is exposure to halogenated oximes treated?
3.3.27 How does exposure to blood agents affect people?
3.3.28 How is exposure to blood agents treated?
3.3.29 What do choking agents do to people?
3.3.30 How is exposure to choking agents treated?
3.3.31 What about exposure to riot-control agents?
3.3.32 How is exposure to psychochemical incapacitating agents treated?

3.4 Detection, Defense, Decontamination, and Disposal
3.4.1 How can chemical warfare agents be detected?
3.4.2 What systems are used to detect chemical weapons?
3.4.3 Is one CW detection system better than another?
3.4.4 How problematic are false alarms with detection systems?
3.4.5 Is there any way to protect against chemical warfare agents?
3.4.6 What about birds?
3.4.7 Are all gas masks alike?
3.4.8 Are there differences in gas mask filters?
3.4.9 What is the difference between an adsorbent and an absorbent?
3.4.10 Are all protective suits alike?
3.4.11 What is the difference between permeation and penetration?
3.4.12 What are penetrants/penetrant agents?
3.4.13 What are mask-breakers?
3.4.14 What is MOPP (or M.O.P.P.)?
3.4.15 What is MOPP gear?
3.4.16 What is a MOPP level?
3.4.17 How can an area be decontaminated after a CW attack?
3.4.18 How can chemical weapons be disposed of?
3.4.19 Can you tell what CW agents have been used after the vapors have blown away?

3.5 Specific Agents
3.5.1 How are chemical warfare agents named?
3.5.2 How does chemical nomenclature work?
3.5.3 What are the most common nerve agents?
3.5.4 What are Novichok agents, Foliant program agents, and Substance 33?
3.5.5 What is the difference between VX and Vx?
3.5.6 What is V gas?
3.5.7 What is mustard gas?
3.5.8 Why does sulfur mustard have three codes symbols after its name when most other agents have just one?
3.5.9 What is dusty mustard?
3.5.10 What are the nitrogen mustards?
3.5.11 What is Lewisite?
3.5.12 What is phosgene oxime?
3.5.13 What is hydrogen cyanide?
3.5.14 What is cyanogen chloride?
3.5.15 What is chlorine?
3.5.16 What is phosgene?
3.5.17 What is CS tear agent?
3.5.18 What is Adamsite?
3.5.19 What is BZ?

4.1 Medical Terminology, or why do doctors use such funny words?
4.1.1 Symptom Words (Term - Meaning)
4.1.2 Location Words (Term - Meaning)

4.2 Other Abbreviations Frequently Encountered in the Context of Chemical and Biological Warfare

4.3 Codes for Chemical Agents

4.4 Binary Mixture Designations (US Army)

4.5 U.S. Agent Codes for Biological Agents and Toxins

4.6 Chemical Warfare Agent Toxicities
4.6.1 Effect of Route on Estimated Nerve Agent Toxicity
4.6.2 Comparative Toxicities of Some Chemical Warfare Agents

4.7 How many drops does it take to kill a man?

4.8 Relative Toxicities of Chemical, Toxin, and Biological Weapons

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