Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Agents and Incidents - Research Paper Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
An example of this are all the chemicals we have been using for the home (soaps, shampoos, cleaning agents, all kinds of washing liquids, etc.),…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER91.4% of users find it useful
Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Agents and Incidents
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Agents and Incidents"

CHEMICAL, BIOLOGICAL AND NUCLEAR AGENTS AND INCIDENTS (Research Paper) ID Number: Hazardous Materials Management 2 Professor’s Name:
Name of School (University)
Estimated Word Count: 914
Date of Submission: June 28, 2012
Modern society is exposed to various dangers because of all the materials that it had invented and been using for a variety of uses. An example of this are all the chemicals we have been using for the home (soaps, shampoos, cleaning agents, all kinds of washing liquids, etc.), for agriculture (fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides and herbicides) and for industrial production such that incidence rates for all types of cancer have gone up because of all the carcinogens. The dangers are further amplified if there is terrorism involved, as some hazardous materials can fall into the wrong hands and used for evil purposes to inflict massive civilian casualties. There are four types of classifying various hazards using a color-coding system, which are the following: Blue (for threats to health or physical injuries), Red (flammability), Yellow (reactivity) and last, White (water reactivity). A new classification which uses the symbol of a radioactive propeller has been added to indicate a material is radioactive. This paper tackles the common chemical, biological and nuclear agents deemed to be dangerous and common incidents involving them.
Most of the hazardous materials (hazmat, for short) are essentially man-made although a few of these are naturally-occurring, such as certain types of anthrax and radioactive elements. The three major categories of hazmat agents are discussed individually, and incidents involving the same materials, such as accidents during transport and spills or leaks during production. Only some 39 elements as found in the Periodic Table of Elements are actually hazardous, the rest of the materials are the results of combining these elements into various mixtures and compounds which made them hazardous if these are not handled properly (Burke, 2003, p. 43).
Chemicals – it is the U. S. Department of Transportation (DOT) that came up with the nine major classifications for hazardous chemicals that are now widely used. These classes are mostly explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids, flammable solids, oxidizers, poisons, radioactive materials, corrosives and last, miscellaneous hazardous materials (OSU, 1997, p. 1). Industrial chemical compounds are often long-lasting (they take years and decades to degrade to be harmless) and find their way into water supplies, lakes, rivers and oceans and along the food chain. Research conducted eliminated smoking, drinking, lifestyle and diets as probable factors and the polluted environment is the most likely cause of many cancers (Steingraber, 1999, p. 2). The DOT came up with the classifications because hazmat needs to be transported, either by air, sea or land (railroad, on public roads or using private vehicles) and it uses a placard system that clearly labels the transported materials as hazardous, based on the most severe hazard. Accidents during transport cause hazmat incidents that spills or releases these chemicals to the environment such as a train derailment, plane crash, vehicle collision or boat sinking.
Biological Agents – the common agents are anthrax, smallpox, plague and turalemia (a kind of infectious disease) using viruses, germs, bacteria, fungi and toxins. These act on a person in various ways, such as through inhalation, via the skin or by ingestion (contaminated food). An example of a biological agent incident was the anthrax scare when white powder was mailed to offices from Trenton, New Jersey in 2001 by a disgruntled scientist using laboratory methods to concentrate anthrax spores that created widespread panic. It was a limited attack involving only a single person and did not use multiple agents or modes of transmission (Hughes and Gerberding, 2002, p. 1); it was easily detected, traced and neutralized using simple chemical cleaning agents such as chloride solutions. The infected persons were treated using penicillin and other readily-available antibiotics such as doxycycline (DoD, 2003, p. 1); prophylactics were used for cleanup.
Nuclear Materials – incidents involving nuclear materials are usually the result of the malfunction of certain safety systems, such as the cooling pipes of a nuclear plant reactor. This was the case of the Chernobyl disaster when its cooling system failed and the reactor overheated resulting in a meltdown. Another more recent case was the nuclear incident that happened in the country of Japan during the earthquake and the subsequent tsunami, which caused the failure of safety systems in its nuclear reactors but the more proximate cause was due to inadequate types of maintenance work on its aging, old plants. Government regulators agreed to extend the plant at Fukushima for another ten years a month before the earthquake struck (Tabuchi, Onishi and Belson, 2011, p. 1) despite several warnings and contrary to its own regulations.
Knowledge of hazardous materials can potentially save lives and prevent injuries to a lot of people. First responders and emergency personnel (medical, police and fire workers) need to know even the basics of hazmat handling and proper response to minimize casualties among a civilian population. An incident command system (ICS) must be in place in every locality so that disaster planning and risk mitigation can be done before a catastrophe strikes (whether due to the carelessness of some people or due to a natural calamity such as an earthquake or typhoon). The people who will survive are those who were knowledgeable about these potential incidents, those who are well-equipped in terms of materials and resources and finally, do not panic. An incident commander should likewise be designated in advance to direct all emergency relief operations or to train enough personnel before any disaster, maintain adequate communications and coordinate community efforts to mitigate or minimize the effects and make recovery faster and easier.
Reference List
Burke, R. (2003). Hazardous materials chemistry for emergency responders. Boca Raton, FL, USA: CRC Press.
Department of Defense. (2003). Anthrax: biological warfare. Department of Defense of the United States of America. Retrieved June 26, 2012 from
Hughes, J. M. and Gerberding, J. L. (2002, October). Anthrax bioterrorism: lessons learned and future directions. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved June 26, 2012 from
Oklahoma State University – OSU. (1997, January). Hazmat transportation: Department of Transporation (DOT) dangerous goods classifications. Environmental Health and Safety Department. Retrieved June 26, 2012 from
Steingraber, S. (1999, March 26). Everyday carcinogens: action for prevention in the face of scientific uncertainty [video]. Available from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Transcript. Retrieved June 26, 2012 from
Tabuchi, H., Onishi, N. and Belson, K. (2011, March 21). Japan Extended Reactor’s Life, Despite Warning. The New York Times. Retrieved June 26, 2012 from Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Agents and Incidents Research Paper”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Agents and Incidents Research Paper)
“Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Agents and Incidents Research Paper”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Agents and Incidents


...Incidents is a text that describes the life of a slave girl from her own perspective. It functions in several important ways when re-imagined as a transcultural or autoethnographic text. One of the most important things in Linda’s life is her family, something that crosses cultural boundaries, and creates a sense of continuity between all of the cultures that surround her situation – family is the thing that shapes her life more than anything, and it is easy to imagine the ways that these ideals of family would cross cultural boundaries even in her time. As an autoethnographic text, however, Incidents also demonstrates that Linda, the main character, has a very clear idea of her own cultural identity,...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

Nuclear Biological Chemical threat/preparedness

...? Nuclear Biological Chemical Radiological and Explosive Threat/Preparedness Table of Contents Table of Contents 2 Abstract 3 Introduction 4 Literature Review 6 Abstract The level of security and prosperity that is being enjoyed by the current advanced democracies is nearly unprecedented. There are only a handful of external military threats and attacks. However, there is an emergent threat that has rendered all democracies vulnerable. These are attacks that involve weapons of mass destruction (WMD), chemical biological, radiological, explosives, and nuclear agents. As a consequence, the management of...
15 Pages(3750 words)Research Paper

Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Agents and Incidents

...Grade Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Agents and Incidents Exposure to chemical, biological and nuclear materials is possible in multiple ways like inhalation, drinking contaminated water or physical contact with contaminated surfaces. Dispersion may be carried out through simple methods like putting a container in some busy area, using ordinary spray devices or through advanced methods like detonating an explosive device (Irvine). In case of chemical incidents, there is an immediate onset of symptoms, while in case of exposure to biological or...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

MAZMAT responses to Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Agents and Incidents

...HAZMAT responses to Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Agents and Incidents Introduction In the current age of biological warfare and terrorism, thereare various chemical, biological, and nuclear agents and incidents that the world has had to deal with. These incidents range from mild to severe physical as well as environmentally damaging incidents. This paper shall assess HAZMAT responses to chemical, biological, and nuclear agents and...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Chemical, Biological, Radiological Agents/Homeland Security be well versed with the necessary precautionary measures as well as methods of detection, avoidance and decontamination of this biological agent, to be better prepared for possible crises involving the virus. The Smallpox Threat – Potential Risks & Countermeasures Innumerable chemical, biological and radiological agents have been identified as major threats to both homeland and international security. With massive technological advancements and increasing availability of information on the go, almost anyone can acquire the power to cause mass damage with the help of biological, chemical or even...
10 Pages(2500 words)Research Paper

Biological Cloning and Nuclear Transplantation

...genetic material has been removed through enucleation process. The biological process of nuclear transplantation is whereby scientists derive a cell from an adult animal they wish to clone. The genome of the animal is contained in the nucleus of this derived cell. Genome is the DNA that has instructions to create a new individual. The next stage in this process is taking an unfertilized egg from the female of the same species, and removing its nucleus (Mann, 2003, p.1). The scientists then put the nucleus into the egg; thus, basically replacing the DNA of the egg with that of the cloning animal. The nucleus derived from the donor cell is fused with the egg with the help of a smell electric current...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

CBRN Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear weapons

...CBRN Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear weapons Nuclear weapons: The destructive capa of weapons used in modern warfare, like nuclear weapons, is beyond imagination because it is beyond the limits of traditional warfare. Besides, this type of weapons makes use of nuclear reactions for explosion. Generally, these weapons are used to test and demonstrate nuclear capability. Most of the world nations with these weapons know that they are dealing with the most deadly weapon. Still, the control and access to these weapons, especially in the nations with less democracy, is a threat to the world nations. So, the nations authorize their political heads to take control of this type of deadly weapons. In the modern context, political... ...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

CBRN Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear weapons

...Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear weapons Due paper Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Weapons Terrorist organizations and militaries have been using different forms of weapons of mass destruction to cause obliteration in the targeted areas for a long time. Today, with the advancement in the areas of science and technology, a wide range of hazardous weapons have also come into existence that can be used to cause destruction in the land of the enemy. The United States of America has been on the hit list of the terrorists for a long time because of its efforts towards establishment and stabilization of peace in the world. This...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

CBRN Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear weapons

...CHEMICAL BIOLOGICAL RADIOLOGICAL NUCLEAR WEAPONS Assignment number and ID Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Weapons Introduction Terrorism by state and non-state actors has been a continuous threat to the security of the world’s population for the last couple of decades. It not only poses threat to the lives of people but also causes economic instability because the level of investment goes significantly down in the targeted areas due to insufficient security and attempted terrorist attacks. Terrorist organizations and militaries have been using different forms of weapons of mass destruction to cause obliteration in the targeted...
10 Pages(2500 words)Essay

Biological agents

... (College) The US center of disease control considers the following in ification of biological agentsand toxics according to Efstathiou S, Preston CM (2005), one, hazardous characteristic of the biological agent-that is its capability to infect and cause disease in a susceptible human or animal host, the severity of the disease and the availability of preventive measure and effective treatment of the disease. Two, genetically modified agent hazards-this is the possibility that the genetic modification could increase an agent’s pathogenicity or affect its susceptibility to antibiotics or any other effective treatments. Three, hazardous characteristics of laboratory procedures, this is important as it helps to know to what extent... a...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Research Paper on topic Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Agents and Incidents for FREE!

Contact Us