Chemical Challenges, Prevention and Responses, Including Considerations on Industrial Toxic Chemicals for Malevolent Use, CW Precursor Material for IEDs

Part of the Terrorism, Security, and Computation book series (TESECO)


The large use of chemical substances in our normal life, doesn’t give the real perception of the potential threats that these substances pose if used for a terrorist attack. For example chlorine or ammonia, that are some of the most common chemical substances in our life, may have a catastrophic impact if used for a malevolent action. To this end, OPCW, the International Organization responsible for the application of the Chemical Weapons Convention, exercises control over all chemical substances that can be used as Chemical Weapons. Another aspect to be considered is the response in case of intentional or unintentional chemical release in terms of preparation, training of first responders, decision-makers, and other stakeholders involved in case of a CBRN incident and sharing of best practices. To be fully prepared to respond to, and recover from, the consequences of a CBRN incident, the actors involved (i.e. first responders, CBRN specialists, decision-makers) must be fully aware of their responsibilities and duties in mitigating potential threats and related likely hazards. The current nature of a CBRN incident and its trans-border effects imply that civil-military interaction/cooperation is necessary. So the importance of developing and implementing a comprehensive approach and the link between civil and military preparedness, resilience, deterrence and defence is nowadays well acknowledged. This paper provides a general overview of chemical threats, of preventive actions to control the spread of chemical substances, of requirements to cope with cases of chemical release, highlighting the need for a national response organization in order to assure safety and security of populations.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International CooperationRomeItaly
  2. 2.Direction of Politics and Security General AffairsRomeItaly
  3. 3.Italian National Authority for the implementation of the Chemical Weapons ConventionKinshasaDemocratic Republic of the Congo

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