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Assessing the Biological Threat Posed by Suicide Bombers

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Technical Report,01 May 2015,01 Aug 2015

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ECBC Aberdeen Proving Ground United States

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To assess the biological threat posed by suicide bombers SBs, we detonated ballistic gelatin blocks using Bacillus atrophaeus BG spores as an infectious organism simulant in increasing scaled sizes in three tests. For each test size, two identical gelatinblocks were poured, with BG added to the block serving as the test case. Microscope slides and glazed tiles were used assample collection surfaces. The slides were rinsed with water, the tiles were swabbed, and the rinse was plated onto Agarplates for detection of viable bacteria. Aerosols were monitored with a TSI Aerodynamic Particle Sizer and a TAC-Biofluorescent particle counter. The results of our tests show that 1 organisms can survive the blast, and 2 organisms can bewidely dispersed in both aerosol and visible remains of the bomber. Our results show an aerosol threat. We detected living organisms in large pieces of gel as well as on the collection tiles without ANY visible contamination. Significant aerosol concentrations of ballistic gelatin were detected by a UV-fluorescence based particle counter.

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