Chemical Agents of Opportunity for Terrorism Workshop
Risk Science International Ottawa, ON Canada
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The workshop on chemicals agents of opportunity for terrorism - a two day event was co-sponsored by Health Canadas Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit and the Canadian Safety and Security Program CSSP. The two day workshop was put together by the American College of Medical Toxicology ACMT for the first time in Canada. The workshop was well-received with positive engagement between participants from the medical community, first responders, international community, federal government including Department of National Defence DND, Public Health Agency of Canada PHAC, Health Canada, Transport Canada, Royal Canadian Mounted Police RCMP, and Environment Canada. To address the growing concern about the most likely threats of chemical terrorism, an appreciation of the myriad of potential toxic chemicals readily available in our society is crucial if we are to optimally prepare, identify and defend against chemical threats. Both common and unusual industrial agents may pose a considerable threat as potential terrorist weapons particularly since many of these toxic industrial chemicals TICs are easily obtainable from multiple sources in our communities and pose a serious threat to health if accidentally released or intentionally disseminated. Norman J Yanofsky, Head CBRNE Threats and Hazards and Andrew Adams, Director General Environmental and Radiation Health Sciences, Health Canada welcomed everybody to the workshop and provided a brief background on the eminent terrorists threats faced by our society some deliberate and some accidental. Whether a hoax or not, each threat is taken seriously and dealt with aptly. These incidents provide us with a setting to envision the unlikely and the unknown threats as we prepare for the future.