Terrorism: Background on Chemical, Biological, and Toxin Weapons and Options for Lessening Their Impact
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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The domestic approach to potential terrorist attacks using chemical, biological, or toxin weapons attempts to balance a post-event consequence management approach with a pre-event, preventative approach. Legislation and plans have been developed to address the casualties from chemical, biological, or toxin weapons that are generally focused on the physical consequences of such weapons use and methods to provide prompt consequence management. Further efforts regarding public outreach, the enhancement of treatment and prophylaxis through federal initiatives, and additional regulation of materials used in developing chemical, biological, and toxin weapons are areas policy makers may revisit as preventative approaches to reducing the terror aspect of these weapons. This report provides a general overview of chemical, biological, and toxin weapons and their treatment a summary of why some of these weapons may be more attractive to terrorist groups than conventional weapons select aspects of the current response against chemical, biological and toxin terrorism and potential options towards lessening these weapons impact.
- Administration and Management
- Government and Political Science
- Civil Defense
- Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare