Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) types of weapons have the capability to result to mass casualties and mass disruption of the civilization. Emergency responders are trained to identify and diminish attacks from said weapons (Department of Health).CBRN materials are varied and each provides distinct challenges to responders (Home Office 9).
Recent terrorist occurrences in the United States highlight the significance of emergency response processes for handling the terrorist-linked events concerning CBRN agents (United States Department of Labor).
Generally, terrorists weapons can be classified into four major categories which include: (1) conservative weapons & explosives; (2) nuclear & radioactive artilleries; (3) chemical weapons; and (4) biological weapons (Heyer 2).
Conventional Weapons and Explosives
These are the most potential type of terrorist weapon, which can bring down large buildings. An example of this weapon is the fuel oil-fertilizer bomb (Heyer 2).
Nuclear and Radiological Weapons
Conventional weapons might be utilized to scatter radioactive materials throughout a large environment. It can be in the form of alpha, beta, and gamma rays. The initial hazard will be acquired from dust tainted with radioactive resources (Heyer 2).
These are effective due to their toxicity, which can result to temporary incapacity, permanent damage, or death. They are classified as: (1) harassing agent; (2) incapacitating agent; and (3) lethal agent. Another way of categorizing these agents is based on their complications on the body, such as: (1) nerve agents; (2) respiratory agents; and (3) blister agents. Also, they can be classified according to duration of hazards as persistent and non-persistent agents (Ontario 3).
These are intended to infect individuals with disease-causing microorganisms and other replicative entities, such as viruses, infectious nucleic acids, and prions. They are commonly categorized based on their taxonomy (Ontario 2).
Heyer, Robert J. “Introduction to CBRNE Terrorism.” disasters.org: 2006. Web. 19 Jan. 2016. <http://www.disasters.org/dera/library/Heyer%20WMD.pdf>
Home Office. “The Release of Chemical, Biological, Radiological, or Nuclear (CBRN) Substances or Material.” Guidance for Local Authorities: 2003. Web. 19 Jan. 2016
Ontario. “What is CBRN?” ceep.ca. The Centre for Excellence in Emergency Preparedness. Web. 19 Jan. 2016. <http://www.ceep.ca/education/CBRNintrosheet.pdf>
United States Department of Labor. “Chemical – Biological – Radiological – Nuclear (CBRN) Personal Protective Equipment Selection Matrix for Emergency Responders.” osha.gov. Occupational Safety & Health Administration, 2005. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.