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Global Disaster Management: Chemical

This research guide is a starting point for research into the management of global disasters. It supports Pitt classes and workshops like - Building Community Resilience to Global Hazards, as well as the Hazard SEES Team members and their research.


Map of the 101 Most Dangerous Chemical Facilities in the US.  Available as a free download from Google and MapCruzin. 

What is  Chemical Terrorism?

Chemical terrorism is the form of terrorism that uses the toxic effects of chemicals to kill, injure, or otherwise adversely affect the interests of its targets. The deliberate release of certain chemicals could poison people, animals, plants or the environmnet.  Chemical "agent" can be delivered in various forms - vapors, aerosols, liquids and solids - and by a variety of methods, including sprays and bombs. Many chemicals may be dangerous including - nerve agents, mustard gases, and choking agents. Other chemicals used in industry or made from natural or everyday household materials may be dangerous when mixed. 

Chemical agents can produce effects quickly (within a few seconds) or slowly (as much as two days after exposure), and some are odorless and tasteless.  The potential for abuse or release by terrorists exists anywhere hazardous industrail or military chemicals are stored or used.

File:بانو و کودک شهید حلبچه‌ای.jpg

Victims of Halabja poison gas attack in 1988. Permission granted to use this image from Wikipedia Commons.

Shortly before the Iran - Iraq war ended in 1988, the Iraqi Kurdish village of Halabja was exposed to multiple chemical agents, killing about 5,000 of the town's 50,000 residents.  Both sides used mustard gas and other chemical weapons delivered by bombs dropped from airplanes.  About 100,000 Iranian soldiers were victims of Iraq's chemical attacks with about 20,000 deaths.

Federal Departments & Agencies

Case Study: Syria

Syrian soldier is wearing a Soviet-made Model ShMS nuclear-biological-chemical warfare mask


Chemical Weapons Convention


RSS News Feeds

Articles in the New York Times on chemical and biological warefare 

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