How to behave in case terrorists have used chemical weapon of mass destruction?

Nowadays the likelihood of chemical pollution related disasters is growing not only because of a great number of dangerous objects, but also because of constantly increase of terrorism.

People, animals, plants, buildings, food products and crops may become objects of terrorist attack. They can be destroyed or contaminated by the use of weapons of mass destruction components that have significant destructive and mitigating effects. At present, there are 4 types of weapons of mass destruction: biological, chemical, nuclear and radiological.

Chemical weapon – chemical substances and its compounds, which are used to kill, injure or make a human or an animal incapable of acting for a while. 

Terrorists may use these kinds of toxic substances:

  • Nerve gases (nerve agents). These gases disrupt nerve impulses transferring from brain to cells. Symptoms of poisoning: sticky skin, blue lips and severe tremor. Substances may be similar to the smell of fruits, camphor or sulphur. These substances are durable.
  • General impact. It may disrupt oxygen transferring to red corpuscles. Symptoms of poisoning: livid skin. Substances may smell as almond or peach seeds. These substances are nondurable.
  • Skin irritating. It may result in skin rashes, wounds and festers. Substances smell as garlic or pelargonium, considered as durable.
  • Asphyxiating substances. These substances mostly affect nose, throat and tissues. It causes suffocation, a person crepitates and wheezes. Smell of these substances is similar to drying grass or musty hay. The substances are nondurable.

Nondurable substances may last from a few minutes to a few hours. Durable substances may last from 6–8 hours to one and a half month. 
Usually, toxic substances are liquid, they can also be overspread as aerosol.

If you notice:

  • aircrafts, helicopters with spray systems above residential areas,
  • mist or aerosol devices (aerosol generators) in unusual location,
  • gas cylinders in unusual location,
  • parcels, suitcases, containers,

or find out about possible acts of terrorism, immediately call emergency number 112. If you are at workplace, primarily inform head of the institution and call emergency number 112. Inform security guard or other keepers.

If you hear obtuse explosion noise;

If you see spread of gas, fumes, steam, mist or dusts;

If you detect strange smell, you may suspect that it is caused by toxic substances.

Therefore, consider and take actions:

  • cover your nose and mouth as soon as possible;
  • do not touch things at the place of incident;
  • leave immediately contaminated zone as indicated (upwind direction);
  • avoid lower places since toxic substances subject to accumulate there;
  • try to go upstairs if you are in the building.

If chemical incident occurred in a building or a room - leave it, close door and do not let others to come in.

It is forbidden to eat, drink and smoke if you are in a territory contaminated with dangerous chemical substances.

If you have left the contaminated zone, before entering clean premises, take off your outerwear, take off jewelry, take off shoes and put all these items into plastic bag.

If possible, wash these items with water or wash it with washing liquids. If not – leave a bag away from clean territory. Rinse your mouth, nose and eyes with water. If possible – have a shower with a soap and change your underwear.

Keep radio and television on since you receive updates and recommendations on how to behave during the terrorist act.

If you have symptoms such as weakness, dizziness, stomachache, nausea, convulsion, cough, itchy/ wet eyes or your skin is burned by unknown substances, immediately call emergency number 112 or go to the hospital.


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