Chemical and Radiological Agents of Opportunity for Terrorism

In recent years, there has been growing concern that many of the most likely terrorist threats will involve “agents of opportunity” or materials that are readily available in most communities around the country.

The American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) and the Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site (REAC/TS) in partnership with the Southern Regional Disaster Response System (SRDRS) are pleased to offer the Chemical and Radiological Agents of Opportunity for Terrorism course, a 2-day activity on emergency medical response to exposures from radioactive materials and toxic chemicals. The Office of Emergency Management, within the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), supported the development of this unique course to familiarize health care providers and responders with toxic exposures. The course will review the medical and psychological consequences of exposures to a variety of chemical and radiological materials. It will include practical information regarding scene safety for such agents as high potency fentanyl analogs, inhaled irritants, and proper decontamination of a victim contaminated with radiological material.

Target Audience: the information presented will be of interest to state & local first responders, EMTs, paramedics, emergency nurses, emergency physicians, pharmacists, emergency response coordinators, public health officials, public health professionals, industrial hygienists and others involved with chemical terrorism preparedness and response.

Continuing Education: CE credits are available for this course through the CDC. Register for a course to receive instructions on how to obtain CE credit.

Course Objectives:

  • Describe the types of radiation and radiation scenarios
  • Discuss Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS)
  • Describe the emergency care of patients contaminated with radioactive material
  • Describe cutaneous radiation syndrome assessment and care
  • List resources available to address radiation accidents
  • Discuss the roles and responsibilities of emergency physicians and nurses and prehospital personnel during a radiation accident affecting a large population
  • Recognize the common health effects (toxidromes) caused by chemical exposures
  • Discuss safe and effective management strategies for chemical poison exposures
  • Identify resources that can assist in the initial recognition and management of a chemical public health emergency
  • Recognize the interdisciplinary role of pre-hospital and hospital providers, public health and pharmacy in responding to a chemical event
  • Tailor activities by identifying clinical characteristics of the pharmacy practice and community and learning about diseases associated with the service population and community

Program Overview

Radiological Emergency Medical Management

Lectures Include:

  • Practical Radiation Physics & Radiation Protection
  • Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS)
  • Radiation Protection, Contamination Control & Instrumentation
  • Cutaneous Radiation Injuries
  • Radiation Emergencies for Healthcare Providers
  • Common Radiation Sources
  • Management of Internal Contamination
  • Donning/Doffing and Decontamination
  • Closing Remarks & Adjourn

Chemical Agents of Opportunity for Terrorism

Lectures Include:

  • Toxic Disasters: Beyond Conventional Chemical Weapons
  • Chemical Explosions
  • Toxic Gases as Threats
  • Why are Cyanide & Fumigants So Worrisome  
  • Food, Water & Medication as Vehicles for Toxic Threats 
  • Clinical Neurotoxicology of Chemical Threats  
  • Delayed Toxic Syndromes
  • The Psychological Impact of Mass Exposures
  • After Event Population Monitoring: Pros & Cons
  • Scenario-Based Discussion

On-Demand Courses

Chemical and Radiological Agents of Opportunity for Terrorism - July 2022
July 7-8, 2022
Chemical and Radiological Agents of Opportunity for Terrorism - April 2022
April 28-29, 2022
Chemical and Radiological Agents of Opportunity for Terrorism - February 2021
February 22-23, 2021