Chemical agent attacks have long been a part of a military’s arsenal. Duringancient times, while the Persians were under siege by the Romans, they pumped toxic gases made from sulphur crystals and bitumen into tunnels that the Romans were digging.
Centuries later, we’ve found more innovative methods to wreak havoc with agents that are naked to the human eye.
It is estimated by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that the normal response time for a chemical attack is 12 hours– far too long for an emergency of this scope.
In addition to this deficiency, hospitals actually carry a limited amount of supplies for nerve agent exposures.
Even if a hospital was lucky enough to have an ample supply, their varied shelf lives make them unsustainable resource due to their costly nature.
- Badi Khlif/Reuters
To address these insufficiencies, a streamlined logistical system has been implemented by the CDC – their antidote of choice?
Chempacks contain antidotes to assist state and local officials in responding quickly during a nerve agent attack.
In fact, more than 90% of the US population is an hour away from a Chempack.
For obvious reasons, the specific location for each of these Chempacks is not disclosedto the public.
There aretwo different typesof Chempacks: a version for first responders, which is used to treat up to 454 people; and a more robust version for hospitals, which is used to treat up to 1,000 people.
Each chempack unit contains the antidotes to prevent human nervous system failure, such as Diazepam, which reduces the severity of chemically-induced convulsions.
To deliver these agents, the Chempack alsoincludesmilitary grade MARK 1 autoinjectors that are loaded with doses of the antidotes.
- Thomson Reuters
In densely populated areas like New York, officials have createdmobile Chempack units, where a designated driver can leave their location within three minutes, resulting is a faster response time.
WithUS National Intelligence Director James Clapper stating that terrorist organizations, such as ISIS, were already planning on using chemical weapons towards the US, the CDC’s Chempacks may prove to be a public necessity.