Public Health Response to Biological and Chemical Weapons: WHO Guidance / Edition 2

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This second edition like the first analyses the public health aspects of the possible hostile use of biological or chemical agents. It describes how biological and chemical agents may endanger public health; provides the standard principles of risk analyses that Member States may undertake to prepare for the deliberate release of biological or chemical agents; and presents national and international laws including their potential role in mobilizing international assistance and available sources of such assistance. Seven technical annexes cover chemical agents toxins biological agents principles of protection precautions against the sabotage of drinking-water food and other products information resources and the affiliation of WHO Member States to the international treaties on biological and chemical weapons.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789241546157
  • Publisher: World Health Organization
  • Publication date: 2/28/2005
  • Series: Nonserial Publications Series
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 359
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

World Health Organization is a Specialized Agency of the United Nations, charged to act as the world's directing and coordinating authority on questions of human health. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.

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Table of Contents

Foreword vi
Acknowledgements viii
Executive summary ix
Abbreviations and acronyms xii
Contributors xiv
1. Introduction
1.1 Developments since the first edition 1
1.2 Origin and purpose of the present report 3
1.3 Some working definitions 5
1.4 Structure 6
2. Assessing the Threat to Public Health
2.1 Background 9
2.2 Technological developments 11
2.3 Advancing science 17
2.4 Preliminary threat assessment 24
3. Biological and Chemical Agents
3.1 The representative group of agents 25
3.1.1 Scope of the international treaties 27
3.1.2 Historical experience 30
3.2 Dissemination of biological and chemical agents 36
3.3 Routes of exposure 38
3.3.1 Respiratory system 38
3.3.2 Skin 41
3.3.3 Oronasal mucus and conjunctiva 41
3.3.4 Digestive system 41
3.4 Characteristics of biological agents 42
3.5 Characteristics of chemical agents 44
3.6 Consequences of using biological or chemical weapons 46
3.6.1 Short-term consequences 46
3.6.2 Long-term consequences 46
3.6.3 Psychological warfare aspects 50
3.7 Assessment and conclusions 51
4. Public Health Preparedness and Response
4.1 Background 53
4.2 Preparedness 57
4.2.1 Threat analysis 57
4.2.2 Pre-emption of attack 59
4.2.3 Preparing to respond 60
4.2.4 Preparing public information and communication packages 62
4.2.5 Validation of response capabilities 63
4.3 Response 63
4.3.1 Response before any overt release of a biological or chemical agent 63
4.3.2 Distinguishing features of biological and chemical incidents 65
4.3.3 Response to biological incidents 66
4.3.4 Response to chemical incidents 76
Appendix 4.1 Principles of risk analysis 86
Appendix 4.2 The sarin incidents in Japan 90
Appendix 4.3 The deliberate release of anthrax spores through the United States postal system 98
5. Legal Aspects
5.1 The 1925 Geneva Protocol 109
5.2 The 1972 Biological Weapons Convention 110
5.2.1 International obligations 111
5.2.2 National implementation 113
5.3 The 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention 114
5.3.1 International obligations 114
5.3.2 National implementation 115
5.4 Conclusions 117
Appendix 5.1 BWC implementing legislation 119
Appendix 5.2 CWC implementing legislation 123
6. International Sources of Assistance
6.1 United Nations 128
6.1.1 Investigation of alleged use 128
6.1.2 Humanitarian assistance 130
6.2 Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons 132
6.3 Biological Weapons Convention 134
6.4 World Health Organization 135
6.5 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 137
6.6 World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) 138
6.7 Nongovernmental organizations 139
6.8 Contact information 139
Annex 1 Chemical agents 143
Annex 2 Toxins 214
Annex 3 Biological agents 229
Annex 4 Principles of protection 280
Annex 5 Precautions against the sabotage of drinking-water, food and other products 296
Annex 6 Information resources 322
Annex 7 Affiliation of WHO Member States to the International Treaties on Biological and Chemical Weapons 337
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