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Chemical Weapons Countermeasures Deployed Around U.S.

The U.S. government has deployed roughly 2,000 containers filled with nerve-agent countermeasures around the country, the Independence, Mo., Examiner reported on Saturday (see GSN, Nov. 28, 2007).

The Chempack program operated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is intended to ensure that state and local emergency agencies have immediate access to antidotes in the event of a terrorist attack involving potentially lethal chemical warfare agents such as sarin or VX. The defense materials would bridge the time gap between an incident and the delivery of countermeasures from the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile.

Thirty-eight containers have been distributed across Missouri, including 11 around Kansas City.

"A chemical incident could occur. It could occur anywhere, and it could occur anytime," said Mark Pethan, Strategic National Stockpile planner at the state's Health and Senior Services Department (Jeff Fox, Examiner, Dec. 10).


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