|Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Special Interest Group
Mission Statement, Purpose of the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) SIG
If terrorism is one of the defining issues of the early 21st century, WMD are the
demons we've inherited from the 20th and earlier centuries. WMD - whether biological,
chemical or nuclear/radiological are ubiquitous and a persistent threat worldwide.
The threat from deadly toxicants and toxins will continue to rise - whether from
chlorine tanker spills from our rail system or the intentional use of chlorine with
improvised explosives in Iraq, the highly public assassination with Polonium 210,
spreading anthrax through the mail system or salmonella in salad bars, even the suspected
use of chemical weapons in Sri Lanka - if there is intent and capability, there is
a threat. There are a significant number of state sponsored biological weapons programs
worldwide. Moreover numerous terrorist groups are interested in or have already utilized
a form of WMD, such as Aum Shumrikyo which released nerve agent in Tokyo subways,
and continues to exist in Japan, and other domestic and international groups. Thus
the risk of using hazardous materials or specifically developed weapons remains high.
Pandemics although currently of "½natural" causes, could also be intentionally started
using a wide array of biologicals.
Toxicologists - the members of AACT and EAPCCT are uniquely positioned as a well
trained, well organized, highly integrated group of professionals with the expertise
and often the community and government relationships to provide guidance and leadership
in planning for and responding to terrorism, especially when the events may include
a toxicant or toxin. Toxicologists knowledgeable in preparedness can be a vital resource
within the profession and to the multiple disciples necessary to plan for and respond
to a terrorist or hazardous material threat.
The WMD SIG will provide a forum and entity for toxicologists to come together and
share their expertise or acquire greater knowledge about this all important issue.
In addition to identifying threats and the appropriate responses - preventive measures,
antidotes, etc. are the forensic and other emerging scientific aspects of WMD. The
link between human disease, agriculture and animals is recognized but not widely
emphasized in preparedness, yet is an important vulnerability as well as opportunity
for research and to enhance threat response that the WMD SIG intends to focus upon.
The WMD SIG, reflective of the membership of the AACT will be composed of practicing
toxicologists and those health care professionals interested in the discipline and
science of toxicology, terrorism preparedness and response for the purpose of promoting
and enhancing WMD preparedness as pertain to the use of toxicants, hazardous materials,
weapons designed for mass destruction or assassination and the intentional use of
poisons. High impact topics, as well as under- addressed issues will be examined.
Allied issues in the science of WMD include epidemiology, basic science, antidote
development, toxic mechanisms, toxico-kinetics, analytical chemistry, diagnostic
considerations, global trends, and emerging threats.
The WMD SIG will foster collaborative projects among the members. This will include
promoting research and abstract submissions, as well as developing educational
programming, starting off with the WMD SIG Symposium to be held at the 2009 NACCT
(refer to education section of our WMD SIG web site). Our web site will include abstracts,
PDF of articles, especially those authored by WMD SIG members and emerging information
from DHS and other preparedness organizations.
The purpose of the WMD SIG furthermore is to increase interest in the multidisciplinary
field of preparedness for poisons as intentionally used weapons through an exchange
of ideas, resources, and expertise and collaboration with various medical and non
medical performance cultures. The WMD preparedness community includes the professional
disciplines of toxicology, pharmacology, law enforcement, other medical disciplines
dedicated to specific populations, veterinary medicine, public health, security,
the military, public planners and policy makers. We intend to expose our WMD SIG
members to performance cultures that they may not traditionally be accustomed to
collaborating with, through our educational and other efforts.
We invite you to join the WMD SIG, and look forward to welcoming your expertise,
enthusiasm and efforts as we address this important issue. Moreover, we hope you
will consider participating in our future programs, conducting research and submitting
abstracts on any of the wide array of topics associated with WMD. Our first business
meeting will be held at the NACCT 2009 in San Antonio.
If you have further questions on the WMD SIG, our upcoming educational programs,
or partnering up with other like-minded professionals, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robin McFee, Chair. - Email
WMD SIG Abstracts* of Interest: December 2008
WMD SIG Education Programming