Module 5: Cyanide and Fumigants
Chemical Agents of Opportunity for Terrorism: Toxic Industrial Chemicals (TICs) & Toxic Industrial Materials (TIMs)
In recent years, there has been growing concern that many of the most likely threats of chemical terrorism involve so-called “agents of opportunity.” Both common and unusual industrial agents may pose a considerable threat as potential terrorist weapons. While an understanding of the traditional military chemical weapons (e.g. nerve agents) remains essential, an appreciation of the myriad of other potential toxic chemicals readily available in our society is crucial if we are to optimally prepare, identify and defend against chemical threats. Many toxic industrial chemicals are easily obtainable from multiple sources in our communities and pose a serious threat to health if accidentally released or intentionally disseminated.
Course Target Audience
The information presented will be of interest to state and local first responders, EMTs, paramedics, emergency physicians, emergency response coordinators, public health officials, industrial hygienists and others involved with chemical terrorism preparedness and response. Our topic selection for each course is intended to prepare the response community for their upcoming OHA Demonstration Project Tabletop exercise.
Module 5: Cyanide and Fumigants
This module reviews commercial applications, characteristics, and treatment guidelines relating to cyanide and three common fumigants: Vikane (sulfuryl fluoride), methyl bromide, and phosphine.
By the end of this module, participants will be able to:
- Indicate the sources and uses of cyanide and fumigants
- Describe therapies used to treat cyanide poisoning
- List the three most common fumigant gases
- Describe the clinical effects of exposure to these gases
- Explain how to treat victims exposed to these gases
Along with his part time role as the Executive Director of ACMT, Dr. Wax is a Clinical Professor in Surgery (Emergency Medicine) at the University of Texas, Southwestern School of Medicine where he is a member of the Section of Medical Toxicology and Director of the Medical Toxicology Clinic. Before joining ACMT in 2008 as its Executive Director, and the University of Texas Southwestern in 2006 as a part-time faculty member, Dr. Wax had faculty appointments in the Departments of Emergency Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine from 1991-2001 and the University of Arizona School of Medicine from 2001-2006. Dr. Wax previously served on the Board of Directors of ACMT from 1998-2008 serving as ACMT President from 2006-2008. During this tenure he chaired the ACMT Education Committee from 1998-2002. From 2002-2006 Dr. Wax served as the National Director of ACMT's Consultation Network to support the ATSDR Regional Offices and was co-founder of ACMT’s Chemical Agent of Opportunity course. From 1997-2006 Dr. Wax also served as one of the American Board of Emergency Medicine’s appointee’s on the Medical Toxicology Subboard. During this time Dr. Wax served as Editor of the Medical Toxicology Board Certification Examination as well as Chairman of the Subboard, and was also the primary author of the 2004 Core Content of Medical Toxicology. Dr. Wax has also served as a consultant to the Centers for Disease Control NCEH’s Division of Laboratory Sciences and was a member of NCEH/ATSDR Board of Scientific Counselors from 2006-2008.