New Technology Traces Source of Chemical Weapons

I recently ran across an article about a new technology that could one day aid law enforcement agencies in tracing the origins of chemical weapons. "Impurity profiling" is used to identify impurities in a chemical and link it to the source where attackers obtained the ingredients. Up to 88% of impurities in source chemicals may end up in the finished product, acting as a kind of chemical fingerprint.
Researchers correctly identified the source of materials used for two different batches of a nerve agent, using standard lab equipment. The technology "may one day become a basis for using impurity profiling to help find and prosecute perpetrators of chemical attacks," say the researchers.

A full report on impurity profiling appears in ACS' journal Analytical Chemistry. Funding for the research came from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In 2010, I wrote about another DHS-funded project to develop technology that enables smart phones to detect dangerous chemicals. It's encouraging to see that DHS continues to support the development and allocate funding for anti- terrorism technologies.

DHS also oversees SAFETY (Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies) Act certification, passed by Congress as part of the Homeland Security Act. The SAFETY Act provides liability protections for the development and deployment of innovative anti-terrorism technologies and services that could significantly reduce the risks and effects of a terrorist act. Owner operators also benefit from this liability protection by working with technology and solutions providers who are integrators who are SAFETY Act certified.

Ryan Loughin is Director of Petrochemical & Energy Solutions for the Advanced Integration division of ADT- www.adtbusiness.com/petrochem. He provides security education to CFATS and MTSA-affected companies and is a member of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association (NPRA), Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Associates (SOCMA), Energy Security Council (ESC) and American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS). Loughin has also completed multiple levels of CVI Authorized User training (Chemical- Terrorism Vulnerability Information) which was authored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Copyright © ADT Security Services, Inc. 2012 - All Rights Reserved. Legal Disclaimer - Some of the individuals posting to this site, including the moderators, work for ADT Security Services, Inc. Opinions expressed here and in any corresponding comments are the personal opinions of the original authors, not of ADT Security Services, Inc. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by ADT Security Services, Inc. or any other party. This site is available to the public. No information you consider confidential should be posted to this site. By posting you agree to be solely responsible for the content of all information you contribute, link to, or otherwise upload to the Website and release ADT Security Services, Inc. from any liability related to your use of the Website. You also grant to ADT Security Services, Inc. a worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free and fully-paid, transferable (including rights to sublicense) right to exercise all copyright, publicity, and moral rights with respect to any original content you provide. The comments are moderated. Comments will appear as soon as they are approved by the moderator. 

What are your comments?

You cannot post comments until you have logged in. Login Here.

Comments

No one has commented on this page yet.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments