Chlorine is considered a chemical threat because of the large amounts that are produced and transported in the United States, its ready availability and its toxicity.
The gas is used in a variety of industrial processes, including the production of plastics, solvents, paper products, and purified drinking water. It was first used as a chemical weapon in World War I and most recently during insurgent attacks in the Iraq war. Domestic industrial facilities or rail cars en route are at greatest threat for intentional chlorine release involving an attack.
The Homeland Security Council estimates an attack on an industrial site in an urban area could lead to as many as 17,500 deaths and 100,000 hospitalizations from chlorine exposure.
"These statics prove the need for effective countermeasures that can be stockpiled, and our work addresses that need," Hoyle said.
|Contact: Julie Heflin|
University of Louisville