A broad look at CBRN, and all it’s gory bits.

Military terminology regarding Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear.
Warfare, industrial incidents, and natural occurrences.

CBRN survival for civilians is going to be hard.
It could be expensive to kit for and even then to no avail if things get totally out of hand so what I’m going to be ‘suggesting’ is a poor person’s view on things.

I’m no expert, never professed to be, and never shall be.
What I say should never be treated as Gospel, you need to check it out yourself BUT if I have said something REALLY stupid, please tell me!

Caution, Long Article.

  1. Types of agents used.
    Blister, nerve, blood agents, and incapacitating.
  2. Delivery mechanisms,
    Low yield bombs, Dirty Bombs, aerosols, sprayers, water and food contamination
  3. Persistence,
    Low  (Fast to act dissipates quickly)
    High (Stays around for a long time and not easily cleansed)
  4. Observations.
    May or may not be visible,
    May have an odour, and might be lighter or heavier than air.
  5. Scope of damage.
    Depends on dispersal method, geography of site,
    Wind, general atmospherics and weather,
    Time of the day, week, or year.
  6. Effects.
    As specified against substance and absorption route and exposure time.
  7. Protection,
    Isolate, barriers, filters, limit movement and contact.
    Cover up skin, protect airways and eyes,
    No food or drink.
  8. Decontamination,
    Possible if carried out quickly,
    Dangers of residue and the effects of heat on that residue.
    Disposal of contaminated material and victims
    Danger handling the contaminated
  9. Treatment.
    Limited by material and the amount absorbed,
    May need specialist drugs and full symptom and body support.
  10. Final Outcome.
    The attack is usually short-lived as is the aftermath.
    Long term care for the contaminated
    Many cadavers to deal with
    Long term contamination of soils, water sources, manufacturing.

List of Agents

  • Tear Gases (as spray or as droplets in mists)
    In the UK you’ll normally only see CS and OC (Pepper Spray)
    From the EU or US you might come across Mace (CN).
    Mace acts like a mix of OC and CS gas.
  • Treatment
    Remove contact lenses and contaminated clothing immediately.
    Flush contaminated area with large quantities of cool water or a diluted baking soda solution and expose the area to fresh air as soon as possible. Don’t rub your eyes.
  • Vomiting agents.
    Basically they cause sneezing, coughing, headache, salivation, and vomiting.
    Adamsite (DM), Diphenylchloroarsine (DA), and Diphenylcyanoarsine (DC)
  • Treatment
    For DM in the eyes is to wash well with tepid water.
    Breathing difficulty may need oxygen and bagging.
    For skin troubles use calamine.
    Nothing found to treat DA & DC gases
  • Malodorants
    Israeli’s “SKUNK”.
    It smells like sewage and rotting substances.
    It also has high persistence especially on cloth and is hard to wash off.
    Not nice but not deadly for most.
  • Psycho Agents
    BZ (aka Buzz), SN (aka PCP), K aka LSD or Acid)
    All these agents produce stupor, confusion, hallucinations, plucking and disrobing.
  • Treatment.
    They need an antidote that is not readily available to civilians.
    All have long-lasting unpredictable effects.
  • Blister agents
    All 3 need to be washed off ASAP, Flush eyes DO NOT COVER but shade.
    If ingested drink milk, don’t vomit.
    HN1,2,and 3 (Nitrogen Based),
    Wash and Basic Support
    Mustard Gases Q,HD,T (Sulfur Based),
    Wash and Basic support
    Arsenics (ED,MD,PD,L aka Lewisite),
    Wash and Dimercaprol given by IM injection.
  • Blood agents
    Cyanide types CK, BAC, and SA
    Breathing the fumes?
    Adult 12.5 g of a 25% solution (50 mL of a 25% solution) of sodium thiosulfate intravenously over a period of 10 minutes.
    Treat with amyl nitrite, sodium nitrite. One ampule of amyl nitrite into a cloth until you can get sodium nitrite.
    Administer 300 mg of a 3% solution of sodium nitrite IV over 5 to 20 minutes.
  • Choking agents
    CL, PS, DP, and Phosgene (CG)
    Treatment is Oxygen. There is no antidote.
  • Nerve Agents
    Tabun (GA), Sarin (GB), Soman (GD), Cyclosarin (GF),G, GV, and the V Range.
    The immediate treatment IV 2 mg atropine sulfate, 5 mg atropine sulfate for severe intoxication. Diazepam 5 mg at 15 minute intervals up to a total of 15 mg.

  • PPE, Personal Protection Equipment.
    Chemicals are absorbed through the skin, the eyes, by inhalation, or ingestion.
    PPE is therefore using materials that are non porous, all covering, and disposable.
    Suggestions. Wellington boots, full hooded Tyvek suits help but are NOT totally sealed or coated. Nitrile rubber gloves, full mask respirators with the correct changeable filters installed.
    All clothing joints should be sealed with fabric backed waterproof tape.

Good filtered EXTRACTION ventilation going the whole time.
Fully dressed. wearing respirators and gloves the whole time, a cool all over shower. Don’t use hair conditioner!!!!!!
Then strip, bag contaminated material, and dispose of it OUTSIDE THE SHELTER.
Shower (again, no hair conditioner) , dry yourself, and redress in dry clothing.

Finally change into new mask or at least change the filter bagging and disposing of the old out of the shelter.

First aid, blisters or chemical burns.
Do not burst blisters.
Flush well, do not apply creams or lotions, cover with dry sterile dressing,
Monitor for any increase of damage.

Establish a baseline once out of decontamination.
Blood Pressure, O2 levels, Temperature, State of skin, breathing, levels of pain.
Carry out whole body checks and mental impairment regularly for 24 hours minimum.

The Dead.
Get them out of the shelter as soon as it is safe.
Cover the bodies with plastic sheeting, store away from accommodation.
Unless unused and still sealed, discard all that they had about them.

I have other Associated Articles:-
cbrn and water
Biological (Bugs)

If you want to read them, I will email them to you.
With the copyright that they are only for personal use, not commercial.

Which one scares me more than the other three put together?
Illness caused by the deliberate release of dangerous bacteria or viruses or by biological toxins like ricin.

The US CDC produced a basic list if you are interested.
Cat A :-
Bacteria i.e. Anthrax, Plague, Tularemia
Viruses i.e. Smallpox, Ebola, Marburg, Lassa, Hanta
Biotoxins i.e. Botulism
Cat B:-
Bacteria i.e. Brucellosis, Glanders, Melioidosis, Psittacosis
Food threats i.e. Salmonella, Ecoli
Water threats i.e. Cholera, Crypto, Giardia, legionnaires, Weils disease
Viruses i.e.Viral encephalitis, Rickettsia, Typhus, Norwalk
Biotoxins i.e. Epsilon, Ricin, Staphylococcal toxins

There’s just a few to think about isn’t there.
The problem:-
Nothing is instantaneous, all have an incubation time.
Giardia Symptoms usually begin 1 to 3 weeks after exposure and without treatment may last up to six weeks.
Hanta. 1 and 8 weeks after exposure before symptoms show.
Anthrax 1–6 days, but up to 42
Plague 1–7 days (usually 2–3 days)
Tularemia 1–21 days (avg 3–6)
Marburg VHF 4–21 days
Ebola (VHF) 4–21 days
Smallpox 7–17 days (avg 12)
Botulism 12 hours–5 days
Cholera 4 hours–5 days (usually 2–3 days)
Ricin 18–24 hours
My 30 days is looking VERY shaky.

They are colourless, odourless, tasteless, easily distributed and easily transmitted to others (touch, coughs, drinking, inhalation), water-borne ones are pretty robust and simple treatments like Chlorine in the water won’t stop some of them.

So the first you’ll know about it is when people start falling sick.

All you can do is isolate yourself from the infected and places they have recently visited. Apart from that, as impractical as it sounds, is to don as a minimum a FFP3/P100 face mask, protect your eyes with wrap-round glasses, and wear impervious clothing and medical gloves the whole time. Even then viruses are so small they can penetrate the tiniest bit of exposed skin!

So, as a defence to a biological attack, and to trigger off your self-defence plans, you need to know what is happening around you.
BUT, for the most part, government aren’t going to admit a thing until it is too late!

Inoculations are difficult to get to cover all these biological’s and some just haven’t got a vaccine or other remedy. Also remember that antibiotics only work on bacteria and NOT viruses.

You have only one real choice, isolation.
Remove yourself from public contact and wait till everyone dies or gets better, or hope that a vaccine or antibiotic is developed.
The problem with that is some survivors may develop into carriers. They may look fit but to touch then, or breathe in their breath, share their water or food, might be all it takes to infect you.

Getting the idea why I hate this form of contamination?
This section hasn’t got a happy ending to it I’m afraid.

Dirty bombs. More a weapon of mass disruption, the idea is to make an area unsafe to enter for a long time. How this is achieved is using IED’s to scatter radioactive material. The problem is knowing what has been used.

Industrial incidents. Discharge of radioactive material from facilities, or accidents. This may include contamination of water courses and the water table and the public water supply. Airborne particles in smoke.

Immediate actions.
Put on FFP3/P100 face mask.
Cover up as much as possible and wear nitrile gloves.

Evacuate away from the accident site into the wind, never downwind.
If you can’t, shelter in place sealing the location as best you can.
If you are sheltering stay away from lower levels.
Look for internal rooms, mid level.
Shut off any forced ventilation.

Listen for broadcast instructions.
Do not eat, drink, or smoke.
The container or material may be contaminated.

If you are evacuated, as part of a bomb scare, take personal belongings. If you are evacuated following a bombing, keep personal belongings to a minimum but NEVER leave your EDC behind.

As soon as possible shower in luke warm water NOT HOT (no hair conditioner) and carry out an eye wash.

Dumping your bagged clothing and ‘carry home baggage’ outside of your shelter.
Check your whole body for injuries.
Flush, clean and cover all cuts and scrapes.
With burns, do not burst blisters, do not use ointments or creams. Carry out regular checks on any injuries and to look for signs of new injury (burns)

The option of taking potassium iodide (Ki) to protect your thyroid won’t work for all radio-active material. There again (in my inexperienced eye), it wouldn’t hurt.

Wondering why no hair conditioner? Current thinking is that is designed to stay on the hair and could retain contaminates.

Nuclear (Crowd Pleasers)
And this is where I stop as the list of accredited articles on just this one event seems endless. Are they all correct, accurate and whatever?
Dunno, I never went to college.
However I do practice bending over to kiss my butt goodbye.