A report published last week by the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Biosecurity claims that it could cost the US trillions of dollars to successfully decontaminate the site of a major biological attack, reports GSN. The report, which was sponsored by the congressionally mandated Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, says that an attack by biological warfare materials could cause thousands of deaths and sicknesses, as well as spread through building interiors and the surrounding environment. In a general assessment of federal decontamination policy and procedures, the report concludes that the federal organisations that would be most involved in dealing with the results of a biological attack have not been assigned clear clean-up duties by the federal government, a state of affairs the report’s authors urge the Homeland Security Department to rectify.
– William Eichler, London
Source: ‘Bioterrorism Decontamination Could Cost Trillions, Report Warns‘, Global Security Newswire, 13 April 2010
Report: Crystal Franco and Nidhi Bouri, ‘Environmental Decontamination Following a Large-Scale Bioterrorism Attack: Federal Progress and Remaining Gaps‘, Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science, Volume 8, Number 2, 2010.