SESHA 2002 Symposium - Abstract

Emerging Issues: The EHS Professional and Weapons of Mass Destruction

Aton, Elizabeth
(Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO)

Weapons of mass destruction (WMD) may be deployed against a civilian population by a terrorist or terrorist group. WMD agents include incendiary and explosive weapons, but may also include radiological, chemical or biological agents. Such agents are chosen for the visceral fear that their use creates in a civilian population and for their potential for high morbidity and mortality. While many of these agents have no legitimate use in industrial operations there are some that have similar properties or may be an integral part of a microelectronics workplace. Additionally, emergency planning and response activities for a deployment of these materials are much like standards practiced in microelectronics and related operations. Planning and preparation initiatives in the United States to date have focused on first responders and community planners. The environmental health and safety (EHS) specialist community in microelectronics and related applications is a largely-untapped resource in the protection of life and health from such WMD agents. This presentation describes the characteristics of WMD agents in the context of EHS practice, and goes on to identify the community planning and response contributions that can be made by the EHS specialist in practice.

[abstract as .pdf]