For suspected chemical attacks or exposures to unidentified chemical agents

Initial response:

  1. Notify the MA DPH State Laboratory BT/CT on-call personnel. The 24/7 phone number is (617) 590-6390; pager number is (617) 228-1576.
  2. Collect clinical specimens (blood and/or urine) from victims of a suspected chemical attack or chemical exposure.

    The timing of specimen collection is critical. Blood samples should be taken as soon as possible. Urine samples should be collected 7 to 8 hours after the exposure. For pediatric patients, collect only urine samples (unless directed otherwise).
Information to treat victims and identify the origin of an attack or exposure:
The Chemical Terrorism Response Laboratory, within the MA DPH State Laboratory, will analyze clinical samples to:
  • Identify the chemical substance used in the attack
  • Assess the level of exposure of the victims


Guidance documents:


This information is provided by the Bureau of Laboratory Sciences within the Department of Public Health.