Chemical Terrorism Response Guidance

For suspected chemical attacks or exposures to unidentified chemical agents

Initial response:

  1. Notify the MA State Public Health Laboratory BT/CT on-call personnel. The 24/7 phone number is (617) 590-6390.

  2. Collect clinical specimens (blood and/or urine) from victims of a suspected chemical attack or chemical exposure following guidelines given at the notification call.

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 State Public Health Laboratory, will analyze clinical samples to:

  • Identify the chemical substance used in the attack
  • Assess the level of exposure of the victims

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