Chemical Risk means the diffusion of substances, chemical compounds or chemical compounds mixtures capable of causing damage, even large, to humans and to the environment. The profile of this type of risk is closely related to the chemicals production, processing, storage and transport.
The most complex CBRNe (Chemical-Biological-Radiological-Nuclear-Explosive) risk is caused by the CBRN agents dispersion that can cause serious damage to people and things. Events related to the release of this type of substances may be:
- Not Man-made. This is the case for CBRN substances release/dissemination are due to natural events (such as epidemics and pandemics or dangerous gasses present in nature release). It means that during these events, structures in which CBRN substances are produced or deposited or through which they are transported, are injured by natural causes (earthquakes, floods, etc.).
- Man-made but not intentionally. This is the case for release/disseminations of CBRN substances due to human accidents or errors during the various handling, transport or storage steps of these substances
- Intentionally Man-made. E’ il caso di rilascio/diffusione di sostanze CBRN dovuti ad atti bellici, con la volontà di determinare perdite e diminuire le capacità operative del nemico, ovvero dovuti ad atti terroristici, con la volontà di determinare danni a popolazione ed infrastrutture ed innescare una strategia del terrore. This is the case of release/dissemination of CBRN substances due to acts of war, with the aim to determine losses and decrease the enemy operational capabilities, or due to terrorist acts, with the intention of causing damage to population and infrastructure and triggering a strategy of terror.
It is clear that it is erroneous to consider the risk due to CBRN agents as belonging only to the sphere of Military Defense (in case of use for military purposes) or only to the sphere of Civil Defense (in case of use for terrorist purposes) or only to the sphere of Civil Protection (in case of dispersion/diffusion/contamination due to natural or incidental events). It would be more suitable to speak of a general sphere of Security and Defense from Cbrne Events, because this risk is a possible daily presence in our lives and in our activities.
In order to analyze VOCS on site, several technologies can be used, including gas chromatography combined with a mass spectrometer.
HAPSITE ER is the only portable GC/MS that requires minimal training to produce qualitative and quantitative results. In less than 10 minutes it is possible to provide results on site with a quality comparable to that obtained with laboratory instrumentation. A operator only need to press a button to start identifying and quantifying volatile organic compounds (VOCS), industrial origin toxic chemicals (TICs) and Chemical Warfare Agent (CWAs). Qualitative and quantitative analysis of VOC can also be performed in emergency situations by characterizing volatile organic compounds present in different matrices, in the order of PPM to PPT.