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Risk Assessment for CB Exposure after Decontamination (RACED) Symposium



The organizing and scientific committees of RACED are pleased to welcome the Risk Assessment for Chemical and Biological Exposure after Decontamination symposium in Oeiras at ITQB-NOVA, Portugal.


Brief project description:


In military protection against chemical and biological (CB) warfare agents, decontamination is a crucial step. In case of exposed surfaces, this process aims at removing chemical and biological hazards from equipment, vehicles, buildings and outdoor areas. Essential for successful response to an attack involving CB agents is to recover contaminated surfaces into assets sufficiently clean to return for use. Ideally, decontamination is quick, extremely thorough and environmentally inert. However, removal of the last molecule or last viable cell is utopic. This does not need to be a danger, as long as the remaining number of agent molecules or viable cells is below a critical level and does not pose a health hazard. The challenge is to obtain insight into the status of decontaminated objects with regard to the remaining hazard. This exactly formulates the problem for which the Risk Assessment for Chemical and Biological Exposure after Decontamination (RACED) project intents to find an approach to tackle. In an operational military setting it is not possible to assess the remaining hazard. Moreover, even in state-of-art laboratories it is very difficult to measure the residual contamination after a standard decontamination procedure. And even if residual contamination is known, it is not possible to relate that to the remaining health hazard, let alone how to handle the forthcoming risk. The overall challenge can subsequently be formulated as: the need to find out how much of what is left, how that can reach and affect humans and how can that risk be managed.

RACED is a 3 year project financed by the European Defense Agency (EDA) under the Defense R&T Joint Investment Programme on CBRN Protection (JIP-CBRN).

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