Continued, Chem/Bio Rap, Threat and Preps : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Been away a couple days and just caught the earlier chem/bio discussions before they scrolled off....There was someone asking about practical preps and some others discussing whether this was all PR/spin and why.

People, my read on this is that we ought to be thinking caution here, condition yellow, at least through this year. Personally I don't think the threat will diminish on January 1, 2001 but we can always hope, and perchance prepare.

Regardless of what they do on the TeeVee (which has even less veracity during "sweeps") the top people in the fields of epidemiology and emergency medicine are very smart people and they are really scared. The threat is real and the potential effects of a bioattack are horrifying. Information about biological weapons programs in hostile countries (Iran, China, Iraq, North Korea, Libya) is building and it's developed that a number of terrorist organizations are trying to procure biological weapons. We're not talking about nation states here but independant terrorist groups that might not be subject to some of the restraints a nation would. The Russian mafia is widely believed to be in possesion of biogents and there are thousands of ex-Biopreparat bioweaponeers out of work and looking for ways to make a living. With a biotoxin or biological agent you don't need reactors to make plutonium or ICBMs for delivery systems. A pickup truck with an open bag of "cement" in the back could do. This opens the door to many more groups becoming "players" in the biowar game. The genie is out of the bottle for sure.

It's known that the Russians made biological warfare agents in huge quantities; weaponized smallpox was made at the rate of 40,000 pounds per year as were several other agents (smallpox decays and has a definite shelflife). It's known that Iraq made enough powdered botulism toxin, maybe the most deadly agent known, to cover a football field 9 feet deep. We know the Chinese have a similar program and that they are very good at genetic engineering. That coupled with their recent musings on the nature of "unlimited conflicts" and displeasure of our support for Taiwan is a cause for concern. Not too long ago one Chinese General mused as to how the U.S. was unlikely to "trade San Diego for Taiwan", a not so veiled threat.

The media is picking up the "not if but when" retoric not so much from the Feds as it is from respected experts in the field. Donald Henderson, leader of the WHO team that thought they'd eradicated smallpox, at the Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies at Hopkins opines that it's almost a certainty that we'll be hit within 10 years and possibly much sooner than that. Same thing from C.J. Peters, Special Pathogens Branch at CDC, except he's thinking maybe 5 years. That's where those numbers are coming from, not some reporter's imagination. We aren't ready for it either, that will take years and I doubt any terrorist obtaining these materials will wait for the Feds to get set-up, exactly the opposite actually. So, I think some personal preparedness is in order.

What level of preparedness is sufficient? Depends. At a minimum, if secondary as opposed to direct biological contamination is the concern (infected people spreading smallpox, ebola, brucellosis, tulermia) latex gloves, a quality paper mask and goggles along with well reasoned decontamination and quarantine steps could suffice. This would be far better than nothing at all even if direct contamination was a threat. At the high end (figuring few of us can afford Racal or Chemturion suits) a good NBC rated respirator (like the full face U.S. M40 or MCU-2P military masks made by MSA), spare filters, a Tyvek suit (with sealed seams) or Military MOPP suit, rubber boots, gloves and glove liners would be indicated. Antibiotics could be very useful to have as well; one thing all the experts agree on, there wouldn't be anywhere near enough to go around if disaster struck (antibiotics don't effect virii but do bacteria such as anthrax or bot-tox). There are some equipment deals out to be had there if you look hard so you can make meaningful preps for not much money.

I don't live near what is likely to be a prime target/delivery area which is likely my most important prep. I have NBC preps to respond to differing level threats for my son and myself, from basic to level 3+. I'm also studying decontamination procedures and things like barrier nursing techniques. I do volunteer with the local OES and expect I might be sent in harm's way if this ever arises (probably by accident but none the less). Since I have what I feel are a reasonable level of preps I don't spend a lot of time worrying about this stuff which was my objective; do what I can, get knowledgeable, keep my ears open and keep keep my fingers crossed....

Best of luck to all.....Don

Below are a few URL's for anyone in need of some more info... "The Bioweaponeers" Article by Richard Preston "Demon in the Freezer" by Richard Preston PBS Reports WSU Malignant Biology

Reading materials...

The Virus Hunter, C.J. Peters Biohazard, Ken Alibek (ex-director of research at Biopreparat in Russia) The Hot Zone, Richard Preston The Cobra Event, Richard Preston (fictional story, factual basis, highly reccomended) The Coming Plague, Laurie Garrett (former Pulitzer winner) Jane's Chem/Bio Handbook ($27.50 at Amazon) First Responders Chem/Bio Handbook Vector, Robin Cook (another fictional story backed up by fact, Alibek consulted on it)

-- Don Kulha (, February 10, 2000


Even in the worst of epidemics, it is very rare that more than 30% of a population dies...usually much closer to only 1-2%.

Of course having supplies and knowledge to quarantine may be useful, but in the end, in any large scale attack, which involved a "transmissible" agent, almost everyone will be exposed.

Best preparation is to stay well nourished, have a warm bed, clean water, and wait it out.

Let's pray this never happens.

-- thom gilligan (, February 10, 2000.


That was an excellent discussion of some of the scenarios and sources. Thank you.

I am remembering that Nightline devoted a full week's airtime last Fall to this threat. That much airtime was no accident at all.

One of the hypotheses of what's being done with the chemtrails spraying is testing of decontamination agents under varying environmental conditions. A second is some sort of innoculation. I am aware that tests of such spraying were done by the mil. as far back as the 60's, and that those tests were successful.

Bottom line, though, is that doing thoughtful personal prep.s is the best way any of us can cope with this threat spectrum. Thus thanks again for your article and the links.

Don, I haven't followed up your links as yet (it's 1:25 AM as I write this); if you or anyone has suggestions on where to find the masks or suits like you mentioned, I'd be grateful.

-- Redeye in Ohio (, February 11, 2000.


Here are just a few sources. has a full line of masks and some protective suits. These are top quality, new, and expensive

has used goods, and generally carries a line of good masks. Much cheaper because the stuff has been carried by GIs.

Protection From Spaying provides information on protecting yourself from the effects of chemtrails, and provides sources for disposable masks that may be of value.

Industrial Safety is a great source for civilian respirators. Ive ordered from them commercially. Good people. If youre really interested, have them send you a catalog. They also have tons of tyvek suits. They're cheap, so get several per person. Learn decontamination procedures!

The Protection From Spraying article also recommends half mask respirators of the type used by various contractors, of the type available from Industrial Supply. Please note that there are several types of respirators, including half-mask and full-face units. The full face masks are roughly equivalent to military masks if you select the proper filters. Theyre also just as expensive. At the top end of the scale are the powered air purifying respirators (carry your own air) which are great for short term applications in a toxic environment. You couldnt store enough air to get through a bio attack, though, so forget them.

Since I wear glasses -- and its tough to do this in a gas mask -- Ive chosen a half mask and a hood with face shield.

Hope this will keep you busy (grin)

-- rocky (rknolls@no.spam), February 11, 2000.

Thanks so much!! Do you know what antibiotics are used for anthrax and bot-tox, and what the treatment is? ( I can get them from overseas). Great post. Everybody that answered the first thread was a big help too. great forum ( well, most of the time...)

-- thinking (about@germs.and.stuff), February 11, 2000.


Echoing Thinking's thank you! Yeah, it oughta keep me busy for just a little while (grin).

-- Redeye in Ohio (, February 11, 2000.

I have collected gas masks for years. I own everything from older M- 17's to the brand new MCU-2/P's mentioned here.

One thing I have learned is that if you are going to buy a gas mask for protection from all known NBC agents.... Buy NEW! You never know what condition a used, surplus or older is really in. It could have been stored in an environment that dried out interior valves, allowing pathogens to leak into your mask, or it could be damaged beyond repair. (And you can't buy new parts I have found).

Spend the extra money for a brand new, quality mask or run the risk of death (in an extreme situation). And always buy brand new filters. Demand that there be a date stamped on them, and never buy a filter older than 3 years old. (Manufacturers only guarantee them for 5 years, although they are usually good for more as long as they are stored correctly).

Prepare now. This issue is not going away. Soon you won't be able to get anything as supplies of good products are getting harder to locate as the gov'ts around the world stock up for their militaries and VIP's. There aren't any new manufacturers either so at some point we will hit a wall.

Good Post Don!.

-- Gas mask fanatic (goodmasks@re.expensive.butthey work), February 11, 2000.

Gas mask fanatic- we got Israeli models from the Cheaper than Dirt catalogue, and I ripped off the little sealer thing over the filter end; everybody has one next to their bed in case the house catches on fire, for smoke (3 boys on 3rd floor). Is that a mistake? Can the filters dry out? Could I just put a piece of duct tape over the end? Please tell me the names and URL's or phone #'s of some good suppliers if you think this isn't adequate. We are 10 miles from a major city, but upwind, and not near any military type targets, so do you think I'm overreacting? Thanks for any help.

-- thinking (about@germs.and stuff), February 11, 2000.

Good discussion and info folks....A few comments/answers about some responses...

- Plagues and outbreaks. The black death is guesstimated to have killed between 30-50% of the population of Europe when it struck. No one knows for sure. Offical estimates of the effect of an all out bioattack on U.S. soil estimate as many as 25-30 million deaths at the high end (approx 10-12%). Plague (yersina pestis) is present in the U.S. but affects very few people.

- Exposure. Yes, many people could be exposed to a natural or engineered bug but exposed does not automagically equate with infected. With proper protective measures you could walk through a shower of viral particles and never "catch" a thing. Tests with biowar agents have shown some of them to be effective even after traveling 100 miles borne by the wind. Note that UV energy rapidly kills most agents. So my feeling is that in a bioattack the majority of U.S. citizens will avoid exposure.

Sources, new vs used. I'm not convinced that new masks are absolutely necessary though they certainly are desireable. Recently got an outrageously good deal on a brand new MCU-2P, size large, so I bought it to replace my used one. I'd cleaned and tested my used mask and would have no problems in using it in an NBC environment (remember, I seriously expect to deal with this). Some used masks are of course junk but you should be able to test the sealing/integrity. With the MCUs you put your hand over the filter intake and try to inhale drawing a vacuum. If it holds you're okay. New parts can be had for most quality masks. The M17 mask company ( 17.htm) has all the spares for the M17A1 and MCU-2P/2AP. Some of these are applicable to the M40 mask as well. Since U.S. masks are primarily made by MSA I've compared parts and discovered some are interchangeable across the product line (valves).

-Filters. Undoubtably the U.S. C2A1 filter is the optimum "piece" here. Try buying one though. I haven't found an "in-date" filter (less than 5 years old) for less than $48.00 each. Since you really need several per mask this could get pricey. U.S. C2 filters (1990 date) can be had for around $15 each though I see them selling for much more. German 40mm filters are currently selling for around $5 plus shipping on ebay (vendor VFA24) as are Israeli C2 filters (mid 80's dated). I have a mix of U.S. C2s and Israeli. Optimally I'd prefer the freshest filters but don't see a real downside to the older ones provided they're new and sealed.

- Half face respirators. These can certainly be as effective at protecting your lungs as a full face unit. Downside is that numerous bioagents can utilize the eyes as a point of entry to the body. If you use this type of mask you should have some very good goggles that seal around the eyes to protect them.

- Antibiotics for bacterial agents. Historically penicillin or tetracycline have been used or one of therir offshoots. (This is from memory, be sure and look this up). Amoxicillin or ampicillin can also be used in lieu of penn and something like doxycycline in lieu of tetracycline. Have a good stock of these purchased for my "fish" from

- On the Israeli masks/filters. Question was would the filters "dry out". Well, tough to say. I've put one on my son's mask (MCU type); I removed the outlet cover, screwed the filter in and left the rubber plug on the intake. The filters are comprised of a fiberglass HEPA filter, then a zinc impregnated charcoal layer (for chemical agents) and then a final HEPA filter (mainly for carbon dust). Not much to dry out but I'd want to seal the intake anyway. Tape should suffice if you don't have the plugs.

-- Don Kulha (, February 11, 2000.


Don answered most of your questions, however re: smoke and fires.... the big problem is carbon monoxide. Gas Masks will not work in an environment where the oxygen content is less than 19%. In a smoky fire where there is little oxygen in the air you need a product that is made for this situation. The best product available (and the best priced as well) is the Evacu8 smoke hood. They typically retail for around $70. They will give you breathable air and protect your head from the heat of a fire for at least 20 minutes. They will last a lot longer, however the company will only guarantee 20 minutes. They will also protect the wearer from biological agents and some chemical agents. They can be bought at and and various others. currently has a 25% off sale on all masks and filters, however if you shop around you might find it for less.

While there are some good used or surplus masks on the market, I still believe brand new is the only way to go as you want to buy a mask that will last for years as this problem is not going away. The military and many industrial users test their masks at least once a year for a reason, as problems develop over time. Also, call MSA and ask them if they will guarantee the 20 year old M-17 (A1 & A2's) will protect you from biological and/or chemical agents. They will say no. Besides the M-17's filters are on the inside of the mask so the mask has to be removed to change the filters. Not too healthy.

If you buy brand new and you control the environment it is stored in from day one, you can have a mask and filter(s) that will last for up to 20 years; one time purchase. To save $100-150, it makes sense to get it right the first time. It's an investment that will pay off in a big way should you ever have to deal with a terrorist attack.

Good Luck.

-- Gas mask fanatic (goodmasks@reexpensive.buttheywork), February 11, 2000.

Stop the presses....I just found a site that contains materials I've been looking for since I missed out on snagging hardcopy of it at an ebay auction. These were the printed course materials for a 3 day satellite downlinked training program called "Biological Warfare and Terrorism: The Military and Public Health Response" sponsored by USAMRIID, CDC, FDA and HHS. Lots of good material here; my printer is going to be busy (Documents in PDF format). The URL is:

-- Don Kulha (, February 11, 2000.

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