Hazard Recognition

Due to the potential exposure to deadly micro-organisms a bioterrorism incident poses a considerable health risk to those exposed and "first responders". These responders may include public health officials, law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics, and the military. There are an unlimited number of potential biological agents that could be used in bioterrorism attacks, although some are more deadly and likely to be used than others. Biological agents include bacterial agents, toxins, and viruses.

The following links provide information about recognizing bioterrorism hazards. For more information about specific agents, see OSHA's Anthrax, Botulism, Plague, Ricin, Smallpox, Tularemia, and Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers (VHFs) Safety and Health Topics Pages.

  • Bioterrorism Agents/Diseases. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Provides an A-Z listing of biological agents with bioterrorist potential. Includes links to fact sheets for many of the agents.
  • Recognition of Illness Associated with the Intentional Release of a Biologic Agent. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) 50(41);893-7, (October 19, 2001). Provides guidance to healthcare and laboratory workers in identifying a bioterrorism-related disease outbreak.
  • Medical Management of Biological Casualties Handbook, Seventh Edition. U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), (September 2011). Contains specific information on a number of potential bioterrorist agents.
  • Defense Against Toxin Weapons. U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, (Revised 1997). Discusses many biological toxins, including ricin, botulisum, and others.
  • "Symposium on Medical and Public Health Response to Bioterrorism." Emerging Infectious Diseases 5.4(August 1999). Contains articles on a wide range of issues related to bioterrorism.
  • Kozayrn, Linda B. "Knowledge Key to Combating Chemical, Biological Warfare." American Forces Information Service News Articles. Advises service members to be aware of and educate themselves about the growing chemical-biological threat.