New Report Examines Building Protections Against Biochem Airborne Agents

A new National Academics report made available Sept. 5 assesses work done to date to protect buildings, occupants, and critical operations from airborne biological or chemical agents. The Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology and the Board on Life Sciences, both part of the National Academies' Division on Earth and Life Studies, prepared the 152-page report, which is priced at $29.70 in paperback and available at www.trb.org/news/blurb_detail.asp?id=8093. Summaries of the contents are posted there for free access.

The report explores general principles that can be derived from existing studies and test beds and reviews the cost, benefits, and risks of potential protection schemes. The project was requested by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, which is taking responsibility for test beds and other results of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Immune Building Program, and included a committee of biological and chemical warfare, detection and identification of biological and chemical agents, medical countermeasures, building design and operations, indoor airflow, and risk assessment experts who were assembled by the National Academies.

The National Academies includes the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council.

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