What You Should Know About: Biological, Chemical, Radiological, Nuclear & Explosive Hazards

If you are concerned that you have been exposed to biological or chemical weapon call Steuben County Sheriff's Department at 800-724-7777 or Steuben County Public Health 607-664-2438 (during business hours) 800-836-4444 (after hours and holidays).

History of Biological, Chemical & Radiological Terrorism

Weapons capable of causing mass injury, illness, and death have marked their place in the history of the 20th century. Although most of this history is related to the use of these agents during times of war, the efficiency of these weapons has not gone unnoticed by terrorists. Recent threats and use of biological and chemical agents against civilians have exposed U.S. vulnerability and highlighted the need to enhance our capacity to detect and control terrorist acts.

The New York State Department of Health has begun planning for intergovernmental preparedness and response to potential Biological/Chemical/Nuclear Terrorism. To prepare for a possible event, public health officials have begun to devise strategies by which morbidity, mortality, and social disruption might be reduced.

Public Health Message

Since September 11, 2001 public concern about the use of biological and chemical agents by terrorists has greatly increased. The intentional use of biological, chemical and radiological weapons are possible, though not likely. Realistically, these agents are difficult to make and disperse effectively. Public Health, medical and emergency personnel are trained to be alert, prepared and able to respond to the threat of biological, chemical or radiological events. Public Health emergency preparedness is being strengthened to assure that we are able to deal with emerging infectious diseases of all types, as well as being prepared to minimize the effects of a terrorist attack.