TECHNICAL ACnvITY PROPOSAL (TAP)
Approved at ..1!1
Risk Management of Exposure to Chemicals under --HFM PBM
Activity REF. Operational Conditions
HFM/ December 2008
Mll.ITARY FUNCnONS 2 3 I III I 12 13 14 I
PANEL AND COORDINATION HFM
LOCAnON AND DATES Various P-N
PUBLICAnON DATA TM December 2008 TBC NU
KEYWORDS I --
Health effects Chemicals Biomarkers ncsmM:s
CW-agents - Dosimetry
BACKGROUND AND JUSTIFICATION (Relevance to NATO):
Participation in military operations is accompanied by health hazards resulting from exposure to chemical substances.
Historically, focus has been on the health effects of exposureto chemical weapons (CW). From WWI till today impressive
researchand development efforts have been devoted to passive defense against CW comprising relevant elements such as
threat analysis, all sorts of detection and identification, diagnosis, protection (both physical and medical), decontamination,
and last but not least medical countermeasures.In recent years the awarenessof the importance ofhealth hazards resulting
from exposureof other chemicals encountered during military operations has grown steadily. Whereas the end of the Cold
War may have lowered the threat oflarge attacks of classical CW, the new era brings new types of operations, mostly out-
of-area, and new "threats" including intended and unintended releasesof toxic industrial chemicals (TICs) and materials
(TIMs ), the possible use of CW in terrorism as well as the occupational health effects of many chemicals of different nature
in the operational environment.
Consequently,the spectrum of chemical threats is broadening and becoming more diffuse which requires a new approach
for risk managementof these threats under military operational conditions. Since the early 1980s TG-004 (previously called
RSG-3) has beenthe platform for research and development of medical countermeasuresagainst CW. Likewise TG-009 has
been addressingthe issue of how to assesstoxic hazards and exposures under operational conditions, since 2000. Both TGs
have made relevant contributions to solving the problems in these areas.Their activities have been complementary, but
some 'gray' areashave not been addressedby either of the TGs.
Following the reasoning outlined above it seems high time to address the issue of toxic hazards as a whole in one activity,
enabling an integral approach of this problem.
Justification for the activity is apparent from the statementthat an increased level of safety and health care for military
personnel under operational conditions will improve combat readinessand effectiveness, and therefore the probability of
successfulmission completion. An additional (non-operational) benefit is that the risk ofpost-deployment illness and
disability , resulting from exposures during deployment, will be reduced.
The new activity will addressthe issue of health hazardsresulting from exposure to chemicals, being either ncs, TIMs or
CW A, in order to enable risk management. Special attention will be paid to operational risk assessment and short and long
term health effects. For this purpose the TG will have regular meetings, in order to facilitate communication and
coordination of researchefforts among the participating nations.
m TOPICS TO BE COVERED:
Improvement of medical countermeasuresfor intoxications with chemical warfare agents;
(Specific) biomarkers for diagnostic and prognostic purposes;
Quantifying the dose of chemical warfare agent to which military personnel has been exposed ('dosimetry');
Establish which other military-relevant chemicals should be addressedwith (high) priority by this TO and identify
knowledge gaps in the toxicology of these compounds;
Long-term health effects of exposures to chemicals, including chemical warfare agents;
Monitoring (detection, identification) of the military operational environment for chemicals and/or toxicity;
Generic approachesto development of medical countermeasuresor interventions against (classes of) these (high)
priority military-relevant compounds;
Evaluate new methods for studying the toxic hazards of exposure to military-relevant mixtures or combinations of
exposuresto multiple stressors;
Provide input to improve guidelines for health and mission performance risk assessment ofmilitary-relevant
compounds in the operational environment;
Awareness of meetings relevant for the Task Group.
The major product will be a technical report on 'Management ofChemical Hazards under Operational
Technical reports are envisaged on various topics that will be addressedby the Task Group.
At least one workshop will be organized and conducted by the Task Group.
Publication(s) of the key findings of the Task Group in relevant open literature journals.
v. TECHNICAL TEAM LEADER AND LEAD NA DON:
VI. NAnONS WILLING/INVITED TO PARnCIPATE:
Currently, BEL, CZE, NLD and NOR have stated to be willing to participate in this TG. All nations that previously
participated in TG-OO4and/or TG-OO9have been invited.
NAnONAL AND/OR NATO RESOURCES NEEDED (physical and non-physical Assets):
Assistance is requestedto contact all 26 NA TO countries to invite them to take part in the TO. Participation ofPtP nations
will be considered on a case-by-casebasis.
RTA RESOURCES NEEDED (e.g. Consultant Funding):