Elimination of Chemical Weapons: CDC's Role
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides independent oversight to the U.S. Army’s chemical weapons elimination program and serves as an important element in ensuring the safe destruction of chemical warfare material for protection of public health. The team’s focus is prevention with vigilance.
The CDC chemical weapons elimination team’s mission is to protect public health and safety by providing oversight and guidance to the U.S. Army’s chemical warfare materiel demilitarization program. We do this by reviewing, advising, and making recommendations on the Army’s plans to destroy stockpile and nonstockpile chemical weapons. This mission is mandated by Public Laws 91-121, 91-441, and 99-145.
The team’s responsibilities for safe chemical warfare agent disposal comprise two major categories: safely dispose of chemical warfare agents and, while doing so, protect public and worker health.
Safe Disposal of Chemical Warfare Agents
- Review DoD’s plans for disposing of chemical warfare agents. This review includes staffing and design specifications for system safeguards and for performance. CDC also recommends precautionary measures to avoid potential hazards and protect public health and safety.
- Ensure DoD provides adequately for public health and for worker safety when disposing of chemical warfare agents.
- Observe required readiness demonstrations before any chemical agent disposal facility begins operations.
- Review biweekly reports of air monitoring data for quality assurance.
- Conduct annual, on-site, air-monitoring equipment inspections at each operating chemical agent disposal facility.
Protect Public Health
U.S. Chemical Weapons: Nonstockpile Burial
Locations (100 suspect locations in 40 states
and 2 U.S. territories)