ASA 08-5, Issue No. 128, October 31, 2008

(The following paper was presented at the "International Seminar on Sea-Dumped Chemical Weapons: Perspectives of International Cooperation" Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Republic of Lithuania, 30 Sep.-1 Oct. 2008, Vilnius, Lithuania. The authors, John Hart and Thomas Stock, are two of the best known and most highly respected annalists and recorders in CBRN. Please note that all document noted references are to be located on the web by 11/11/08 at: and Current Newsletter, ASA 08-5)

Recent Scientific and Political Developments Regarding Sea-Dumped Chemical Weapons in the Baltic Sea

John Hart (SIPRI)
Thomas Stock (Dynasafe)

I. Introduction

     Scientists, government officials and others continue to consider periodically historical, legal, political and technical aspects associated with chemical weapons (CW) dumped in the Baltic Sea following the end of World War II.1 It has been estimated that 30-40,000 tonnes of CW have dumped in the Baltic Sea.2 Fishing vessels in the region continue inadvertently to recover CW (usually sulphur mustard) every year or so.3 Consideration of what, if anything, should be done with dumped munitions (including CW), has continued. Some ambiguity will always remain regarding the extent and nature of the dumpings mainly because of poor record keeping and a failure to dump at designated coordinates. The high probable financial cost (and possible political uncertainties) associated with any recovery or remediation effort may inhibit the willingness and ability of states to take action. Technical specialists have generally recommended that dump sites not be disturbed until or unless there is a compelling reason to do so.4

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A real pleasure for the ASA/CBMTS family has been knowing the "Marge". A beautiful young professional with ultra charm and wit, and a delight at every gathering of colleagues around the world. Be forewarned, her wit comes through in this article. And how many of us realized she would spent 58 years at the USAMRID, the US Army's famed Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense. Read on.

My 58 Years at the MRICD:
Where have they gone?

Margaret Filbert Ph.D.

     Armed with a B.S. in zoology (1947) and a M.S. in Physiology (1949) I began job hunting. I applied for an opening advertised at The Edgewood Army Chemical Center. The application was returned marked "Does Not Qualify". I was Curious as to why did I not qualify? Not willing to accept their decision, I wrote to the Civil Service Board requesting an explanation. I then received a revised rating of 70, just enough to qualify for an opening at the Biomedical Research Laboratory (BML).

     My initial interview was with the Chief of the Pathology Division, a MAJ MacNamee who decided that I was over qualified for the position he was recruiting for and introduced me to CPT. John A Clements, MD, Chief of the Clinical Investigation Branch in the Clinical Research Division. After some discussion, Dr. Clements asked me to come back the next week and tell him my thoughts about the pathophysiology of chemical nerve agent-induced pulmonary edema.

    I fretted over that assignment for the next week. Not only did I not know what chemical nerve agents were, I certainly had no clue about the pathogenesis or pathophysiology of pulmonary edema. I returned that next week and was hired on the spot and started my career as a GS-7 physiologist on December 1, 1950. The subject of pulmonary edema did not come up. Thank goodness, as I really did not have a clue.

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Canada with its always dynamic approach to requirements across the international arena, is establishing an advanced institute to bring together the many dimensions of the problems and possibilities in defence and security issues that confront Canada and the global research community.

The Canadian Defence and Security Research Institute (DSRI)

     ASA is very pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Jacques Lavigne as the first Director for the Canadian Defence and Security Research Institute (DSRI). Defence Research & Development Canada (DRDC) and the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) recently created this Institute with the intent for it to become an internationally-recognized defence and security centre within both the academic and defence and security science research communities.

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an inside look at ASA 08-5

The Professional Library
ICBPS-2, Beijing, China; 07-11 Dec. 2008
Selected Abstracts ICBPS-2


CBMTS-Industry VI, Dubrovnik, Croatia


News Notes
SISPAT/CBRE, Singapore, December 2009 12
International Meeting Cholinesterase, Croatia 13
Focal Point News
New Award for Dept. of Toxicology, MHS, UD
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