Feds Will Give Alabama Town Gas Masks

Date: July 11, 2002

Source: News Room

The Bush administration has agreed to the state of Alabama's request for $5 million to buy gas mask-like hoods for some 35,000 people living near a chemical weapons incinerator the Army plans to begin operating in October. The decision means Anniston apparently will become the first American city where such gear has been distributed to the general population to guard against chemical agents. Residents would don the gear in case of an accident at the incinerator. Another $2.1 million is being used to buy protective suits for public safety workers who would have to respond to an accident. The incinerator will be used to destroy more than 2,200 tons of Cold War-era chemical agents. In Washington, about 20,000 similar hoods are being distributed on Capitol Hill in case of a terrorist attack involving chemical weapons or biological agents.

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