Chemical, Radiological, and Biological Agents: Fundamentals for the Public Health Workforce

Bioterrorism, Chemical & Radiation Emergencies
Online Course
1.5 hours
Columbia University
Columbia Regional Learning Center

Chemical, biological, and radiological material as well as industrial agents can be dispersed in the air we breathe, the water we drink, or on surfaces we physically contact. Dispersion methods may be as simple as placing a container in a heavily used area, using commercial spray devices, or as elaborate as detonating an improvised explosive device. This online course is intended to provide learners with a basic understanding of the threats posed by these agents, as well as the steps that can be taken to be part of a coordinated response.

Learning Objectives: 
  • Identify characteristics of biological, chemical and radioactive agents
  • Describe characteristics of selected agents including, but not limited to: the natural history of disease, symptoms, medical treatment, transmission mode, and route of infection
  • Name standard personal precautions and basic infection control procedures
  • Name 9 responsibilities of public health in responding to a biological, chemical, or nuclear
PHEP Capabilities: 
Community Recovery
Medical Countermeasure Dispensing
Public Health Surveillance and Epidemiological Investigation
Medical Surge
Responder Safety and Health
Community Preparedness
Medical Materiel Management and Distribution
Information Sharing
Mass Care
Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions
Fatality Management