Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Editor-in-Chief: Renda-Tanali, Irmak, D.Sc.
Managing Editor: McGee, Sibel, Ph.D.
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Emerging Dangers from Direct Botulinum Access and Use
1California Western School of Law, University of California, San Diego
2California Western School of Law, University of California, San Diego
3Kaiser Permanente, UCSD School of Medicine
Citation Information: Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Volume 9, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1547-7355, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/1547-7355.1973, May 2012
- Published Online:
Botulinum toxin (BTX-A) is the most deadly substance known. Yet it has clinical applications, particularly cosmetic uses. With the latter’s exploding popularity, unauthorized BTX-A is emerging from suspect sources. In combination with the Internet as a virtually unregulated marketplace, BTX-A is available for direct purchase and use. This represents a safety threat against individuals and civil society. Since extant technology and Internet marketing can easily target individual consumers by changing BTX-A concentration and pose risks for society by scaling up production for terrorist purposes, BTX-A availability is a homeland security threat. To address this, BTX-A should be deemed a controlled substance subjecting it to track-and-trace and other requirements. Simultaneously, this categorization would subject it to federal law requiring Drug Enforcement Agency registration and state licensure for sales. This relatively simple step can be a strategy adopted for other high risk materials and an international approach to limit the availability of potentially harmful materials.
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