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Policy

Restrictions needed on explosives precursors, National Academies say

by Andrea Widener
November 20, 2017 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 95, ISSUE 46

Aluminum (powder, paste, flake)
Ammonium nitrate
Calcium ammonium nitrate
Hydrogen peroxide
Nitric acid
Nitromethane
Potassium chlorate
Potassium perchlorate
Sodium chlorate
Urea ammonium nitrate solution

Chemicals that could be used in deadly improvised explosive devices should be regulated by the U.S. government, a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering & Medicine panel says in a report published last week. The panel identified 28 chemicals that had been or could be used in vehicular or personal bombs and recommended that sales of those chemicals be restricted at the retail level through bans, licenses, or registries. Of those chemicals, 10 (listed below) were flagged for immediate action because they pose the “greatest current threat,” the National Academies say. Most have been deployed in terrorist attacks in the past and could be used to make a homemade explosive device without adding other chemicals.

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