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- They require decontamination, tying up of resources, and increasing media attention. Once disseminated, NBC agents can remain in the air as vapor or aerosols, or settle on surfaces. In each case a hazard can remain for hours to days or weeks if untreated, or for years in the case of some biological materials. This requires that facilities be monitored and decontaminated before being returned to service. Decontamination is a tedious, time-consuming and resource intensive process, which requires that personnel doing the work be fully protected from the effects of the agent.
- Their psychological impact will extend far beyond their actual effect. The mere thought of imminent exposure to a chemical or biological agent, or radiation, causes a terror reaction in many people. The pictures of Israeli civilians boarded up in their houses, fearful of Iraqi chemical attacks during the Gulf War, is an example of the kind of fear these weapons can arouse.