Standard Historical Last Updated: May 19, 2017
ASTM E2770-10

Standard Guide for Operational Guidelines for Initial Response to a Suspected Biothreat Agent

Significance and Use

Community knowledge and experience related to emergency response to biothreats at the Federal, State, tribal, and local levels has been translated into a standard guide to assist responder agencies progress toward the goal of building operational guidelines for the sample collection and response to a potential biothreat agent. The guide is intended to enhance the ability, knowledge, and communication between emergency response team representatives, including fire department, HAZMAT, local law enforcement, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and public health personnel that are responsible for responding to a biothreat incident.

This guide supports, and should be utilized as an accompaniment to Practices E2458. Utilization of a standard sample collection method and standard guidance insures reduced exposure risk, minimizes on-site sample consumption for preservation of public health samples and forensic samples, reduces variability associated with sample handling, and analysis and increases the reliability of the sampling procedure when collecting a sample of suspect biothreat materials.

Development of this standard was at the request and with considerable contributions from the public health and first responder communities in the United States to facilitate collection and evaluation of potential biothreat agents in the field.

This guide should be incorporated as a reference in Emergency Operation Centers (EOCs), emergency operations plans (EOPs) and Multiagency Coordination Systems (MACS) to assist in policy formation and development of strategic objectives consistent with the needs of the Incident Commander (IC).

Documents developed from this standard guide should be referenced and revised as necessary and reviewed on a two-year cycle (at a minimum). The review shall consider new and updated requirements and guidance, technologies, and other information or equipment that might have a significant impact on the management and outcome of biological incidents.


1.1 This guide provides considerations for decision-makers when responding to incidents that may involve biothreats. This guide provides information and guidance for inclusion in response planning, on activities to conduct during an initial response to an incident involving suspected biothreat agents.

1.2 This guide delineates fundamental requirements for developing a biothreat sampling and screening capability within a jurisdiction, practice, or operational area to assure proper involvement, communication, and coordination of all relevant agencies.

1.3 This guide applies to emergency response agencies that have a role in the initial response to a biothreat incident. This guide is designed for emergency response services such as law enforcement, fire departments, hazardous materials, public health, and emergency management.

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Book of Standards Volume: 15.08
Developed by Subcommittee: E54.01
Pages: 19
DOI: 10.1520/E2770-10
ICS Code: 13.300