1998 Progress Report: Study of Marking, Rendering Inert and Licensing of Explosives Materials   [open pdf - 300KB]

The 1997 Progress Report, available on the Internet at http://www.atf.treas, discussed the first phase of the Study. This progress report covers the second phase of the Study, which concluded in October 1998. This progress report notes significant findings and potentially viable identification and detection technologies. It also reports on the ESG's ongoing initiatives and future plans, relevant to the Study as of that date. Homemade explosives can be manufactured from chemicals found in a wide range of products that are used everyday in the U.S. The easy availability of these potentially explosive chemicals is compounded by the fact that information on making bombs is readily available from a variety of sources, including thousands of sites on the Internet. Based on currently available information, rendering common chemicals inert would impact negatively on their legitimate uses, as is the case with AN fertilizer. Further, at this time, establishing regulations for the purchase of small quantities of precursor chemicals appears to be impractical, given their prevalence in the American home. The ESG believes that industry-based voluntary control and public awareness programs are the most reasonable, immediate means of addressing this problem.

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