CBRNE Industry Overview

What is CBRNE?

CBRNE is an acronym that stands for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and high yield Explosives. CBRNE encompasses a wide array of weapons that have the ability to create mass casualties and mass disruption of society. It’s important not only to be aware of the existence of these weapons but also to recognize and mitigate attacks from them to ensure public health and safety. By becoming more knowledgeable about CBRNE threats and how to detect them, your chances of preventing or containing a catastrophic event are increased significantly.

PathSensors CBRNE Technology







Nuclear & High Yield Explosives

We’ll be focusing on CBRNE as it relates to mail screening. Threats in the mail are unfortunately all too simple to create and challenging to spot.

More often than not, organizations are not adequately prepared to stop these threats. This became evident following the terrorist attacks of 9/11 when letters laced with Anthrax began to appear in the US mail, killing five and sickening seventeen in the worst biological attack in US history

25% of companies surveyed say they received a mail threat in 2018. More than half of companies don’t screen mail for CBRNE threats at all. 

-Sobran Safemail Survey, 2018

Beyond Amerithrax

While the 2001 attacks, code-named “Amerithrax”, brought the dangers of mail threats to light, the threats themselves did not end there. In recent years, we have unfortunately seen mailed threats to the US President’s son, an anthrax scare in mail sent to British royals, and packaged explosives left by a serial bomber in Austin, Texas.

If these devices are easy to create and difficult to spot, how are they being screened for right now? While 25% of companies surveyed by Sobran say they received a threat in the mail in 2018, half of the companies don’t screen their incoming mail at all. And the majority of the remaining half typically stop at visual inspection. This means the primary screening device used is a human operator, putting them at risk. Companies are missing potential nuclear, radiological, chemical, biological and explosive threats by passing on more robust testing methods.

Working Together to Improve Safety

Most organizations do not take adequate precautions to screen their mail and stop mail threats, and we want to help change that. See below for a list of detection tools for CBRNE threats. Stay vigilant and aware of what’s coming in through your mail to keep you and your organization protected.

A number of mail screening organizations currently provide full-suite, offsite CBRNE protection. These include:

CBRNE Equipment

The list of CBRNE tools below is intended to provide an overview of the industry and give insight into equipment that can be integrated with our biological detection technology. We do not recommend any particular item over another. Use this page as a resource to determine the best fit for your organization.

Click on an image below to learn more about the product.

Chemical Detectors:

Building Protection Systems’ Alpha Sentry One

Bruker’s RAID-M100Plus

Environics ChemProFXi

T2 BioSystems’ T2Dx

For more information on how chemical detectors in the industry compare, check out these studies:

Guide for the Selection of Chemical Detection Equipment for Emergency First Responders

Biological Detectors:

PathSensors’ BioFlash

Research International’s BioHawk

Battelle’s REBS

Response Biomedical’s RAMP Biodefense System

For more information on how biological detectors in the industry compare, check out these studies performed by Pacific Northwest National Labs:

Evaluation of Immunoassays and General Biological Indicator Tests for Field Screening of Bacillus Anthracis and Ricin

Evaluation of PCR Systems for Field Screening of Bacillus Anthracis

One-page PNNL summary report


Nuclear/Radiological Detectors:

FLIR’s IdentiFINDER R440

Polimaster’s PM1703MA-II

Hidex’s Triathler LSC

Berkeley Nucleonics’ SAM 940

X-Ray Explosive Detectors:

Smiths Detection’s HI-SCAN 100800 EDX-2is

Voti Detection’s XR3D-7

Rapiscan’s 622XR

Laurus Systems’ SCANMAIL 10k

Full Mail Screening Suite:

PathSensors’ MailGuard system is a biological detection unit that can be integrated with other CBRNE devices to provide full-suite mail protection inside of one convenient downdraft booth. This equipment is designed to replace a negative pressure room with the same capabilities at a fraction of the cost.

To learn more, consider these helpful resources:

Emmanuel, Peter, and Matthew Caples. Chemical, Biological, Radiological Technology Survey. Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, 2011

Protect yourself and your employees from CBRNE threats

We’ll work with you to build out a full suite of detection.

Get In Touch

701 E Pratt Street
Baltimore, MD 21202

Phone: 443.557.6150

Email: info@pathsensors.com

About PathSensors

At PathSensors we are committed to making the world a safer place. We are always excited to tackle new challenges, so please contact us to discuss collaborations or development projects.