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 Chemical Security

Chemicals of Security logoTerrorists can use chemicals found in everyday products to make powerful homemade explosives and toxic weapons.

Approximately 40,000 chemicals are approved for use in Australia. Of those 40,000 chemicals, 96 are identified as being chemicals of security concern because of their potential to be used by terrorists to make bombs or toxic weapons.

If you work with chemicals you have an important role to play in keeping Australia safe. Members of the Australian community can also help by being aware and reporting suspicious behaviour.

You are encouraged to report anything that seems unusual to the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400 or hotline@nationalsecurity.gov.au.

The National Code of Practice for Chemicals of Security Concern

There are 15 chemicals that are assessed as being particularly high-risk. These 15 are covered by the National Code of Practice for Chemicals of Security Concern.

Ammonium nitrate is not included in this group of high-risk chemicals because it is already regulated by state and territory governments. The regulation of ammonium nitrate was made a priority in 2004 because of the ease with which it could previously be obtained and used as an explosive for terrorist purposes.

The Code is designed to help prevent chemicals falling into the wrong hands. It encourages companies and individuals that manage or handle chemicals of security concern to consider the risk of terrorism in their security planning processes. The Code provides guidance and information on a range of practical security measures that businesses and individuals can take.

Some of the ways in which the 15 high-risk chemicals are commonly used here in Australia are detailed in the table below:

Chemical Percentage/Form that is of security concern Typical uses of the chemical in Australia

 

Aluminium Phosphide
CAS 20859-73-8

 

At any concentration

 

Mixed function pesticide used in agriculture

 

Ammonium perchlorate
CAS 7790-98-9

 

Ammonium perchlorate at a concentration of 65% or above, and
Ammonium perchlorate where it is in pure water-based solution and the ammonium perchlorate is at a concentration of 10% or above.  

 

Fireworks
Explosives
Rocketry
Laboratory reagent
Diagnostic reagent  

 

Chlorine
CAS 7782-50-5

 

Gas only.

 

Water treatment
Mining
Calibration gas
Scientific research
Fuel gas mixture

 

Hydrogen peroxide
CAS 7722-84-1

 

Hydrogen peroxide in aqueous solutions at any concentration, and
Hydrogen peroxide where it is a mixture with one or more other chemical/s (not counting water) and the hydrogen peroxide is at a concentration of 15%or above.

 

Paper and pulp bleaching
Laundry
Food and beverage industry
Dairy industry
Hair and beauty industry
Mining industry
Pool and spa industry
Pharmaceuticals
Water treatment
Cleaning

 

Nitric acid
CAS 7697-37-2

 

Nitric acid at a concentration of 30% or above.

 

Mining industry
Dairy industry
Food and beverage industry
Metal processing and treatment

 

Nitromethane
CAS 75-52-5

 

Nitromethane where it is at a concentration of 10% or above

 

Pharmaceuticals
Analytical laboratories
Racing fuel in high performance racing
A fuel component in radio-controlled models

 

Potassium chlorate
CAS 3811-04-9

 

At any concentration

 

Mining
Agriculture
Scientific research
Used to wash jewels
Electroplating

 

Potassium cyanide
CAS 151-50-8

 

Potassium chlorate at a concentration of 65% or above, and
Potassium chlorate where it is in pure aqueous solution and the potassium chlorate is at a concentration of 10% or above.

 

Fireworks
Explosives
Diagnostic reagent
Laboratory reagent

 

Potassium nitrate
CAS 7757-79-1

 

Potassium nitrate at a concentration of 65% or above, and
Potassium nitrate where it is in pure aqueous solution and the potassium nitrate is at a concentration of 10% or above.

 

Fertiliser
Fireworks and rocketry
Food preservation

 

Potassium perchlorate
CAS 7778-74-7

 

Potassium perchlorate at a concentration of 65% or above, and
Potassium perchlorate where it is in pure aqueous solution and the potassium perchlorate is at a concentration of 10% or above.

 

Fireworks
Explosives
Smelting
Laboratory reagent
Diagnostic reagent

 

Sodium azide
CAS 26628-22-8

 

Sodium azide at a concentration of 95% or above.

 

Smelting
Biocide in hospitals and laboratories
Dairy industry

 

Sodium chlorate
CAS 7775-09-9

 

Sodium chlorate at a concentration of 65% or above, and
Sodium chlorate where it is in pure aqueous solution and the sodium chlorate is at a concentration of 10% or above.

 

Mining industry
Metal treatment
Paper production
Food chemical
Laboratory reagent
Diagnostic reagent

 

Sodium cyanide
CAS 143-33-9

 

At any concentration

 

Insecticides
Ore floatation
Electroplating
Gold extraction
Used in metal cleaning baths, metal hardening

 

Sodium nitrate
CAS 7631-99-4

 

Sodium nitrate at a concentration of 65% or above, and
Sodium nitrate where it is in pure aqueous solution and the sodium nitrate is at a concentration of 10% or above.

 

Ingredient in fertilisers
Pyrotechnics
Food preservative
Solid rocket propellant

 

Sodium perchlorate
CAS 7601-789-0

 

Sodium perchlorate at a concentration of 65% or above, and
Sodium perchlorate where it is in pure aqueous solution and the sodium perchlorate is at a concentration of 10% or above.

 

Mining industry
Smelting
Laboratory reagent
Diagnostic reagent