Due to their explosive properties, transporting TATP, HMTD, and other high explosive materials is prohibited by the Department of Transportation (DOT) unless appropriate testing has been performed and DOT assigns a hazard classification that would be acceptable for commercial transport. Hazard classifications are designated by DOT and are dependent on hazard properties of the material. If a material is deemed non-hazardous through appropriate testing and historical data, the material may be classified as non-hazardous and unregulated for shipping purposes.
Third-party testing facilities are often used to perform DOT-required testing. Testing results are reviewed by DOT and a hazard classification is issued.Study/Results
As recommended by DOT, the testing company performed United Nations Series testing for each of the scent materials including thermal stability tests, external fire tests, and simulated bulk auto ignition test (SBAT).
The scent materials did not exhibit any explosive or hazardous properties when tested. Based on results provided to DOT, TrueScent K-9 training aids of the primary explosives TATP and HMTD, as well as TrueScent products of the high explosives were not deemed to be Class 1 explosives.Conclusions
Signature Science has successfully developed safe-to-handle explosives K-9 scent training aids. Third-party safety testing was completed and DOT has approved the transport of materials via commercial carrier. Signature Science has the authority to ship the TrueScent K-9 training aids without restrictions.
Pure HMTD is inherently unstable, and degradation and/or loss of the explosive substance can readily occur upon storage. Additionally, storing pure explosive materials requires special storage equipment and handling procedures. HMTD is currently manufactured at SigSci in a safe laboratory setting. The explosive materials are then formulated into a non-explosive form and packaged.
Packaging involves placing the solid scent material into a “breather” bag that is then sealed in an outer non-permeable, anti-contamination pouch. Continuous stability testing indicates that scent materials are stable when properly stored.Study/Results
HMTD samples stored at ambient temperature completely degraded after 21 days. Refrigerated samples were more stable and maintained approximately 50% of the HMTD content for up to three months. Samples stored in freezer conditions maintained over 70% of HMTD content after six months. Samples stored at elevated temperatures degraded in less than one week.Conclusions
HMTD scent samples can be stored for at least six months at freezer temperature and will maintain at least 70% of the HMTD content.
Peroxide-based homemade explosives (HMEs) such as TATP and HMTD are often weapons of choice for terrorists due to the ease of preparing them from readily available materials, and these explosives are often employed with high explosives such as PETN, RDX, and TNT or other HMEs such as those based on ammonium nitrate or potassium chlorate.
The TrueScent materials are prepared using authentic explosives and an odorless filler material. To validate the scent materials, field testing was performed using trained explosive detection K-9s to demonstrate and validate the effectiveness of the TrueScent materials.Study/Results
A two-part study was independently designed and executed by a nationally-recognized, third-party government agency.
Forward Validation – Thirty (30) K-9s were imprinted with TATP and HMTD from an alternate validated source of the pure explosive materials. The imprinted K-9s were then exposed to the Signature Science TrueScent training materials to determine the alert rate. All K-9s consistently alerted on the TrueScent materials.
Reverse Validation – Ten (10) “green” K-9s were imprinted using the TrueScent TATP and HMTD scent training materials along with other explosives as part of a regular imprinting schedule. The imprinted K-9s were then exposed to the pure TATP and HMTD explosive materials and the alert rate was determined. The K-9s consistently alerted on the "real" explosive materials.Conclusions
Signature Science has addressed a critical need related to K-9 training for the detection of HMEs containing TATP and HMTD. The effectiveness of these training aids has been demonstrated by an independent field-validation study.