chemical warfare

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chemical warfare

the waging of war with poisonous chemicals and gases.
The use of chemicals as a weapon of mass destruction, deployed as gases; the tremendous morbidity caused by such weapons in World War I—killing or injuring roughly 1.3 million soldiers—led to their ban under the ‘Geneva Protocol’ of 1925

chemical warfare

Waging war with toxic chemical agents. Agents include nerve gases; agents that cause temporary blindness, paralysis, hallucinations, or deafness; irritants to the eyes and lungs; blistering agents, e.g., mustard gas; defoliants; and herbicides.

Patient care

Victims of a chemical exposure or attack require decontamination, ideally on site as rapidly as possible by specially equipped and trained Emergency Medical Services (EMS)/fire personnel or hospital-based health care professionals. Decontamination includes isolation of the victim, preferably outdoors or in a sealed, specially ventilated room; removal of all of the victim's clothing and jewelry; protection of any part of the victim's body that has not been exposed to toxins; repeated irrigation and flushing of exposed skin with water (a dilute wound-cleansing solution, such as Dakin’s solution, may be used on skin but not on the eyes or within penetrating wounds); additional irrigation of wounded skin with sterile solution (typically for about 10 min longer than the irrigation of intact skin); irrigation of the eyes with saline solution (about 15 min); cleansing beneath the surface of exposed fingernails or toenails; and collection and disposal of effluent and contaminated clothing. To avoid secondary injuries and exposures, trained personnel who carry out decontamination must wear chemical masks with a filtered respirator, self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA), and splash-resistant protective clothing that covers all skin and body surfaces and is impervious to all chemicals. Following decontamination, victims require triage and treatment.

Treatments for chemical exposures include both supportive care (such as the administration of oxygen, intravenous fluids, analgesics, topical remedies, and psychosocial support) and the administration of antidotes or chemical antagonists such as physostigmine. Details of the treatment for most specific exposures may be found in references such as the National Library of Medicine’s website: See: biological warfare.


1. pertaining to chemistry.
2. a substance composed of chemical elements, or obtained by chemical processes. See also toxin.

chemical adjuvant
a chemical added to another to improve its activity. For example, mineral gels added to vaccines. May also be a chemical added to feed to improve digestion, e.g. monensin in ruminants. These are more commonly referred to as additives. See also adjuvant.
agricultural chemical
chemical used in agriculture. Includes pesticides, anthelmintics, fertilizers, algaecides, herbicides, soil fumigants and the like.
chemical environment
that part of the animals' environment that is composed of chemicals. For farm livestock this includes fertilizers, defoliants, worm drenches, insect sprays, adjuvants to feed. For companion animals see household chemical (below).
household chemical
the roster of chemicals that one can expect to find in the average household. Includes insect sprays and repellents, snail bait, rodenticide, garden sprays, human medicines and the like.
chemical pneumonitis
results from aspiration of gastric acids.
chemical senses
see olfaction (2), taste.
chemical shearing
causing the fleece of sheep to be shed by the administration of a chemical substance to the sheep. Cyclophosphamide and mimosine have been used experimentally but there is no commercially available system.
chemical spoilage
occurs in preserved foods, especially canned ones. Is usually the result of interaction between the contents and an imperfect container. There may be gas produced, e.g. hydrogen swells, or discoloration of the tin.
chemical warfare
agents used include: (1) systemic poisons, e.g. hydrocyanic acid; (2) lung irritants, e.g. chlorine, phosgene; (3) lacrimators (weeping stimulators), e.g. CN, CAP, CS; (4) sternutators (sneeze stimulators); (5) vesicants, e.g. mustards, nitrogen mustards, arsenic mustards and nettle gases; (6) nerve gases, e.g. organophosphorus compounds.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported hospital medics as blaming the poisonous gas on Egyptian forces whom they said had sprayed a chemical into the tunnel during a crackdown on smuggling.
They practiced rescuing victims and eliminating the poisonous gas.
Dubbed the "Nobel Prize for the Environment", the Goldman Environmental Prize has been awarded to Rashida Bee and Champa Devi Shukla, for their role in keeping the memories of the disaster alive, and for leading the struggle for justice since the poisonous gas leak from Union Carbide's pesticide factory in Bhopal, India, killed thousands of people.
Windsocks are essential for detecting wind direction in case of poisonous gas leaks or chemicals spills.
A blowout at a natural gas field in southwestern China that sent a plume of poisonous gas into the air Tuesday has killed at least 191 people and poisoned scores of others, official media reported Thursday.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless poisonous gas that inhibits the blood's ability to carry oxygen to organs and tissue.
Introducing the hardest episode in Hurston's life, in which she was wrongly accused of child molestation, Boyd prepares her readers: "The charges came out of nowhere, like a puff of poisonous gas.
EIGHTEEN YEARS after poisonous gas leaking from a pesticide factory owned by Union Carbide USA in Bhopal, India, killed more than 8000 people and left tens of thousands more chronically ill, victims are still fighting for compensation and justice.
German chemists at IG Farben during the Holocaust produced Zyklon B, the poisonous gas used with deadly effect at Birkenau.
If you lower the air stone too far and bring up too much poisonous gas too quickly, the fish will die.
EDS: ADDING DETAILS) Three people have fallen into coma and six others felt sick and hospitalized after inhaling poisonous gas at a fertilizer plant in Wakayama on Thursday, police and municipal officials said.
lA TESCO store was evacuated yesterday when poisonous gas enveloped part of Bognor Regis, West Sussex.