chemical warfare

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Related to chemical warfare: biological warfare, mustard gas

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 ?
9,10) Chemical warfare certainly had an impact on operations, but advances in mask design and training by 1918 provided a modicum of protection for these Soldiers as evidenced in even personal accounts.
Tucker makes clear in this highly readable and authoritative history, the current situation regarding chemical warfare is far brighter than many thought possible two or three decades ago.
This technology can be used in many ways, including detection of chemical warfare agents, toxic industrial chemicals, and other chemical agents that may be used by terrorists," said Pompeii, head of the NSWCDD Chemical-Biological (CB) Defense Division.
l Genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Northern Iraqi Kurds, including the `Anfal' poison gas and chemical warfare campaign in the 1980s.
Fritz Haber, Nobel Prize winner and inventor of chemical warfare in WW I, claimed that "poison gas .
Libya continues to pursue an indigenous chemical warfare production capability, relying heavily on foreign suppliers for precursor chemicals, technical expertise, and other key chemical warfare-related equipment.
CHEMICAL WARFARE: Terrorists have shunned using chemical warfare due to its instability.
Garments made with this material offer protection against chemical warfare agents and a variety of industrial chemicals.
BRITAIN'S elite vanguard troops - the Pathfinders - are being given urgent chemical warfare training after being put on standby to parachute into the Iraqi desert.
The new Bioterrorism Product family includes: Micromedex BioDex, an online system that provides access to information on identification, protection and treatment of bioterrorism agents; PDR Guide to Biological and Chemical Warfare Response which details, in print, symptoms caused by over 50 biological and chemical agents and recommended treatments; and, Bioterrorism and Public Health: An Internet Resource Guide, including listings and descriptions of relevant Web sites.
BRITAIN is at serious risk from a chemical warfare attack, a leading expert warned last night.
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