chemical warfare

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Related to Gas warfare: poison 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 ?
14: Medical Aspects of Gas Warfare, Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1926, 274; Augustin M.
Suffield), an assembly of units playing silly bugger while getting gassed: tear gas, vomit gas, mustard gas and the comfort of wearing your gas warfare suit all day every day for a week.
From such an experiment on a large scale we might arrange for a thoroughly tested conclusion as to the real merits of gas warfare.
In a 1922 New York Times poll, 366,795 respondents voted for the abolition of gas warfare, while only 19 supported its continued use.
Were it not for his invention of gas warfare, he would have a far greater public standing today.
This did not deter Haber: he went off to supervise the use of gas warfare on the Eastern front and left others to handle her funeral arrangements.
89) The surprising lack of gas warfare during World War II can thus be understood as implicated in a process by which the conduct of war among "civilized" nations was demarcated from that involving "uncivilized" nations.
War Department was gathering information about the development of gas warfare in Europe.
On 3 September 1917, a Gas Service was created in France to liaise with allies in matters of gas warfare and to coordinate the offensive use of gas by the American Expeditionary Force.
Although the history of chemical warfare nine decades ago is interesting, a legitimate question is the relevance of gas warfare today--especially for the United States.
While both types of agents were stockpiled for possible retaliatory use during World War II, neither saw use beyond familiarization exposure for Soldiers undergoing gas warfare training.
The United States had only a few specialists trained in gas warfare and no single organization prepared to design, produce, and distribute chemical munitions, detection and protective equipment, or alarms.