chemical warfare


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Related to chemical warfare: biological warfare, mustard gas
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: www.sis.nlm.nih.gov/Tox/ChemWar.html. See: biological warfare.

References in periodicals archive ?
Pershing appointed Fries to be the chief of chemical warfare in France.
Current technology falls short of the ability to link synthesized chemical warfare agents or the precursors within the agent to the specific precursor batch and its origin.
Another new system that will be introduced will enable soldiers to identify whether a fallen missile contains chemical warfare materials from a long distance.
A description of the wipe and the test results were published online in a paper, "Next Generation Non-particulate Dry Nonwoven Pad for Chemical Warfare Agent Decontamination," in December in the American Chemical Society's journal, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research.
The chemical warfare aspect has gotten most of the media attention, with the BBC beaming into Iran that the study shows Iranians were the first to use chemical warfare.
Edited by Romano (senior principal life scientist, Science Applications International Corporation), Lukey (commander of the US Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense), and Salem (chef scientist for life sciences, US Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center), this volume discusses methods and products for preventing, diagnosing, and treating the acute and chronic effects of exposure to toxic chemical warfare agents, focusing on key developments in the field since 2001.
The LCD can detect a wide range of chemical warfare agents including nerve, blister, blood and choking agents.
These so-called nerve gases, which are actually all liquids at room temperature, are lethal far more quickly and in far lower concentrations than other classical chemical warfare agents, such as vesicants, choking agents and blood agents, and are effective both when inhaled and when absorbed through the skin.
The issue of chemical warfare has frayed the nerves of policymakers for the past century.
Any studying modern warfare won't want to miss WAR OF NERVES: CHEMICAL WARFARE FROM WORLD WAR I TO AL-QAEDA: it provides a long-range history of the world use of chemical weapons in war and comes from an expert on chemical and biological weapons who considers such usage from World War 1 to modern times.
Veterans who participated in the Chemical Warfare Agent Testing Recognition Program (or their primary beneficiary) may be eligible for a one-time tax-free payment of $24,000.
Army Chemical Warfare Service rose from $2 million in 1940 to more than $1 billion in 1942, and large stocks of mustard and phosgene gas were readied for use if Hitler ignored the clear warnings of massive retaliation from President Franklin Roosevelt.

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