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We have a lot of problems facing this modern world including global warming,
nuclear proliferation, pollution, and war. One of the most overlooked problems that is
facing this world is Chemical Weapons warfare. I will be discussing Chemical Weapons
and their effect on people and the environment. Chemical Weapons need to be thought as
a problem that requires an efficient swift solution.
Before we can discuss the effect of Chemical Weapons on people and the
environment we must discuss what exactly Chemical Weapons are. Chemical weapons
have been defined as “chemical substances, whether gaseous, liquid or solid, which might
be employed because of their direct toxic effects on man, animals and plants." In other
words, Chemical weapons are used for their harmful effect on people, the environment,
and other things -- such as food supplies. Normally, Chemical weapons are used in war.
These chemical weapons that are used tend to be in the form of solids, liquids and
sometimes gases. While there are several different types of Chemical agents, the main
groups are: Nerve Agents, Mustard Agents, Hydrogen Cyanide, Tear Gases, Arsines,
Psychotomimetic Agents and Toxins.
It was stated that Chemical Weapons are normally used in war. Chemical Warfare
has become a part of 20th century warfare. Chemical Weapons were first used World
War I, and are still have been since. A recent incident involving Americans and Chemical
Warfare was from the Persian Gulf Conflict in which US soldiers were exposed to
chemical weapons. Since then, many soldiers have become sick with a strange “Gulf-
syndrome” that has since been attributed to Chemical Weapons used secretly by Iraq.
Chemical Weapons are extremely dangerous and hazardous to life. This is their
sole purpose. Their effects on humans and the environment can be incredible and awful.
The effect of a chemical weapon depends on the type employed. Nerve agents can cause
death. Along with their fatal properties, Nerve agents can be colorless, odorless, and
tasteless. Other Chemical agents, such as mustard gas, can be used to render their victims
unable to fight. Mustard gas causes huge blisters on the skin and has caused many
causalities in war. Other chemical weapons agents can be used to cause blindness, mental
confusion, and violent coughing in their victims.
Chemical Weapons are also dangerous to the environment. Chemical weapons are
used to destroy food supplies, damage the environment, and poison water. The effects of
the weapons are long-standing and dangerous. Plantlife is discolored and often killed.
Animals suffer the same dangerous effects of chemical weapons as people. Water supplies
often require heavy equipment for re-purification in order to make the environment
suitable again for life. Chemical Weapons leave lingering effects on the environments in
which they are employed.
Chemical weapons are not used by the large nations. It is the smaller states, that
threaten to, and do employ them. While some of the more deadly chemical nerve gases,
like those from W.W.I, are rarely still used, Chemical Weapons are still stockpiled and
used. Stockpiling of Chemical Weapons is dangerous situation. When a nation has these
weapons, then there is the threat of their use. Also, security must be set up around these
weapons. However, there are efforts being made in order to help reduce, remove, and
dispose of Chemical Weapons in a safe way.
In recognition of Chemical Weapons being a serious problem that needs to be dealt
with, the United Nations has formed the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The
goal of the CWC is to help bring about the total elimination and banning of chemical
weapons in the all countries of the world. They have written an extremely long, specific
charter that explains how this can and will be done. Over 60 countries have already
ratified it. By banning Chemical Weapons Warfare, and creating specific parameters
around disposal and destruction of Chemical Weapons, peace and order can finally be
Chemical Weapons are a problem that needs to be dealt with. Their effects on
people, animal, and plant life are extremely devastating. There is a solution though. The
CWC has created the guidelines required for dealing with Chemical Weapons. In order
for there to be stability in this world, nations have to agree to stop stockpiling chemical
weapons and move towards their destruction. All nations of this world need to
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Chemical warfare, Destruction of chemical weapons, Nerve agent, Chemical Weapons Convention, Sulfur mustard, Nuclear proliferation, Chemical weapon proliferation, Syria chemical weapons program
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