What are Chemical Weapons?

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The first experience of weapons of mass destruction such as chemical and biological warfare came into existence in 1915 on the western front when the German soldiers released liquid chlorine from a number of pressured cylinders. Since then the use of chemical weapons have been many times in various wars. One instance of massive chemical weapon use was in the Vietnam War where American dropped defoliating “agent orange” as well as Nagaland.

These weapons caused irreversible damage to the vegetation, atmosphere and people. The use of these chemical weapons in Vietnam War resulted into stunted growth of both children and vegetation. Another major deployment of chemical weapons was during the Gulf war. Apart from these there are lots of easily accessible chemicals that are capable of inflicting a great deal of terror.

Some of them are blister, blood choking and nerve agents, the later that include Sarin and VX are the most lethal ones.

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The chemical weapons convention is by far the most comprehensive and ambitious global regime to deter chemical warfare. This convention came into effect from April 29, 1997. The convention strictly prohibits development, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons and also calls for their destruction. The convention has a wider sphere of coverage which includes chemical weapons as well as their input and intermediate items.

The participating states are required to make annual declaration to the Central Secretariat at. The Hague on production, capacity, factory location and other details of their chemical stockpile. The convention’s treaty categorically bans signatories from helping the third world countries to develop or manufacture chemical weapons. The treaty covers new ground by incorporating the clause of challenge inspections, which will be launched at short notice to investigate cheating at commercial as well as government sites.

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