Accessed February 14, Accessed July 11, Available at www. Accessed February 16, Accessed February 20, Federal Register. Accessed Febrary 20, EPA R Washington, DC. Accessed February 22, Accessed August 4, Technical Report. Sidell FR: Nerve agents. Blewett W: Tactical weapons: Is mustard still king? Sidell FR: Clinical considerations in nerve agent intoxication. In Somani SM ed. Accessed March 5, Version of July Order Code RL Accessed December 30, Hauschild V, Bratt G: Prioritizing industrial chemical hazards.
J Toxicol Environ Health A. Hauschild V,Watson A, Bock R: Decontamination and management of human remains following incidents of hazardous chemical release. Am J Disaster Med. Accessed July 12, National Research Council, Committee on toxicology: Nerve agents; sulfur mustard. J Toxicol Environ Health B. Accessed April 5, Curr Org Chem. Environ Health Perspect.
Accessed July 10, The uptake of V agents is mainly through the skin but also through inhalation of the gas or aerosol. Uptake of G agents is primarily through inhalation. A pulmonary agent, or choking agent, is a chemical that damages the membranes separating the alveolus air sac of the lung from the capillaries.
A number of common chemicals can cause this type of damage. Phosgene CG , the prototype of this class, is a common industrial chemical with a moderately lethal dose. Diphosgene has a toxicity similar to CG but is less volatile. Choking agents were the most commonly used agents during World War I, but they have lost much of their advantage since the advent of nerve gases.
A summary description of pulmonary agents is provided in Table B Cyanide-based compounds are the main components of blood agents. A characteristic of cyanide poisoning is red skin, which is caused by blood going through the capillary bed without unloading oxygen. Cyanide in moderate amounts can produce nausea and feelings of dizziness,.
Blood agents are highly volatile and nonpersistent even at low temperatures. Hydrogen cyanide is a slightly more lethal than CG but is less effective because of its rapid rate of evaporation and its rapid rate of detoxification. Loss of consciousness and death can occur after even very brief exposures to high concentrations of hydrogen cyanide, but because of rapid detoxification, the toxicity of hydrogen cyanide varies with the exposure concentration.
Because of its high volatility, the large doses required, and the fact that it is lighter than air, hydrogen cyanide is a less-than-ideal compound in ambient air, although it can be very effective in enclosed spaces. Cyanogen chloride has strong irritating and choking effects and slows breathing and is not as toxic as hydrogen cyanide. Arsine is used as a delayed-action casualty agent. Arsine is lethal at relatively high doses; at lower doses, it damages the liver and kidneys, can cause anemia, and is a carcinogen.
A summary description of blood agents is provided in Table B Blister agents, or vesicants, are intended to cause injury by blistering rather than cause death. Levinstein mustard H was used extensively during World War I. Vesicants attack and burn the eyes, mucous membranes, respiratory tract, and skin, causing the formation of blisters.
When absorbed through the lung, gut, or skin, they cause vomiting and diarrhea. The severity of vesicant damage is directly related to exposure levels, that is, the duration of contact and the concentration in the contact medium air, water, food, surfaces, etc. All of the blister agents are persistent, and all of them can be used as gases or liquids. Blister agents can be used to poison food and water supplies and to make other supplies dangerous to handle.
A summary description of the blister agents is provided in Table B There are three categories of blister agents—mustards, arsenicals, and urticants. The mustards penetrate well into skin and other materials, such as wood, clothing, rubber, and paints, and are very persistent in cold and temperate climates. Because mustards have delayed effects 4 to 6 hours or more , unprotected individuals can be exposed to large doses without immediate response. Arsenical vesicants have delayed action, but, unlike mustards, they tend to produce immediate pain to whatever part of the body they contact.
The principal arsenical of military interest is lewisite L. Other arsenicals. Urticants are vesicants with disagreeable and penetrating odors that cause an immediate and severe burning sensation, as well as intense pain, numbness, and swelling. The only urticant of current military interest is phosgene oxime CX. Vomiting compounds, or sternutators, and tear-producing compounds, or lacrimators known as riot-control agents , are used for short-term incapacitation.
Unless used indoors or where ventilation is extremely poor, these compounds are not fatal. The effects are short lived, and therefore do not incapacitate troops for very long. Chemical vomiting agents produce strong, pepper-like irritations in the upper respiratory tract and eyes, which results in uncontrolled sneezing, coughing, nausea, and vomiting. Military sternutator agents include diphenyl-chloroarsine, diphenylcyanoarsine, and adamsite.
A summary description of vomiting agents is provided in Table B Stemutators, which are solids at ambient conditions, vaporize when heated into aerosols that are dispersed in the air. Stemutators are not persistent, but the aerosols can be rapidly dispersed and deposit slowly out of the air. Outdoors these agents are debilitating; indoors they can cause serious illness and even death.
Tear-producing compounds, or lacrimators, cause a large flow of tears and some irritation to the skin and respiratory tract. Because the effects are only transient, lacrimators are used for training and riot control. The principal tear-producing agents are bromobenzyl-cyanide CA , chloroaceto-phenone CN, also used as mace , o-chlorobenzylidenmalonitrile CS , dibenz- b,f -1,4-oxazepine CR , and chloropicrin PS.
The lacrimators currently in use by the U. However, any of the lacrimators could be used against U.
These agents are not persistent, with the exception of CR, which can persist for up to 60 days under some circumstances. A summary description of the many tear-producing agents is provided in Table B Psychochemical, or incapacitating, agents are chemicals that cause temporary, reversible physiological or mental effects. Unlike the effects of riot-control agents that last only a few minutes, the effect of psychochemical agents last for hours or days.
CNS depressants block the activity of the CNS and disrupt the transmission of information across nerve synapses. An example of this class of compounds is 3-quinuchdedinyl benzilate, which affects the ability to remember, solve problems, pay attention, and listen to instructions. Cannabinols and phenothiazines lead to sedation and lack of motivation rather than impeding the ability to think. Fenyls are opiates that act like morphine but are 10, times as potent. CNS stimulants cause excessive nervous activity, usually by increasing or facilitating the transfer of nerve impulses that might otherwise not cross certain nerve synapses.
The effect is to flood the brain with too much information, which makes concentration difficult and results in indecisiveness and the inability to sustain actions. The types and chemical properties of agents currently being developed or likely to be developed in the next five to ten years should be a subject of inquiry:. There are thousands, maybe even tens of thousands, of "chemical compounds" in existence or proposed that could be considered for use in war depending upon the action required of them from the military point of view, including all the various drugs that are prescribed and taken and those that are not prescribed and taken.
Many of these are lethal and incapacitating, even in small doses. Boyle, , p. Bioregulator chemicals, for example, could be a threat in future deployments.
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These chemicals mimic or disrupt hormone signals and could be effective at very low doses. In addition to warfare agents, a large and growing number of potentially harmful chemical compounds can be found in or introduced into. For example, troops could be exposed to propellents, explosives, and pyrotechnic PEP hazards, a growing number of toxic industrial chemicals TICs and chemicals associated with military materiel. TICs are now a common component of military deployment and military training.
The number of chemical substances in these categories is large and growing. Not all of these are harmful chemicals. Approximately chemical substances have been identified by regulatory agencies as potentially toxic and requiring some limitations on exposures. However, these lists continue to expand. Thousands of chemicals have not yet undergone even a screening-level analysis of their potential toxicity, and thousands more have only undergone limited toxicity studies.
TICs can be organized according to their chemical properties and sources. Table B-3 provides a list of categories of chemical compounds containing chemicals that have been labeled toxic to humans. The list is not complete, but it gives a sense of the types of substances that should be detected and monitored and the concentrations that should be measured. These measures indicate the chemical concentrations that should be detected and monitored to protect troops from low-dose health effects.
For water, an RfD -based concentration is calculated based on the assumption that a kg adult drinking 2 L 1 of water per day should be at or below the RfD. Water concentration based on the cancer potency is based on the assumption that a kg adult drinking 2 L of water per day will. Cancer Potency a. The lesser of these water concentrations is listed in the last column.
Air concentration for the cancer potency is based on the assumption that a kg adult breathing 20 m of air per day win not exceed a lifetime 70 years equivalent risk of 10 -5 during a six-month deployment. The lesser of potency-derived air concentration and the RfC is listed in the last column. The sections below provide examples of the types of chemical substances associated with these sources and examples of the sources and emissions of these chemicals.
Smokes and obscurants are used in military operations to create diversions and to conceal troop movements. The National Research Council Committee on Toxicology has carried out studies on the health effects of exposures to commonly used smokes and obscurants NRC, b. Other examples are hexachloroethane and Russian anthracine-based smokes. White phosphorus is a colorless, white, or yellow waxy solid with a garlic-like odor; it does not occur naturally but is derived from phosphate rocks. White phosphorus is used by the military in various types of ammunition and to produce smoke for concealing troop movements and identifying targets.
It is also used by industry to produce phosphoric acid and other chemicals used in fertilizers, food additives, and cleaning compounds. White phosphorus can enter the environment through deliberate deployment or through accidental spills during transport or storage. In the air, white phosphorus reacts rapidly with oxygen to produce relatively harmless chemicals within minutes.
In water, it reacts with oxygen within hours or days. In soil, it may stick to particles and be changed within a few days to less harmful compounds. On the skin, burning white phosporous particles not only cause severe thermal injury, but the phosphorus pentoxide formed by oxidation reacts with water in the blood to form phosphoric acid, which causes death by reacting with ionized calcium, thus depleting the blood of this essential element. Trichoroethylene TCE , an example of a volatile halogenated hydrocarbon of the chemical family of chlorinated alkenes, is commercially produced by chlorination and dehydrochlorination of 1, 2-dichloroethane.
A major use of TCE is in the vapor degreasing of fabricated metal parts. It is also used as a carrier solvent in textile cleaning and solvent extraction processes, as a lubricant and adhesive, and as a low-temperature heat transfer fluid. TCE is also used in the production of polyvinyl chloride, paints, coatings, and some miscellaneous chemical syntheses. An estimated 60 to 90 percent of the TCE produced in the world is released into the environment; the primary transport process for removal is volatilization WHO, a. Tetrachloroethylene PCE , an example of a volatile halogenated hydrocarbon, is a commercially important chlorinated hydrocarbon solvent used as a dry cleaning agent and degreasing agent.
PCE is used as a solvent for fats, greases, waxes, rubber, and the decaffeination process; to remove soot from industrial boilers; and as a heat-transfer medium. PCE is used in the manufacture of fluorocarbon refrigerants, paint removers, and printing inks. PCE typically enters the atmosphere as a fugitive industrial emission.
It reaches water supplies and the soil through the disposal of sewage sludge and factory waste and from leakages from storage and waste sites. In , the Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo used sarin gas in a terrorist attack on the Tokyo subway. Thirteen people were killed and over injured. Chemical artillery rounds in improvised explosive devices were also reported on several occasions.
Most conceivable instances of chemical weapons use would breach with the general rules of IHL, because such use would be indiscriminate and possibly also cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering. To the extent that chemical weapons are imprecise, and thus cannot be directed at specific military objectives alone, they are indiscriminate and therefore unlawful under Article 51 4 b of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions API. Certain chemical weapons may also cause unnecessary suffering and superfluous injury in enemy belligerents, and would therefore be prohibited according to AP I Article 35 2 as well as under international humanitarian customary law.
There is also an explicit prohibition of toxic contamination of water-supply installations and foodstuffs in the Geneva Conventions and AP I. The use of chemical weapons is prohibited under Article 1 b of the CWC. This prohibition includes the use of riot control agents as a method of warfare. Although six states remain outside of the CWC,  conventional and customary IHL prohibits the use of chemical weapons by any party to an armed conflict.
In addition to use , the CWC prohibits the development , production and stockpiling of chemical weapons. The Convention also obliges state parties to destroy of existing stockpiles and provides extensive verification and inspection regimes to be carried out by the OPCW. States Parties have agreed to a verification regime for certain toxic chemicals and their precursors listed in Schedules 1, 2 and 3 in the CWC Annex on Chemicals  in order to ensure that such chemicals are only used for unprohibited purposes.
Those toxic chemicals must be declared by state parties. A CWC state party is not required to declare chlorine or destroy it under the CWC because of its many civilian purposes. However, any use of chlorine or any other toxic chemical in warfare is illegal under the convention. The UN Security Council has through Resolution required states to implement national measures to prevent non-state actors from using chemical and biological weapons. These expressions are generally understood to cover chemical weapons.
Some interpret the Rome Statute, which includes these two terms, to exclude both chemical and biological weapons. This has led some commentators to conclude that the Statute must be interpreted in a manner that excludes chemical and biological weapons from its scope. Regardless of which interpretation is correct, this lack of consensus reflects a need for clarification. Individual members of a non-state group employing chemical weapons as a means of warfare could be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court ICC , depending on the interpretation of Article 8 2 xvii of the Rome Statute as discussed above.
As noted, the CWC prohibits use of toxic chemicals in all circumstances, not only in armed conflict. Defining the law enforcement exceptions was contentious during the CWC negotiations. This remains a difficult and disputed issue, both with regard to classification of the de facto situation do law enforcement rules apply or does the situation amount to an armed conflict? The distinction between hostilities and law enforcement is not always clear.
Outside of armed conflict, several international legal frameworks regulate the use of toxic chemicals against persons. They include the CWC and the BWC, as well as international human rights law which regulate use of toxic chemicals for law enforcement. Nevertheless, diverging views have risen about the scope of the law enforcement exceptions in the CWC.
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The point of departure is therefore that toxic chemicals and their precursors may not be used against people, save for a very limited range of chemicals and in a very limited range of situations. These exceptions pertain to law enforcement. Chemical weapons are always banned as a means of warfare. Law enforcement implies that the state concerned has jurisdiction.
A state cannot enforce laws unless it has jurisdiction or authority to do so. A state can have several legal bases for law enforcement operations abroad, such as consent of the host state or authorisation by the UN Security Council.
Riot control is a narrow concept. Riot control is a sub category of law enforcement, hence the word including. A key question is therefore what kind of toxic chemicals might be allowed under this exception. These purposes include law enforcement. A toxic chemical is defined as any chemical that can cause death, temporary incapacitation or permanent harm to humans or animals. Because the definition of a toxic chemical also points to the exceptions for law enforcement, it seems that the CWC foresees the possibility of chemicals other than RCAs being used for law enforcement as well.
Moreover, the CWC Verification Annex treats the chemicals listed as Schedule 1, 2 and 3 chemicals in a manner that indicates that the law enforcement exception is not limited to RCAs. Fidler points out that, since Schedule 2 and 3 chemicals do not have such restrictive language, the Convention implies that these toxic chemicals can be used for law enforcement purposes.
In addition, those subscribing to the view that the CWC dictates that only RCAs may be used for law enforcement offer no cogent authority in their argument for this interpretation. None of these materials excludes the use of toxic chemical others than RCAs for law enforcement purposes as such.
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Significantly, during the negotiations of the CWC, the United States argued for a formulation that would allow it to continue carrying out capital punishment with toxic chemicals. Countries where the death penalty is practiced negotiated to keep the Convention deliberately open so that Article II 9 d could be read to allow them to use toxic chemicals which are not RCAs for capital punishment. The usage of toxic chemicals other than RCAs in law enforcement has also been discussed in the context of other international legal frameworks. In , the ICRC adopted a position to the effect that toxic chemicals as weapons for law enforcement purposes should be limited to RCAs.
This seems to be a reasonable description of international law as a whole. The point here is merely that the CWC per se cannot be interpreted as excluding the use of toxic chemicals other than RCAs for law enforcement purposes. One reason for including this provision in the CWC, was to prevent situations such as those during the Vietnam war, when thousands of people died because of the use tear gas on the battlefield.
Since RCAs fall within the definition of a chemical weapon, the specification that they cannot be used in warfare was not strictly necessary. Any use of any chemical weapon is prohibited in combat, and the only exception regarding toxic chemicals pertains to law enforcement. The difficulty is that it is not always clear whether law enforcement rules or combat rules apply. The question of exactly when a situation moves from unrest , disturbances or riots to armed conflict is not easy to answer, particularly in contexts approaching the lower threshold of armed conflict.
For example, during their engagement in Afghanistan, the International Security Assistance Force ISAF soldiers switched back and forth between practicing law enforcement and engaging in combat operations. Where it is unclear whether law enforcement rules or combat rules apply, soldiers on the ground carry the risk of acting in violation of the law as determined in national or international courts.
Should a court decide that the situation must be classified as armed conflict, then the use in hostilities of toxic chemicals, even RCAs, could constitute a war crime. On 23 October , a group of armed men and women dressed in plain clothes arrived at the Dubrovka Theatre in Moscow. Minutes later, gunmen stepped on stage during a musical, forcing the actors to join the spectators and taking approximately people hostage. The terrorists were a group of Chechen rebels who demanded that Russian forces be withdrawn from Chechnya and the region given independence.
Over the next three days, the terrorists released over hostages, mainly children and Chechen nationals who were able to produce proof of their nationality.
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