MOST IMPORTANT CHEMICAL WEAPONS:
o Vesicant agents: Sulfur mustard.
o Nerve agents: Sarin gas.
o Agent Orange.
o White phosphorus.
o CW used by the nazis.
INTERANATIONAL TREATIES AGAINST THEM.
CHEMICAL WEAPONS NOWADAYS.
Chemical weapons are
weapons that use the toxic
properties of chemical
substances to kill, injure
or incapacitate the enemy.
They are considered to be
weapons by the UN.
Don’t confuse with
bacteria, viruses, protozoa,
parasites or fungi.
They attack the skin irritation
and appearance of very painful and
CHRONIC EFFECTS: they damage
sight and have genetic consequences
in the long-term.
They normally don’t produce death.
After the exposure: take all the clothes out and clean the
body with hot water. It’s also recommendable to detoxify
the skin with some detergents or hydroxide compounds.
Examples of this type of agents: SULFUR MUSTARD
• The first time that it was
used was in the IWW,
where 90.000 people died
• Rif War (1921-27): the
Spanish Army of Africa
launched it against the
Berbers (indigenous people
of the North of Africa).
• Second Sino-Japanese
War (1937-45): Japan used
it against the Chinese.
• Iraq-Iran War (1980-88):
Both countries used it.
They contain phosphoric acid
it blocks an enzyme that reduces
the activity of a neurotransmitter
o Muscular spasms.
o The people who breathe the
gas weep, salivate, urinate
and defecate involuntarily.
o Vomits, diarrhea, tachycardia, loss of consciousness, etc.
After the exposition: it’s necessary to inject anticonvulsants to the
affected people to reduce the effects, in order to reactivate the enzyme
They usually provoke death.
Examples: Sarin gas, VX, tabun,…
It has been used in the IRAQ-IRAN WAR, in
Tokyo (1995) and in Syria (2013).
It was used in the Vietnam
War (1955-75) by the USA as
a herbicide and defoliant.
The chemical was
contaminated with a dioxin,
which can cause cancer and
1 million people affected.
150,000 children with
It provokes serious burns.
abdominal burning heat,
Some days after the exposition:
more hemorrhages, icterus, it
affects the heart (arrhythmia)
and it usually provokes death.
Where has it been used?
o Gaza (Palestine) in 2009
o Iraq-Iran War
Used in gas chambers.
Most common agents:
o Carbon monoxide.
o Hydrogen cyanide.
Symptoms: first they suffered
choking, then they defecated
and urinated involuntarily, after
that they lost their
consciousness, they went into a
coma and finally they died.
So, they didn’t die immediately: it
took them around 20-25 minutes
• 1907: Second Hague Gas Declaration banned poisoned weapons.
• 1925: Geneva Protocol banned the use of chemical and
• 1993 (in force since 1997): Chemical Weapons Convention banned
the development, production, storage, trade and use of CW.
• The international implementation
of the CWC is overseen by the
Organization for the Prohibition of
Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
o Nobel Peace Prize in 2013.
CHEMICAL WEAPONS NOWADAYS
• Since the creation of the OPCW, more than 80% of the declared
CW have been destroyed.
• Recently, Sarin gas has been used in Syria. In one of the attacks,
more than 1400 people died. Some months ago the OPCW
confirmed the presence of chemical agents, so it obliged the
Syrian government to give their CW to the International
Community. The government gave up and since some weeks ago,
the UN are taking those weapons out from Syria.
1º Bach. B