Chemical Weapons

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