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Chemical Warfare 10 What are Chemical Warfare Agents Chemical weapons include any chemical substance whether in a gaseous liquid or solid state which can be used to cause loss of performance permanent injury or death in humans These chemicals are commonly man-made toxicants however there is increasing research in the use of natural biological toxins as chemical warfare agents Many thousands of chemicals produced by humans are highly poisonous however only about seventy of these have been used in this century as chemical warfare agents The reason for this lies in the criteria which a chemical must meet in order to be used as one of these warfare agents These criteria include -the agent must be toxic enough to cause the desired effect but must not be so toxic that it is too hard to handle -the agent should be able to be stored for relatively long periods of time without losing its potency -it must be resistant to environmental conditions such as rain and oxygen -finally it must be able to withstand a great deal of heat as the dispersal of these agents is usually accomplished with some type of bomb 20 History of Chemical Warfare The introduction of chemical warfare can be attributed to German chemist Fritz Haber who played a leading role in the development of poison gas during World War One After much convincing he persuaded the Central Powers ie Germany Turkey etc to use chlorine gas to break through enemy lines The Germans awarded him with an Officers rank and he went on to direct the first gas attack in War history This attack which occurred on April 22 1915 was the first of nearly 200 chemical attacks during the First World War The Germans headed by Haber discharged 180000 kg of chlorine gas which either killed or caused the retreat of thousands of allied soldiers Britian France Canada etc
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