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					Chemical and Biological Weapons

          Bill Menke
      November 29, 2005
              Summary
• What are chemical and biological
  weapons?
• Comparison with nuclear weapons
• Case studies of their use
• The Chemical Weapons Convention
• Potential Threats
• Questions to ponder
  Types of Chemical Weapon Agents
• Nerve Agents
   –   GA (Tabun)
   –   GB (Sarin)
   –   GD (Soman)
   –   GF
   –   VX (methylphosphonothioic acid)
• Blister Agents
   –   HD - sulphur mustard (Yperite)
   –   HN - nitrogen mustard
   –   L - Lewisite
   –   CX - phosgene oximine
• Choking Agents
   –   CG phosgene
   –   DP diphosgene
   –   Cl chlorine
   –   PS chloropicrin
Types of Biological Weapon Agents
•   Anthrax
•   Botulinum Toxins
•   Brucellosis
•   Cholera
•   Clostridium Perfringens Toxins
•   Congo-Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever
•   Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever
•   Melioidosis*
•   Plague
•   Q Fever
•   Ricin
•   Rift Valley Fever
•   Saxitoxin
•   Smallpox
•   Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B
•   Trichothecene Mycotoxins
•   Tularemia
•   Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis
             Case Study 1

      The Second Battle of Ypres
            World War 1

               April, 1915

first large-scale military use of chemical
                 weapons
Line of cylinders release gas at Ypres
• Germany used 168 tons of chlorine gas
  against French Algerian and, later,
  Canadian troops

• 16,000 troops exposed, about 6,000 die
  of asphyxiation.

• German press release state that use is in
  response to prior French use of gas

• Allied troops panic as trenches become
  saturated with heavier-than-air gas
Following a heavy bombardment, the enemy attacked the French
   Divisions at about 5p.m., using asphyxiating gases for the first time.
   Aircraft reported that at about 5p.m., thick yellow smoke had been seen
   issuing from the German trenches between Langemarck and
   Bixschoote. The French reported that two simultaneous attacks had
   been made east of the Ypres-Staden Railway, in which these
   asphyxiating gases had been employed.

What follows almost defies description. The effect of these poisonous
  gases was so virulent as to render the whole of the line held by the
  French Division mentioned above practically incapable of any action at
  all. It was at first impossible for anyone to realize what had actually
  happened. The smoke and fumes hid everything from sight, and
  hundreds of men were thrown into a comatose or dying condition, and
  within an hour the whole position had to be abandoned, together with
  about 50 guns.

                                         Field Marshal Sir John French
                                  Commander-in-Chief of the British Army
                                                                    1915
         Case Study 2

   Halabja poison gas attack

      March 15-19, 1988

Military use of chemical weapons
 Against Iraqi Kurds during the
           Iran-Iraq war
      News or Propaganda ?
Photo purported to be of gas attack victims
• Halabja, Iraq is a town of about 80,000

• Reported casualties range from several hundred to
  5,000 people

• multiple chemical agents, possibly including mustard
  gas, and the nerve agents sarin, tabun and VX, and the
  blood agent hydrogen cyanide may have been used

• Targets included Iranian troops and Iraqi Kurdish
  guerrillas allied with Tehran

• Both Iran and Iraq have variously been ascribed blame.
              Case Study 3

            Tokyo Sarin Attack

             March 20, 1995

terrorists place containers of the nerve gas
    sarin in five trains on 3 of Tokyo's 10
         underground railway lines.
Sarin C4H10FO2P
•   5,000-6,000 persons were exposed
•   493 hospitalized
•   17 developed severe symptoms
•   12 people died:
    – 9 at site
    – 1 during first 24 hours in hospital
    – 2 died several weeks later
Rescue Efforts after Tokyo Attack
Shoko Asahara, founder of the religious cult
 Aleph, found guilty of ordering attack in a
 trial that ended on February 27, 2004
        Case Study 4
      US Anthrax Attack
September 18 – October 9, 2001




  Anthrax spores found in this Princeton NJ mailbox
terrorists (?) mail letters containing
       Anthrax spores to 5 US
             Newspapers
         and 2 US Senators
Anthrax bacteria
• Several thousand people exposed and take antibiotics

• 22 people developed anthrax infections
   – 11 inhalation anthrax
   – 11 subcutaneous anthrax (less lethal)


• 5 died of inhalation anthrax
   – 2 postal workers
   – 3 from unknown sources, possibly cross-contamination of mail


• total damage (incl. cleanup) exceeded $1 billion
 The Justice Department has
named no suspects in the case
 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)

1969 U.S. reserves right to have stockpile
              for retaliation

1985 Congress mandates U.S. stockpile
        of CW be destroyed

 1991 Bush administration states U. S.
would formally forswear use of CW once
        CWC entered into force

       1993 U.S. signs Convention
 1997 U.S. ratifies Convention; it enters
                 into force

  2001 143 countries sign CWC but not
     Iraq, Syria, Libya and N. Korea

CWC requires member states to destroy
  all stockpiles + facilities by 2007

U.S. has been incinerating CW at Dugway
      UT and Johnson Is. in Pacific
Organization for the Prohibition of
 Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is an
international overseeing agency that
  verifies compliance with CWC

70,000 tonnes of CW and 8.6 million
munitions/containers declared by 4
              nations

   61 former CW production sites
      declared by 11 nations
6,700 tonnes CW, 2 million munitions and
        27 CW production facilities
     destroyed under OPCW inspection.

 OPCW has conducted 1169 inspections

  Dual use of plants make verification
 difficult; considerable access needed

In 2001 U.S. threatens to abandon Treaty
    if Director is not replaced, mixing
  political and managerial concerns. He
                 is replaced.
                 Biological Weapons Convention

    Nixon supports prohibiting development, production and
                       possession of BW

        1972 Biological Weapons Convention negotiated

1975 Convention ratified by US. BW Convention now has 144 state
               parties. Holdouts in Middle East

  Convention has neither standing organization nor verification

  1994 member states of BWC mandate development of protocol
        to strengthen BWC including verification measures

2001 consolidated text of protocol gains general acceptance. Bush
administration withdraws from negotiations citing lack of confidence
   in others and threat to biodefense and pharmaceutical secrets.
      Questions to Ponder
Are “doomsday” biological weapons a real
possibility?

What is the relative threat of the terrorist
use of B&C and conventional weapons?

Is biotechnology too small-scale for
peaceful intent to be effectively verified?

What preparedness is needed to provide
an effective response to B&C weapons?
Develop contingency plans

Use standard statistical risk
analysis to prioritize preparedness

Strengthen public health infrastructure

Identify beforehand sources of
Additional assistance

Draw upon international assistance
And support

Implement the Conventions

				
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