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2018년 3월
2018년 3월 22일
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▣ My Essay     Ryan's Warehouse 2018.03.22. 12:43 (2018.03.22. 12:41)

Waging war with organic chemicals

By Ryan Berry
Caledonia Regional High School

For
Mrs. C. Macintyre
Chemistry 122
November 28, 2012
Chemical warfare can be defined as the use of organic and synthetic gasses and compounds used for waging war. Chemical weapons date back as old as 256 AD when there is supporting evidence that the Persian Empire intentionally used sulfuric gasses to kill roman soldiers. Chemical weapons have been used throughout history and are now classified as weapons of mass destruction. Chemical weapons vary from simple sulfur crystals to complex dioxin compound. Chemical warfare varies from toxic gasses to bug spray. To put it all under one title I would like to focus on carbon based compounds used for a variety of purposes, during wars throughout history. You may already be familiar with some of these organic compounds, such as mustard gas, Agent Orange and DDT.
 
DDT is a commonly known pesticides used commercially for many years before being banned due to alarming side effects. DDT although used in warfare is not classified as a chemical weapon. DDT was developed in the 1940’s by the U.S. army to combat malaria and other insect transmitted diseases During World War two. The United States was heavily involved in operations on the tropical pacific islands controlled by the Japanese, during these operations soldiers where highly at risk of contracting diseases such as typhus or malaria from bugs such as mosquitos and lice. These diseases where spread by bites from carrier insects which were virtually impossible to prevent, especially during the heat of combat. These diseases where viewed as almost as much of an enemy as the actual opposing force and where almost as deadly. The government developed DDT first to combat these situations and it gradually progressed to a commercially used pesticide. DDT, also known as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, is fat soluble and therefore easily dissolves into the phospholipid bilayer (plasma membrane) of an organism causing the cell to leak and let in unwanted substances which in turn cause the cells nerves to stop responding correctly, this causes the organism to die due to either convulsions or paralysis. Even though DDT may not affect humans the same way it affects mosquitos DDT is fat soluble so it remains in the human body long after exposure. DDT is taken in by humans not only by direct exposure, but because of bioamplification DDT accumulates in animals over time Therefore humans take in DDT when eating species exposed to DDT. This progressive accumulation of DDT in the Human body has been proven to cause health issues over time.
 
Mustard gas was discovered and first used by Germany as a chemical weapon in 1917 shortly before the third battle of Ypres during world war one. The German forces used mustard gasses mixed with other chemicals deployed by means of bombs, grenades, and gas filled artillery rounds. Mustard gas has a structural formula of [Cl-CH2-CH2-S-CH2-CH2-Cl]. Mustard gas is denser and heavier then oxygen; and therefore accumulates in trenches, bunkers and other low areas that enemy soldiers may be using for cover. Mustard gas is very hard to protect yourself from as it can be absorbed through the skin as well as the lungs. Mustard gas is a “blister agent” meaning although it is only lethal one percent of cases, that it causes large uncomfortable, painful yellow blisters. Mustard gas once in your system remains in your system and is very hard to treat, eventually it starts destroying DNA and killing skin cells. If directly inhaled mustard gas causes a painfully sore reaction in your throat and nose, these progresses to blisters that will swell and can easily block your airways. Exposure to Mustard gas can also result in painful inflammation in sinuses, eyes and skin and even blindness.
 
Agent Orange sounds like a name out a children’s movie, but this chemical, designed to kill crops has some nasty side effects. Agent Orange is a fifty-fifty mixture of the chemicals 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid. Agent Orange was originally studied by Arthur Galsron for speeding up plant growth but was widely used by the United States during the Vietnam War despite warning that it may harm humans. Approximately 20 million gallons of agent orange where sprayed over vast areas of South Vietnam during operation trail dust and operation ranch hand between 1961 and 1971. Agent Orange was targeted like I mentioned at the crops providing cover, camouflage, and food for the enemy troops. Agent Orange contains an excess of growth regulators which cause the plant tissues to grow too rapidly, which in turn causes the plant to dry out, which in turn causes the plant to shed its leaves and die. Agent Orange affected Vietnam negatively for many years following the war as without plant life the once fertile topsoil was soon destroyed. This in turn left the countryside barren and unfertile for many years and completely destroyed the booming agriculture industry in South Vietnam. Agent Orange though, though intended to destroy plant growth, had side effects that where not planned. It was later discovered that the chemical 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic used in Agent Orange was contaminated by dioxide, one of the most dangerous toxins which is associated with several deadly health issues such as cancer and Extremely high blood pressure (up to ten times normal). Since its deployment in Vietnam, thousands of Vietnam Veterans and civilians have died from symptoms tied to their exposure with Agent Orange, and many more Vietnamese infants have been born with birth defects also due to Agent Orange.
 
Agent Orange was also used in several other places, but the one more relative to mention is right here in New Brunswick at CFB Gagetown. Agent Orange was used on a couple of different occasions over the dense wilderness training fields where thousands of soldiers from multiple nations train each year that. Agent Orange was used in the early 1950’s to clear dense brush and growth in certain areas of the vast training area that composes CFB Gagetown. It was used again by the United States during secret tests (with permission from the Canadian government) along with other defoliants such as agent purple between 1966 and 1967. The Canadian government was later required to pay compensation to any Canadian veterans or civilians who contracted diseases related to exposure to Agent Orange after living or working within five kilometers of the base during 1966-1967.
 
Organic based compounds have been used throughout the history of war to kill, distract, hinder, and irritate soldiers, plants and insects. These deadly weapons have been implied worldwide from exotic places like the pacific islands, to right here in New Brunswick and have had a negative effect on the local environment and population for years after use. Chemical warfare is an idea that strikes fear deep into the heart of the lowly soldier, and although certain chemicals have already been banned, I think that all chemical warfare should be banned by international law.
 

 
Bibliography
 
October 10th 2012
http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/01/30/earliest-chemical-warfare.html
http://learning.hccs.edu/faculty/emmanuel.ewane/chem2423/2423-old-exam-reviews/2423-old-exam-2-review
http://science.howstuffworks.com/mustard-gas3.htm
http://www.agentorangerecord.com/agent_orange_history/
http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/agentorange/defoliants.html
 
October 11th 2012
http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/chemicals/ddt-brief-history-status.htm
http://www.chem.duke.edu/~jds/cruise_chem/pest/ddtup.html
http://students.cis.uab.edu/akmiles/historyofmustardgas.html
 
October 13th 2012
http://science.howstuffworks.com/agent-orange1.htm
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2007/09/12/agent-orange.html
http://warrensburg.k12.mo.us/ew/ddt/janelle.html
http://www.martinfrost.ws/htmlfiles/nov2008/agent-orange.html
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