Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘Chemical Threats’ Category

“…On March 8, Islamic State militants fired more than 40 rockets carrying chemical warheads at this northern Iraqi town of mud-wall compounds and dusty date palms on, according to district head Hussein Adil, killing a young child and wounding over 800 civilians. After the attack, which may have been carried out with a mixture of chlorine and mustard gas, nearly half of the town’s 30,000 residents, mostly ethnic Turkmen Shiites, fled in terror…”

Vice News

“…..Hussein said he was the first on the scene. “There was a smell like bad gas or rotten eggs and the girl’s skin was coated in an oily film,” said the 29-year-old teacher from his home in Taza, where he was recovering from the effects of the gas.

Hussein picked Fatimah up and rushed her to the nearby hospital. “I wanted to rescue her,” he said.

But her condition deteriorated, and she died in a hospital bed. Photos show her torso swaddled in bandages and her exposed skin blistered and discolored. Hussein later became sick himself and his throat and eyes burned. His skin blistered from where he had clutched the girl to his chest.

These signs and symptoms were consistent with mustard gas poisoning, according to Nanem Saboh Mohamed, a doctor at Taza hospital where many of those affected by Saturday’s attacks were treated…..”


Chemical warfare in Syria? Conclusive evidence that Syrian forces had dropped toxic industrial chemicals, including chlorine on opposition communities throughout the last year;

The Guardian


Chemical weapons? Since 1 March, 12 patients including women and children with respiratory symptoms and blistering have been received for treatment by a referral hospital in Erbil, Iraq.


WHO responds to reported use of chemical weapons agents in East Mosul, Iraq

3 March 2017 – Following the reported use of chemical weapons agents in East Mosul, Iraq, WHO, partners and local health authorities have activated an emergency response plan to safely treat men, women and children who may be exposed to the highly toxic chemical.

Since 1 March, 12 patients including women and children with respiratory symptoms and blistering have been received for treatment by a referral hospital in Erbil according to local health authorities. Of these, 4 patients are showing severe signs associated with exposure to a blister agent. WHO and partners are working with health authorities in Erbil to provide support in managing these patients.

Since the beginning of the Mosul crisis, WHO has been taking concrete steps to ensure preparedness for the potential use of chemical weapons, together with local health authorities.

As part of a chemical weapons contingency plan, WHO experts have trained more than 120 clinicians and provided them with equipment to safely decontaminate and stabilise patients before they are referred to pre-identified hospitals for further care. Field decontamination and contaminated patients stabilization are built into all field hospitals, and referral systems to pre-identified hospitals are in place. 

WHO is extremely alarmed by the use of chemical weapons in Mosul, where innocent civilians are already facing unimaginable suffering as a result of the ongoing conflict.

The use of chemical weapons is a war crime and is prohibited in a series of international treaties. These include the Hague Declaration concerning Asphyxiating Gases, the 1925 Geneva Protocol, the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Related links

Declaration (IV,2) concerning Asphyxiating Gases. The Hague, 29 July 1899

1925 Geneva Protocol

Chemical Weapons Convention

Statute of the International Criminal Court

Malaysian Police: The poison used to kill Kim-Jong-nam, the brother of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was VX nerve agent, a substance listed as a chemical weapon.

NY Times

Image result for VX Nerve Agent


Sudan: Credible evidence of the use of chemical weapons to kill and maim hundreds of civilians including children in Darfur revealed.

Amnesty International

“….Using satellite imagery, more than 200 in-depth interviews with survivors and expert analysis of dozens of appalling images showing babies and young children with terrible injuries, the investigation indicates that at least 30 likely chemical attacks have taken place in the Jebel Marra area of Darfur since January 2016. The most recent was on 9 September 2016.  The scale and brutality of these attacks is hard to put into words. The images and videos we have seen in the course of our research are truly shocking; in one a young child is screaming with pain before dying; many photos show young children covered in lesions and blisters. Some were unable to breath and vomiting blood,” said Tirana Hassan, Amnesty International’s Director of Crisis Research…..”

More than 80 people were suffering severe breathing difficulties in Syria’s embattled city of Aleppo after an alleged chemical attack


At least 35 people have fallen ill by inhaling gas leaking from a tank of a Diammonium phosphate (DAP) fertilizer factory in Bangladesh



Dr Abdel Aziz Bareeh, who works in Saraqeb: 2 barrels of chlorine gas were dropped on the town Monday. “We know it’s chlorine because we were hit by it in the past and we are familiar with its odor and symptoms….We have 28 confirmed cases, mostly women and children.”


CNN:  “….A photographer who took photos of the injured for the White Helmets said victims were suffering symptoms such as watering eyes, spasms, sweating, coughing and difficulty breathing…..”

Saraqeb is near the Turkish border between Latakia and Aleppo on the map.

Oil train derails in Columbia River Gorge


NYC: Department of Homeland Security scientists are releasing (nontoxic) gases and particles on crowded subway platforms, beginning a week-long airflow study aimed at measuring the impact of a nightmarish chemical or biological terrorist attack.

New York Magazine




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