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Am J Public Health. 2008 Apr;98(4):611-25. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2007.11930.

Chemical warfare and medical response during World War I.

Author information

  • 1Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health, New York University, 35 W 4th St, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10012, USA. gjf239@nyu.edu

Erratum in

  • Am J Public Health. 2008 Jul;98(7):1158.

Abstract

The first large-scale use of a traditional weapon of mass destruction (chemical, biological, or nuclear) involved the successful deployment of chemical weapons during World War I (1914-1918). Historians now refer to the Great War as the chemist's war because of the scientific and engineering mobilization efforts by the major belligerents. The development, production, and deployment of war gases such as chlorine, phosgene, and mustard created a new and complex public health threat that endangered not only soldiers and civilians on the battlefield but also chemical workers on the home front involved in the large-scale manufacturing processes. The story of chemical weapons research and development during that war provides useful insights for current public health practitioners faced with a possible chemical weapons attack against civilian or military populations.

PMID:
18356568
PMCID:
PMC2376985
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2007.11930
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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