Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
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.

Erratum in

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


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.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center