Chemical Warfare Law and Legal Definition

Chemical warfare means all features of military and terrorist operations requiring application of lethal and incapacitating ammunitions and agents. It also includes the warning and defensive measures associated with aggressive operations. Chemical warfare weapons can be grouped in seven main categories by their toxic properties, such as nerve agents (lethal), pulmonary toxics (lethal), cyanide (lethal), tissue damaging vesicants (mustards, Lewisites, halogenated oximes), psychomimetics; riot control agents (incapacitating), and defoliants. Historically, the first chemical warfare agents used by the military were gases in their natural state. Examples of such poison gases are phosgene and chlorine. When liquid chemical warfare agents, such as mustard gas and lewisite, were introduced later, the designation gas was carried over and applied to them. By long and well-established tradition in the Chemical Warfare Service in the U.S., all chemical agents, regardless of their physical state, are known as gases.