HERMAN SPANJAARD AND OXANA KHABIB
A chemical weapon, according to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), is “any chemical which, through its chemical effect on living processes, may cause death, temporary loss of performance, or permanent injury to people and animals.” Chemicals are also present in explosives and incendiary weapons, but the destructive force of these weapons depends on blast and heat that chemicals can produce (Chapter 9); chemical weapons, by definition, depend on the direct toxic effects of chemicals.
As early as the Peloponnesian war in the 4th century B.C., the Spartans used fire and smoke in attacking the Athenians at Delium. Invented in the 7th century A.D., “Greek fire,” which consists of sulphur, saltpeter, resin, lime, naphtha, and pitch, was used by naval forces to set wooden ships on fire because it floats on water and remains burning.1Fire and smoke are not today regarded as chemical weapons, however; neither are the more modern incendiary weapons such as napalm.
The development of chemical weapons coincided with major scientific and technological advances in chemistry. This science developed rapidly at the