Chemical and Biological Weapons in Our Timesby Herbert M. Levine
What can people do to guard against the harmful effects of these deadly weapons? Protective gear, such as gas masks and
Like nuclear weapons, chemical and biological agents can kill hundreds--if not millions--of people. Less than one hundred years ago, these weapons were mainly agents of war. More recently, civilians have also been the target of these substances.
What can people do to guard against the harmful effects of these deadly weapons? Protective gear, such as gas masks and special suits, is often effective. Sometimes specific preventive measures, such as vaccines, are available. The U.S. government has determined that its soldiers may be in danger of attack from a biological agent--the bacteria that cause anthrax, a deadly disease. Now U.S. military personnel are vaccinated against anthrax.
Chemical and Biological Weapons in Our Times begins by describing a terrorist attack--the 1995 use of the nerve poison sarin in the Tokyo subways. Will terrorists successfully use chemical or biological weapons to murder hundreds or thousands of people? Maybe yes, maybe no. Author Herbert M. Levine presents both sides of the argument. It is true, for example, that with some knowledge and the proper materials and equipment, some of these harmful agents aren't that difficult to make, but the manufacturing process might prove expensive.
What is being done to control chemical and biological weapons? Countries have signed international agreements that outlaw the development and use of these deadly agents. If a particular country does not trust other nations that signed the agreement to abide by it, it may use other measures, such as trade restrictions, spying, or even military action.
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