What is the purpose of biological warfare?
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Biological warfare, also known as germ warfare, is the use of biological toxins or infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, insects, and fungi with the intent to kill, harm or incapacitate humans, animals or plants as an act of war.
How does biological warfare affect the environment?
Bio-weapons and emerging disease outbreaks could result in severe erosion of genetic diversity in populations of wild and domestic animals and plants, leading to the extinction of endangered species.
What are biochemical warfare agents?
Biological Warfare agents are microorganisms like virus, bacteria, fungi, protozoa or toxins produced by them, that give rise to diseases in man, animals or plants, when deliberately dispersed in an area [Table 1].
What method may be used to deliver biological warfare agents?
Delivery. Biological warfare agents can be disseminated in various ways. Through the air by aerosol sprays: To be an effective biological weapon, airborne germs must be dispersed as fine particles. To be infected, a person must breathe a sufficient quantity of particles into the lungs to cause illness.
Does the US have biological weapons?
The United States biological weapons program began in 1943 and was discontinued in 1969. The program officially began in spring 1943 on orders from U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt. Research continued following World War II as the U.S. built up a large stockpile of biological agents and weapons.
Which countries have biological weapons?
What Countries Have Them? Only 16 countries plus Taiwan have had or are currently suspected of having biological weapons programs: Canada, China, Cuba, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Libya, North Korea, Russia, South Africa, Syria, the United Kingdom and the United States.
How do biological agents enter the body?
Breathing of contaminated air is the most common way that workplace chemicals enter the body. Some chemicals, when contacted, can pass through the skin into the blood stream. The eyes may also be a route of entry. Workplace chemicals may be swallowed accidentally if food, hands, or cigarettes are contaminated.
What kind of agents are used in biological warfare?
This can include bacteria, viruses, or fungi. These agents are used to incapacitate or kill humans, animals, or plants as part of a war effort. In effect, biological warfare is using non-human life to disrupt — or end — human life.
How are biological weapons used in the world?
Sometimes known as “germ warfare,” biological weapons involve the use of toxins or infectious agents that are biological in origin. This can include bacteria, viruses, or fungi. These agents are used to incapacitate or kill humans, animals, or plants as part of a war effort.
What are the disadvantages of biological warfare?
Another disadvantage is that biological weapons linger for longest period of time. As an example, anthrax can live for more or less 50 years in the soil. This therefore signifies that the longer it stays the more possibilities for unwanted effects.
How long has biological warfare been in use?
Biological Warfare Agents. Biological warfare is a relatively old concept that has been in use for nearly 2500 years. Evidence exists for deliberate use of microorganisms and toxins as bioweapons throughout history.