|SPECIAL REPORT FROM THE INTERNET|
Tiny Amounts Can Kill Thousands
This article written
by EJ GONG Jr is reproduced with
to Saddam Hussein, biological and chemical weapons continue to make headlines. Heres
a look at five of the most insidious ones, which the United Nations says Iraq has been
stockpiling. The idea of killing enemies with germs isnt new. In 1346, the Tartars
used crude catapults to launch plague-infested corpses into the Crimean city of Kaffa, in
southwest Ukraine. Today, scientists here and abroad tinker with some of the most deadly
ingredients known to man. Biological weapons, in particular, are easy and quick to make. A
single disease-producing bacterium can divide every 20 minutes. An aspirin bottle of
bacteria could yield a huge arsenal in just a week.
Chemical weapons take longer to produce, but kill much faster. A single drop of sarin and VX, for instance, can kill in minutes.
How it works: The airborne anthrax spores are inhaled and lodge in the
lungs. There, they quickly multiply and produce toxins that spread through the body via
How it works: The victim inhales the airborne toxins into the lungs.
The toxins fill the body with poison. Eventually, complete paralysis and cardiac arrest
How it works: Sarin is inhaled and paralyzes the nerve that makes the
diaphragm expand and contract. Eventually, the victim dies of suffocation.
How it works: Inhaling the vapours causes painful, long-lasting
blisters to form all over the body. It can also cause blindness.
VX Nerve Gas
How it works: Similar to sarin, it disrupts the functioning of nerves
that control breathing. The victim dies of suffocation when the diaphragm fails to expand
and contract. Unlike any other biological or chemical weapons, VX can kill simply by
touching the skin.