ORNL employees assist U.S. with destruction of chemical weapons

ORNL employees assist U.S. with destruction of chemical weapons

Posted:
As part of the Chemical Weapons Convention, the U.S. is working on destroying its chemical weapons. As part of the Chemical Weapons Convention, the U.S. is working on destroying its chemical weapons.
The U.S. currently has GB, known as Sarin gas; mustard gas; and VX, a venom agent. The U.S. currently has GB, known as Sarin gas; mustard gas; and VX, a venom agent.
Greg Zimmerman, the leader for the ORNL Human Health Risk & Environmental Analysis group, said the U.S. is currently in possession of about 3,500 tons of chemical weapons, though the U.S. has never used them. Greg Zimmerman, the leader for the ORNL Human Health Risk & Environmental Analysis group, said the U.S. is currently in possession of about 3,500 tons of chemical weapons, though the U.S. has never used them.

By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

OAK RIDGE (WATE) -  As chemical weapons make headlines with the evolving crisis in Syria, 6 News spoke with experts at ORNL about the threat the chemicals pose and how the U.S. is working to destroy its own stockpile.

Greg Zimmerman, the leader for the ORNL Human Health Risk & Environmental Analysis group, said the U.S. is currently in possession of about 3,500 tons of chemical weapons, though the U.S. has never used them.

As part of the Chemical Weapons Convention, the U.S. is working on destroying its chemical weapons and Zimmerman's group assists the army in determining the safest methods for destruction to avoid any negative environmental or health effects.

The U.S. currently has GB, known as Sarin gas; mustard gas; and VX, a venom agent.

"These chemicals were designed to kill people," Zimmerman said. "They're basically weapons of war.

Sarin gas is the same chemical that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Syria used during chemical attacks last month that killed more than 1,400 people.

"They act very much like bug sprays if you've ever sprayed insecticide on an ant or a wasp you'll see how that's very quick and effective," Zimmerman said.

"With Sarin, the amount the size of a pencil eraser is lethal to a human or can be lethal to a human without any antidote administered," ORNL Toxicologist Cheryl Bast said.

"They are indiscriminate killers," Zimmerman said. "They don't just kill military forces but they kill civilians."

Almost 190 countries are part of the chemical weapons convention.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WATE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.