What are Binary Chemical Weapons?

Chemical weapons or Munitions in which the toxic agent is not contained within the weapon in its active state, but in the form of two chemical precursors, physically separated inside the weapon are known as binary Chemical weapon.

The precursors are significantly less toxic than the resultant chemical agent they make when mixed, and this helps the weapon to be transported and stored more safely. The safety provided by binary chemical weapons is especially important for people who live near ammunition dumps.

The chemical reaction takes place while the weapon is in air after being shot off. Once it is fired the weapon spins rapidly mixing the two precursors to allow the chemical reaction between the two precursors. Finally, a bursting charge aerosolizes and distributes the chemical agent. Binary chemical weapons are chemical weapons within the scope of the chemical weapons convention and therefore their production, use and stockpiling is forbidden in most countries. As at least one of the individual chemicals is likely to be a Schedule 1 chemical for which large scale production is forbidden.

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