Thursday, January 19, 2012

Army has destroyed 90 percent of chemical weapons, stored mainly in remote rural areas

The U.S. Army came one step closer yesterday to destroying its stockpile of 20th Century chemical weapons, stored mostly in remote rural areas. After a two-hour process in which 23 projectiles filled with mustard agent were stripped of the agent's ability to blister skin and attack the respiratory system, the last of the "hard weapons" at the Deseret Chemical Depot near Tooele, Utah were destroyed. The facility once housed the Army's largest supply of chemical weapons, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The U.S. signed a treaty to dispose of its chemical weapons by April 29, 2012, but is expected to get waivers for missing that deadline, and the U.S. is farther along in this task than some other treaty signers, including Russia. The Army has destroyed about 90 percent of its chemical weapons. The remaining 10 percent are in Colorado and Kentucky, but those stores may not be destroyed until 2021. For decades, the Tooele facility burned chemicals, releasing toxins into the air. In the 1970s, more acceptable disposal methods were sought. (Read more)

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