Essay on Use of Biological Weapons Through History

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Biological weapons are often called the “Poor man’s atomic bomb” (Warfare Introduction). They are called this, because they are cheap and powerful. By definition, biological weapons are “any weapon usable in biological warfare” (WordNet Search-3.1). Another definition for biological weapons is “Biological weapons include any organism or toxin found in nature that can be used to incapacitate, kill, or otherwise impede an adversary” (Dire). Smallpox, ricin and anthrax are all biological weapons. Biological weapons have been used throughout history. The earliest recording of using biological weapons dates back to 400 BC. “Scythian archers infected their arrows by dipping them in decomposing bodies or in blood mixed with manure as far back as …show more content…
The second biological weapon, unlike smallpox ricin has a more recent history. Ricin has been a resurfacing problem for the US in recent years. “In 2004, ricin was found in a letter in a U.S Capitol mailroom that served then-Majority Leader Bill Frist, CNN.com reports” (What is Ricin?). Since 2004, “The New York Times reported in 2011 that an al-Qaida group in Yemen was trying to acquire large amounts of castor beans to make ricin bombs” (What is Ricin?). Ricin is a poison found naturally in castor beans. Castor beans are typically found around the Mediterranean and Middle East, however you find them elsewhere for they are grown as an ornamental plant. The castor bean oil also is used in medicine, food and industry. Accidental exposure to ricin is rare, the CDC says it would take a deliberate act to poison someone with ricin. The methods of exposure of ricin are air, food, or water.After someone is exposed to Ricin, the ricin gets inside the cells of a person’s body and then prevents the cells from making the proteins they need. After this happens the cells start to die out and the person die. The CDC says that there is no antidote for ricin. The effects of ricin depend on how the person was exposed. “Symptoms of ricin exposure through inhalation are difficulty breathing, fever, cough, nausea, and tightness in the chest; symptoms of ricin exposure through ingestion are the person may develop vomiting and diarrhea, that may

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