Going fishing? Watch out for chemical weapons

Fishing boats, Cape May, NJ

JUSTIN ROHRLICH / QUARTZ – The US Army will destroy stockpiles of mustard gas and nerve agents this summer as part of its commitment to a 1997 treaty banning the production and use of chemical weapons. The undertaking will require specialized personnel—toxic-materials handlers, chemical-accountability managers, surety specialists, ammunition surveillance/quality assurance specialists, and a coterie of supervisors.

In the decades immediately following World War II, America’s military wasn’t quite so buttoned up about its chemical cast-offs. Until Congress outlawed dumping of munitions at sea in 1972, there were an estimated 74 offshore chemical weapons disposals through 1970, 32 of which took place in US waters and 42 abroad …

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