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Radiation hazard

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Biohazard

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Chemical hazard

An historical overview of those events that are felt to have contributed in important ways to the current global threats of biological, chemical, and radiological terrorism.

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1500–1200 BC During epidemics, the Hittites of Anatolia send infected animals and people into enemy realms in order to cause outbreaks.
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1200 BC Poison-tipped arrows are used during the Trojan War (described by Homer in 800 BC).
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600 BC Solon of Athens puts hellebore roots in the drinking water of Kirrha.
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1200–500 BC The Byzantines master the use of “Greek Fire” and direct a naptha mixture through long siphons at enemy navies. It is described as “the ultimate weapon of its time.”
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500 BC Sun Tzu writes the Art of War where he discusses strategies for using smoke and fire against enemies.
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420 BC An Athenian stronghold is overtaken by Spartan forces with the use of irratative fumes created by the burning of sulfur, coals, and tars during the Peloponnesian War.
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200 BC Hannibal hurls clay pots filled with poisonous snakes at the ships of King Eumenes of Pergamum.
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65 BC Mithridates use poisoned honey to incapacitate Pompey’s army who indulgently eats the combs. These combs are probably contaminated with botulinum.
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90 AD Claims abound that insurgents in and around Rome are speading plague via contaminated pins that they use to prick others.
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1346 A Tartar attack on the city of Kaffa in which the warriors catapult the corpses of plague victims into the walled city successfully causes an epidemic.
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1495 The Spanish contaminate wine with the blood of lepers and gives it to the French.
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1650 The Polish military general, Siemienowicz, reportedly puts saliva from rabid dogs into artillery shells and fires them at his enemies.
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1763 Sir Jeffrey Amherst, the Commander-in-Chief of the British, orders smallpox contaminated blankets to be distributed to Native American tribes supporting the British during the French and Indian Wars.
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1895 Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen discovers X-rays.
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1899 Pierre and Marie Curie discover radiation.
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1899 The Hague agreement is reached internationally to prohibit the use of projectiles filled with chemical weapons.
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1905 Albert Einstein, who is working full-time as a patent clerk in Bern, Germany, conceives and derives what is perhaps the most recognizable equation in history: E = MC2.
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1915 In Ypres, Belgium, the German army uses chlorine gas to attack British and Canadian troops.
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1916 The Germans develop phosgene.
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1917 The Germans develop mustard gas.
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1925 The League of Nations develops “Geneva Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and Bacteriological Methods of Warfare” in response to the horrors of chemical weapons seen in WWI.
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1932–1944 The Japanese-maintained Unit 731 performs experimentation with biological weapons on POWs including: anthrax, botulism, brucellosis, cholera, dysentery, gas gangrene, meningococcal infection, and plague.
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1935–1936 Italy uses mustard gas in its invasion of Ethiopia.

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