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A chemical weapon is a device that uses chemicals formulated to inflict death or harm on human beings. They may be classified as weapons of mass destruction though they are separate from biological weapons, nuclear weapons and radiological weapons. Chemical weapons can be widely dispersed in gas, liquid and solid forms and may easily afflict others than the intended targets. Nerve gas and tear gas are two modern examples. Lethal, unitary, chemical agents and munitions are extremely volatile and they constitute a class of hazardous chemical weapons that are now being stockpiled by many nations. The most dangerous of these are nerve agents GA, GB, and VX, and vesicant agents which are formulations of sulfur mustard such as H, HT, and HD. All are liquids at normal room temperature, but become gaseous when released. Widely used during the First World War, the effects of so-called mustard gas, phosgene gas and others caused lung searing, blindness, death and maiming. Under the Chemical Weapons Convention, there is a legally-binding, world-wide ban on the production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons and their precursors. Notwithstanding, large stockpiles thereof continue to exist, usually justified as only a precaution against putative use by an aggressor. (via Freebase)