Although use of chemical weapons has low probability, it can cause a large scale casualties among exposed people if it is used. These kind of weapons have been used by human being since ancient history. However, the first large scale usage started with World War I followed by World War II. Several regulations and guidelines have been set by different organizations such as North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to limit the usage of these weapons. However, till the present time the world is not free from the risk of these weapons on human life.While the effects of chemical weapons on certain human systems including respiratory and immune systems as well as the dermatological complications have been extensively studied, the relation between chemical weapons and cancer development has not been fully understood. This review addresses the definition and usage of chemical weapons in addition to the types of chemical agents used in their production. Evidences about the chemical weapons and cancer development have also been thoroughly discussed. In summary, it appears that data regarding carcinogenicity of chemical weapons in human are both limited and contradictory. Accordingly, any claim about the carcinogenic effects of these kind of weapons in the exposed victims need to be properly validated.
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Author Name: Belal A. Muhammad
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Keywords: Chemical weapons, Chemical agents, Cancer, Sulfer Mustard, Nerve agents