Chemical Agent Detector
Chemical analysis started around about the 17th century but has advanced considerably now.
Chemicals used very early on were tear-inducing irritants rather than fatal or disabling poisons. During the First World War, the French army was the first to employ gas, using 26 mm grenades filled with tear gas in August 1914.
Chemical weapons were first used on a large scale during World War When the United States went to war in World War I April 1917 chemists in laboratories had the ability to identify chemical agents but the U.S. Army and The British had no ability to detect chemical agents, either as vapor or on surfaces in the field Instead the American soldier on the battlefield had to rely on their own senses (smell, and throat and nose irritation) to detect chemicals.
Mustard gas was the king of the First World War and detection failed we could of saved a lot of lives. While concern over the potential and actual use of chemical agents grew during the 1960 the full danger was still not apparent
Chemical Agent Identification Sets were given to American army bases to detect chemicals and mustard gas but were recalled and destroyed.
The threat from real chemical warfare became really became apparent by the British and Americans by the gulf war. The armed forces were pretty vulnerable to chemical attack. It was reported that U.S. servicemen had been exposed and injured during the disposal and destruction of abandoned 4,990 chemical weapons that had been discovered in Iraq.
News reports and market forecast reports place the market for Certain products in 2013 and 2014 between $8.7-8.8 billion, it is a crowded market place but it is predicted to increase. So there is without doubt a threat but the question I would ask how much of a threat is there?
Current detection used by the military some techniques are still pretty simple but there is the more advanced as well.
The detector papers change color when exposed to liquid chemicals they are used when unknown chemicals are found on recognizance / surveillance missions.
Automatic Chemical Agent Alarm (ACADA): This can detect chemicals and identify them and alarms to chemical warfare agents and toxic chemical’s it is used by the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.
The water test kit is used to test and detect water contamination it can test for nerve, Cyanide, Mustard chemical agents.
Improved Chemical Agent Monitor (ICAM): Is an improvement over the currently fielded CAM is primarily used to sort contaminated versus clean vehicles, equipment, and personnel it is hand held and can Detect Low levels of nerve and mustard.
The reconnaissance vehicles can discover chemical contamination in its surroundings using point detection. The system automatically receives contamination data from sensors with inputs from on-board navigation and meteorological systems this can then alert follow on forces of dangers.
The best defense against chemical warfare currently is to prevent it from happening in the first place prevention is always better than cure. The world as a whole can help by destroying their stock piles of chemical weapons.