The American Public Health Association,
Recalling that the Governing Council of the American Public Health Association adopted public policy statements in 1969 and 1974 and a late-breaking policy statement in 1996 calling upon the US Government to join in ratification of a convention banning the use of chemical weapons; 1,2 and
Noting that on April 24, 1997 the United States Senate ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and that on April 29, 1997 the CWC, having been ratified by 75 nations, entered into force; and
Noting that the provisions of the CWC include: a ban on the development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, transfer and use of chemical weapons; elimination of all chemical weapons and their production facilities by 2007, although the US is already obligated by law to do so by 2004; and creation of an Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in the Hague to conduct routine and unannounced inspections of companies using chemicals covered by the treaty; and
Aware that the disposal of chemical weapons may create hazards to public health and the environment that must be minimized;3-6therefore
- Congratulates the President of the United States and those members of the US Senate who voted to ratify the CWC;
- Calls on the US Government to support fully the activities of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons;
- Calls on all agencies of the US Government to provide the financial, technical and administrative assistance necessary to implement the Convention after its ratification in a manner that protects the health of all people and protects the environment; and
- Calls on all nations of the world to sign, ratify, implement and observe the Chemical Weapons Convention.
- American Public Health Association Policy Statement 6901: Chemical and Biological Methods of Warfare. APHA Policy Statements, 1948-present, cumulative. Washington, DC: APHA, current volume.
- American Public Health Association Policy Statement 7412: Chemical and Biological Methods of Warfare. APHA Policy Statements, 1948-present, cumulative. Washington, DC: APHA, current volume.
- Carnes SA, Watson AP. Disposing of the US Chemical Weapons Stockpile: An Approaching Reality. JAMA. 1989; 262:653-659.
- Koplow DA. How do We Get Rid of These Things? Dismantling Excess Weapons While Protecting the Environment. Northwestern University Law Review. 1995;89(2):445-564.
- Lockwood AH. The Public Health Effects of the Use of Chemical Weapons. In: Levy BL, Sidel VW, eds. War and Public Health. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997, pp. 84-97.
- Brooke J. Chemical Neutralization is Gaining in War on Poison Gas. New York Times, February 7, 1997.
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