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The History of Using Botulinum Toxin as a Bioweapon

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While we may think that Botulinum Toxin or “Botox” is only used for cosmetic alteration on our favorite actors or actresses, it is actually a biological substance used by scientist, doctors, and terrorist for a plethora of functions. In the following paper I will first explain what a biological substance and or weapon is to better inform you of Botulinum Toxin. Later in my research I will discuss what affects it actually has on the human body. After careful explanation I will then talk about the side effects associated with proper and improper use. Lastly I will cover the history of using Botulinum Toxin as a bioweapon by terrorist around the world and what our leadership in congress plan to do to stop the efforts of weaponizing Botulinum Toxin. Before we start, what exactly is a biological substance? As defined in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary (Biological, 2014) Biological means of or relating to life and living things. Since the beginning of time there have been biological substances. Think of the flu virus in the early 1900’s, it killed thousands of people. The pathogens that make up this virus multiplied over and over until eventually there was an uncontrollable epidemic throughout the United States (Steinbruner, 1997). Many of us think that the influenza virus was an epidemic that will never happen again but then came other biological agents such as smallpox and the deadly anthrax virus. We’ve come to the realization now that biological substances are the weapons of choice. Yes we do have nuclear and chemical weapons that threaten our society, but these weapons aren’t alive. We must pay greater attention to certain toxins that Americans are injecting into their bodies on a daily basis. So what is Botulinum Toxin? Botulinu... ... middle of paper ... ...emselves with Botulinum Toxin? Works Cited Arnon, S. S. (2001). Botulinum Toxin as a Biological Weapon. Medical and Public Health Managment, 1059-2081. Retrieved from http://www.bt.cdc.gov/agent/botulism/botulismconsensus.pdf Biological. (2014). In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved May 21, 2014, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hacker Marshall, T. C. (2012, December 3). Obama Warns Syria Against Using Chemical, Biological Weapons. Retrieved from American Forces Press Service: http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=118698 Meyer, R. (2004). The Phychological Effects Of Weapons Of Mass Destruction (WMD) On Military and Civilian Personnel. United States Government. Nigam, A., & Nigam, P. (2010). Botulinum Toxin. Indian Journal Of Dermatology , 8-14. Steinbruner, J. D. (1997). Biological Weapons: A plague upon all houses. Foreign Policy, 85-96.
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