Porton Down 75 Years of Chemical and Biological Research Essay example

Porton Down 75 Years of Chemical and Biological Research Essay example

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Porton Down 75 Years of Chemical and Biological Research
Porton Down was established in 1916 in retaliation of the Germans using chemical warfare against United Kingdom armed forces. Porton is located near Salisbury, Wiltshire England on 7,000 acres. Porton Down consists of research facilities that conduct research on chemical and biological warfare.
23 April 1915 British troops were attacked with chlorine gas, and Sir John French, the British Commander-in-Chief wanted retaliation with the same effects that was dealt to his troops, and he also wanted the means to defend his troop against these attacks, which lead to the establishment of Porton Down. 10 July 1915 the British used chlorine gas against the Germans, after the attacks the British realized that the chlorine delivery method was inconsistent, the gas had a small radius of cover, the chlorine had a smell so it could be detected early without inhaling a large amount, and the gas also didn’t stay on the ground very long, so further research went into the development of chemical weapons. The first experiment was done with hydrogen sulphide; the British tested the gas by placing rats in cages in trenches, and had mine workers with self contained breathing apparatus collect clouds of the gas in jars as the gas passed over them. The testing of hydrogen sulphide were successful, it showed that the gas had lethal concentration at 300 yards from the point of release. Hydrogen sulphide was short lived, it was discovered that it’s was too dangerously flammable, and it corrodes the cylinders that it’s stored in, it was also to light to stay near the ground after release, and possessed a distinctive smell at very low concentration which is an early warning to the enemy. At 05:50 AM 2...

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...n population of the United Kingdom to covert attacks and the hazards that would have arise, it is certain that Porton Down will continue to be
seen as an essential part of the national defense program, and whatever levels of arms control appear in the future. “Currently Porton Down is a world leader in high-quality microbiological research and testing, which has played a vital role in preparing, coordinating and manufacturing responses to health care emergencies. It is at the forefront of the United Kingdom’s research into infectious diseases, which holds four international culture collections and has an international reputation as a centre of excellence.” (John Glen, 2013)

Works Cited

G B Carter (1992). Porton Down 75 Years of Chemical and Biological Research
G B Carter (1975). Porton Story told
John Glen (2013). The Future of Porton Down

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