White Phosphorous: The New Napalm?Submitted by amberwaves on Fri, 06/08/2012 - 12:58
Napalm is the most notorious incendiary substance, but it is only one of more than 180. The harm caused by white phosphorus munitions, used in more recent conflicts, exemplifies these weapons’ humanitarian problems.
The Associated Press reported that an 8-year-old Afghan girl, Razia, was injured when a white phosphorus shell ripped through her home in the Tagab Valley of Kapisa province in June 2009. When she reached the operating room, white powder covered her skin, the oxygen mask on her face started to melt, and flames appeared when doctors attempted to scrape away the dead tissue.
White phosphorus munitions cause particularly severe injuries, including chemical burns down to the bone. Wounds contaminated by white phosphorus can reignite days later when bandages are removed, produce poisoning that leads to organ failure and death, and lead to lifetime health problems.
Ed.: Is this helping or hurting the war effort in Afghanistan?