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White Phosphorus UPSC NOTE

 

  • White phosphorus is a toxic, flammable, and pyrophoric allotrope of phosphorus. 

  • It is a white to yellow waxy solid with a garlic-like odor. 

  • White phosphorus is highly reactive and ignites spontaneously in air at temperatures above 30 °C

  • It can burn fiercely and produces dense, white, irritating smoke containing mixed phosphorus oxides.

  • In industry, it is used to manufacture phosphoric acid, phosphates, and other chemicals. 

  • It is also used in some fertilizers, food additives, and cleaning compounds

  • Chemical formula: P4 

  • Physical state: White to yellow waxy solid 

  • Melting point: 44.1 °C 

  • Boiling point: 280.5 °C 

  • Density: 1.82 g/cm3 

  • Solubility in water: Insoluble 

  • Solubility in carbon disulfide: Soluble 

  • Odor: Garlic-like

Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons ccw

  • CCW also known as the Inhumane Weapons Convention

  •  It is a  landmark international treaty that prohibits or restricts the use of certain conventional weapons which are considered to be excessively injurious or to have indiscriminate effects. 

  • It was adopted on October 10, 1980, and entered into force on December 2, 1983.

  • The CCW is composed of a main body and five annexed protocols, each of which deals with a specific type of weapon or weapon system. 

Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons ccw

The protocols are:

  • Protocol I - Prohibition or Restriction on the Use of Weapons Which May Cause Excessive Injury or Undue Suffering or Which Have Indiscriminate Effects.

  • Protocol II - Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices.

  • Protocol III -  Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Incendiary Weapons.

  • Protocol IV -Blinding Laser Weapons

  • Protocol V  - Explosive Remnants of War

  • As of July 1, 2023, 126 states have ratified or acceded to the CCW. 

  • There are 119 states parties to Protocol I, 106 to Amended Protocol II, 115 to Protocol III, 109 to Protocol IV and 97 to Protocol V.

  • The CCW is one of the most important instruments of international humanitarian law.

  • The CCW is also notable for its inclusive approach, as it applies to all types of armed conflict, both international and non-international. 

  • This means that the CCW's prohibitions and restrictions apply to both state and non-state armed groups.

Chemical Weapons Convention(CVC)

  • CWC, officially the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction.

  • It is an arms control treaty that prohibits the development, production, stockpiling, transfer, and use of chemical weapons by States Parties

  • It also sets out a process for the destruction of existing stockpiles of chemical weapons and their production facilities.

  • The CWC was adopted on January 13, 1993, and entered into force on April 29, 1997. 

Chemical Weapons Convention(CVC)

  • As of July 1, 2023, there are 193 States Parties to the CWC, representing more than 98% of the world's population.

  • The CWC headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands..

  • The CWC has played a major role in eliminating the threat of chemical weapons. 

  • Since its entry into force, over 99% of the world's declared stockpiles of chemical weapons have been destroyed. 

  • The CWC has also helped to prevent the re-emergence of chemical weapons by prohibiting their development, production, and transfer.

White phosphorus in conflict zones

  • White phosphorus is a highly flammable chemical substance that can be used in a variety of military applications, including as a smoke screen, an illuminating device, and an incendiary weapon. 

  • When used as an incendiary weapon, white phosphorus can cause severe burns and respiratory problems, and it can be particularly deadly in civilian areas.

  • White phosphorus is not explicitly banned by international law, but its use is regulated by the CCW. 

White phosphorus in conflict zones

  • Protocol III of the CCW prohibits the use of incendiary weapons against civilians.

  • It requires parties to the conflict to take all feasible precautions to avoid civilian casualties when using incendiary weapons against military targets.

  • The use of white phosphorus in conflict zones has been controversial for many years. 

  • In recent years, there have been a number of allegations that white phosphorus has been used illegally in conflict zones, such as Gaza and Iraq


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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: White Phosphorus UPSC NOTE
White Phosphorus UPSC NOTE
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