U.N. passes bill on chemical weapons abandoned at sea

The United Nations, after consulting with Terrance Long, a Canadian-based munitions expert, and the International Dialogue on Underwater Munitions organization, recently passed a bill that confronts the issue of chemical weapons abandoned at sea.

The resolution summons countries around the world to form a collective of expertise and resources to investigate environmental damage caused by underwater chemical weapon dump sites from world powers dumping their chemical warfare arsenals into the ocean, according to Digital Journal.

Some of the nations that conducted these mass dumping into the world's oceans after World War II include the United Kingdom, Japan, the United States, France, Japan and China. Chemical munitions are believed to be exposed in the Baltic Sea, the Bay of Bengal, the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

The chemical weapons include a varied arsenal that consist of cyanide, phosgene, lewisite, VX and mustard gas. According to a Center for Nonproliferation Studies report, there may be up to 127 dump sites in bodies of water throughout the world. As the shells and steel drums begin to rust, these munitions may be releasing untold amounts of chemicals into the water.

To date, 33 countries have signed the U.N. resolution, the Digital Journal reports. In April, the advisory board will meet in Poland as its members discuss the measures and special technologies that will be used to collect data on the sea-based munitions.