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Chemical/Biological Weapons

Volume 401: debated on Thursday 20 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate the Government have made of the useable lifetime of (a) anthrax (wet form), (b) smallpox, (c) VX and (d) mustard gas; and if he will make a statement. [103578]

The stability of these materials depends very much on the initial purity and the precise storage conditions. Their usable lifetime as chemical or biological warfare agents, can range from a few months to several tens of years. It should be noted that even partially degraded material may still pose a significant hazard.