WHITE PHOSPHORUS BOMB (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     17th October 2023        

Context: Recently the Israeli army has been accused of using white phosphorus bombs on the civilian population of Gaza,White Phosphorus Bomb

  • About: White phosphorus bombs are created by combining white phosphorus with rubber.
  • Properties: A wax-like chemical, appears pale yellow or colorless and emits a pungent odor resembling rotten garlic.

o Temperature of bomb: 800 °C and spontaneously ignites up to 1,300 °C when exposed to oxygen

o Upon exposure to air, white phosphorus ignites rapidly due to its highly flammable nature.

o Once ignited, this substance is challenging to extinguish because it adheres to numerous surfaces, including skin and clothing.

o Due to its wax-like properties, it proves difficult to remove and often reignites upon bandage removal.

  • Armies worldwide employ it in incendiary weapons for various purposes, such as illuminating targets at night and causing harm to adversaries.
  • While white phosphorus munitions aren't prohibited by international law, their use is subject to strict regulation due to their incendiary effects.

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