Chemical agents are toxic compounds contained in a munition delivery system, which contains one type of agent. The nation’s stockpile consists of two principal types of chemical agents: nerve and blister. These agents are securely stored at locations in the United States and are contained in one of five types of munitions or stored in steel bulk storage containers, called ton containers. The ton containers hold about 170 gallons of liquid agent and weigh approximately 1,600 pounds. Over a long period of time, some of these liquid agents can deteriorate into thick, sludge-like substances.
Chemical weapons are a mix of different types of munitions that contain chemical agent. These munitions include rockets, land mines, projectiles or bombs designed to disperse chemical agent either from exploding weapons or through spray tanks attached to the underside of airplanes. The U.S. chemical stockpile was developed as a deterrent to enemy troops from using similar weapons against our nation’s troops.