The civilian health risks from TNT in Syria’s barrel bombs

The TRWP was recently asked to help identify a substance associated with partially detonated barrel bombs in Syria. While the irritant fumes and pink powdery residue appeared to be from TNT and not a chemical weapon, the health risks from exposure to this common explosive are increasingly well understood and should be taken into account when examining the civilian impact of the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.

WHO finds that Glyphosate is probably carcinogenic – implications for Plan Colombia

The World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified the world’s most widely used herbicide Roundup as probably carcinogenic in humans. Roundup is widely used in US supported efforts to destroy poppy and coca fields in Colombia’s long running internal conflict and the decision will add to existing concerns over the health impact of aerial spraying.

Military health surveillance – lessons for post-conflict civilian health monitoring

Military personnel may come across a number of natural and anthropogenic environmental health risks during training, domestic operations and overseas deployment. The response has been to seek to integrate data on environmental risks and exposures into health monitoring programmes. Could these systems help inform approaches aimed at monitoring the risks to civilians from toxic remnants of war?

Iraq’s continuing struggle with conflict pollution

While Iraq is still recovering from the environmental impact of both Gulf wars, it now faces new environmental problems caused by the current conflict against the Islamic State. Since the uprising began in June 2014, fierce battles have taken place in and around cities and industrial areas, affecting the already precarious environmental situation. Wim Zwijnenburg considers the risks and response.