The Seville Declaration on the use of Chlorine in Warfare

Oct 12, 2016

“We, the Member Societies of the European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences (EuChemS), deplore the use of chlorine in the Syrian conflict or any other and call upon the international community to bring to justice those responsible for the misuse of chlorine.”

At the 6th EuChemS Chemistry Congress in Seville, 36 Presidents of Chemical Societies in Europe and beyond or their representatives have signed a declaration deploring the use of Chemical weapons in Syria and calling for the misusers of chlorine to be brought to justice.

After the use of chemical weapons in Syria in 2012, Syria signed the Chemical Weapons Convention and their stockpiles of chemical weapons were removed for destruction.

However, chlorine is still being used in the conflict as a chemical weapon.

Chlorine is a yellow-green gas which is stored in cylinders as a liquid. It has many benign uses and saves billions of lives every year because it is used to ensure water supplies are free if pathogens. It is used as a bleach and in making a variety of household chemicals.

It is diabolical that stocks of chlorine that are kept for benign purposes have been hijacked for use in warfare.

If chlorine is breathed in, it attacks the mucous membranes and respiratory system because it forms hydrochloric ad hypochlorous acids on contact with water. This causes blistering, great difficulties with breathing and intense pain. People die a slow and painful death gasping for air, coughing and spluttering.

It is essential that everyone who uses chlorine for benign purposes should keep their supplies in secure sites where they cannot be taken for use in warfare.

Those who do use chlorine as a weapon should be prosecuted for war crimes.


Organisation Signature
EuChemS David Cole-Hamilton
Austrian Chemical Society Josef Wendrinsky
Royal Flemish Chemical Society Christophe De Bie
Croatian Chemical Society Zeljka Soldin
Pancyprian Union of Chemists Christina Valanidou
Czech Chemical Society Jan John
Danish Chemical Society Stefan Vogel
Estonian Chemical Society Nicholas Gathergood
Finnish Chemical Society Jari Yli-Kauhaluoma
French Chemical Society Gilberte Chambaud
Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker – GDCh Wolfram Koch
German Bunsen Society for Physical Chemistry Eckart Rühl
Association of Greek Chemists Triantafyllia Sideri
Hungarian Chemical Society Livia Sarkadi
Institute of Chemistry of Ireland Patrick Hobbs
Israel Chemical Society Ehud Keinan
Italian National Board of Chartered Chemists Nausicaa Orlandi
Italian Chemical Society Raffaele Riccio
Royal Netherlands Chemical Society Jan-Willem Toering
Norwegian Chemical Society Harald Walderhaug
Polish Chemical Society Jerzy Błażejowski
Portuguese Chemical Society Artur Silva
Portuguese Electrochemical Society Luísa Margarida Martins
Romanian Chemical Society Michaela Dina Stanescu
Mendeleev Russian Chemical Society Sergei Shtykov
Russian Scientific Council on Analytical Chemistry Boris Spivakov
Slovak Chemical Society Viktor Milata
Slovenian Chemical Society Venčeslav Kaučič
Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry Jesus Jimenez Barbero
Spanish Society for Analytical Chemistry Elena Dominguez
ANQUE Ernesto Castañeda
Catalan Chemical Society Carles Bo
Swedish Chemical Society Helena Grennberg
Swiss Chemical Society David Spichiger
UK Royal Society of Chemistry John Holman