Injuries Caused by White Phosphorus Bombing as a Crisis in Gaza Strip

Document Type : Mini-review


1 Human Genetics Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Pharmacotherapy Department, Faculty of Pharmacy, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

4 Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

5 Applied Biotechnology Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



White phosphorus, a chemical compound with highly flammable and smoke-generating properties, is extensively used in military weaponry. Consequently, this substance is regarded as very dangerous. The risk of harm or fatality resulting from contact with WP is heightened when it is inhaled, ingested, or absorbed by the skin. There is a correlation between this risk and the probability of mortality. This research thoroughly investigates the possible ramifications of being exposed to WP, including systemic toxicity and deep tissue burns. The text covers the process of igniting, the generation of dense smoke with a characteristic garlicky aroma, and associated subjects. Performing laboratory tests, including measuring creatinine, potassium, calcium, serum phosphorus levels, and liver enzymes and conducting blood gas analysis, is essential for accurately diagnosing phosphorus poisoning based on the patient's symptoms. Promptly extracting the individual exposed from the origin of contamination, cleansing the impacted skin or injuries with frigid water or a saline solution, and cautiously managing phosphorus particles to avert more igniting are all crucial elements of immediate post-exposure treatment. It is essential to see an ophthalmologist promptly upon detecting any indications of an eye injury and to wash the area thoroughly with water or a saline solution. Immediate medical intervention is necessary to carry out a thorough assessment and treatment. The Israel Defense Forces' use of white phosphorous in densely populated areas of Gaza throughout the war raises significant moral and humanitarian concerns. Exposure to WP poses a considerable danger to workers because of its pyrotechnic and smoke-generating properties, which may lead to systemic poisoning and significant tissue damage. This article examines the use of White Phosphorus by the Israel Defense Forces, elucidating the challenges in preventing injury and the possible consequences for innocent bystanders. The use of WP serves as evidence of the very intricate ethical dilemmas associated with the deployment of chemical weapons in modern warfare. Enhanced understanding and accountability in executing military operations are necessitated as a consequence.


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