MUSTARD gas has been found in old military shells at a disused US World War II ammunition dump in Queensland.
The ordnance was found at Columboola, near Miles in Queensland Australia, and was to be used against the Japanese during the war in the Pacific.
Mustard gas is a chemical agent that attacks the skin and eyes, mustard gas is a potent chemical weapon. It causes severe blisters and, if inhaled, can damage the lungs and other organs.
It is not generally known that the US handled chemical ordnance in World War II, so when the old shells were inspected by Defence technicians who were going to release them as donations to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra there was surprise.
Several items gave off positive indications for the presence of mustard gas blister agents, the Australian Defence department said.
It is not general knowledge that the US engaged in chemical warefare against the Japanese during WWII and the presence of mustard gas on the wartime shells is providing evidence as to just how far into a chemical war the US were conducting.