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Landmines

Related Terms

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Background

  • Landmines are explosive devices that are triggered by pressure, movement, or sound; they are sometimes detonated by tripwires. Landmines are also known as anti-personnel landmines (APLs) and anti-vehicle (anti-tank) mines. Anti-personnel mines are placed on or under the ground and are activated by the contact and proximity of a person. Anti-vehicle mines are designed to explode in the proximity of a vehicle, and are placed on or near transportation pathways and roads.
  • The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) defines an anti-personnel landmine as a mine designed to cause casualties to personnel. Anti-personnel mines have been used in numerous wars and conflicts, including the Vietnam War and the first Gulf War. Anti- personnel mines were created as a measure of defense, to protect anti-tank mines (anti-vehicle mines) from being removed by enemy soldiers, and also to protect camps or key locations.
  • The earliest known casualty from a landmine occurred during the U.S. Civil War in 1862, when a Union soldier was killed by a Confederate landmine. During the Russo-Japanese war (1902-1906), landmines were engaged on a small scale; by the end of World War One (WWI), the use of anti-vehicle mines and anti-personnel mines had become common. During World War Two (WWII), landmines were used in large quantities throughout war zones. In 1945, France began to clear landmines throughout Western Europe, and by 1950, several million landmines had been successfully removed. Nonetheless, some areas of France and Denmark contain hidden WWII landmines that are still dangerous.
  • Seventy-eight countries across Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas are known to contain areas contaminated with uncleared landmines, many of which remain hidden.
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Technique

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Theory/Evidence

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Health Impact/Safety

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Future Research or Applications

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.