Chemical Warfare

Chemical Warfare Agents in the Gas Form

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Mustard Gas

Mustard Gas was first released in 1917 by the Germans in WWI. Mustard Gas is a colorless oily liquid at room temperature. But when used as a warfare agent it is a green brown color smelling like mustard or garlic. After being exposed for 4-6 hours burns appear in affected areas followed by reddening of the skin. After the next 16 hours blisters appear causing severe scarring and sometimes even necrosis. Necrosis is the death of most or all of the cells in an organ or tissue due to disease, injury, or failure of the blood supply.

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Sarin (nerve agent)

Sarin is an organophosphate chemical. Exposure in the least amount could be fatal. It was developed in 1938 by German researchers for use as a pesticide. When used as a weapon it acts in the same way as organophosphate insecticides; it blocks nerve endings from allowing the muscles to stop contracting. Death can occur if the muscles controlling breathing become worthless, causing suffocation.

What is Sarin Gas?

VX (nerve agent)

Ranajit Ghosh, a chemist from Great Britain, Discovered VX in 1954. VX has the texture of motor oil. It is tasteless and odorless and can be distributed as a liquid or an aerosol. VX blocks the action of acetylcholine, which stimulates muscle contractions and nerve endings This can lead to endless muscle spasms and contractions. VX symptoms can lead to paralysis in all the muscles in the body, and paralysis of the diaphragm which also leads to death by suffocation. Just one milligram of VX can kill a person. It is approximately 10 times more toxic than the nerve agent sarin.
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