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  • Counter :
  • 540
  • Date :
  • 6/27/2006

Chemical Weapons

SULFUR MUSTARDS

WHAT ARE THEY?


Sulfur mustards are vesicants and alkylating agents, more commonly known as blister agents. They are colorless when pure but are generally a yellow to brown color and have a slight garlic or mustard odor. Sulfur mustard in vapor and liquid forms can be absorbed through the eyes, skin and mucous membranes.

HEALTH EFFECTS:


Sulfur mustards cause skin, eye and respiratory tract injury. They may also cause bone marrow suppression and neurologic and gastrointestinal toxicity. Although cellular changes occur within minutes of contact, pain and other clinical effects are delayed for one to 24 hours.

ANTIDOTE:


There is no antidote for sulfur mustard toxicity. Decontamination of all potentially exposed areas within minutes after exposure is the only effective means of decreasing tissue damage.

POTENCY:


10 milligrams can kill a victim

DELIVERY SYSTEM:


Missiles, bombs, rockets, grenades, artillery shells, crude canisters and landmines.

VX

WHAT IS IT?


VX is a highly toxic compound in both its liquid and vapor form that attacks the central nervous system. It is considered at least 100 times more toxic by entry through the skin than the nerve-agent sarin, and twice as toxic by inhalation. VX can persist for long periods under average weather conditions and for months in very cold conditions.

HEALTH EFFECTS:


VX can cause death minutes after exposure. It can enter the body by inhalation, ingestion, through the eyes and through the skin. Symptoms can vary but commonly include runny nose, water eyes, drooling, excessive sweating, difficulty in breathing, dimness of vision, nausea and twitching. It kills by attacking the body's voluntary muscle and gland "on switch," causing the muscles to tire so they can no longer sustain breathing.

ANTIDOTE:


Immediate treatment is decontamination by removing clothing and flushing the eyes and skin with water. Hospitals in many communities are stocking the antidotes.

POTENCY

:
The relative rate of action on the nervous system is rapid, within 30 minutes. It also has a high persistency, meaning the agent can last for a long time depending on the weather conditions.

DELIVERY SYSTEM:


Ballistic and cruise missiles, combat aircraft-delivered bombs, artillery shells and land mines.

SARIN

WHAT IS IT?


Sarin is a highly toxic compound in both its liquid and vapor state that attacks the central nervous system.

HEALTH EFFECTS:


Sarin can cause death minutes after exposure. It enters the body by inhalation, ingestion, through the eyes and the skin. Symptoms vary but commonly include a runny nose, watery eyes, drooling and excessive sweating, difficulty in breathing, dimness of vision, nausea, vomiting, twitching and headache. It kills by attacking the body's voluntary muscle and gland "on switch," causing the muscles to tire so they can no longer sustain breathing.

ANTIDOTE:


Immediate treatment is decontamination by removing clothing and flushing eyes and skin with water. Hospitals in many communities are stocking the antidotes.

POTENCY:


The relative rate of action is very rapid, within minutes. Its persistency is low and dissipates quickly.

DELIVERY SYSTEM:


Ballistic and cruise missiles, crude canisters, combat aircraft-delivered bombs, artillery shells and land mines.

CHLORINE

WHAT IS IT?


Chlorine is a greenish-yellow gas with a pungent odor that is heavier than air. It reacts violently with many organic compounds, creating a fire and explosion hazard.

HEALTH EFFECTS:


Chlorine is corrosive to the eyes and the skin and can cause tearing, blurred vision and burns. Inhalation may cause labored breathing and lung edema. The symptoms of lung edema often do not manifest until a few hours after exposure. High exposure levels may result in death.

ANTIDOTE:


Fresh air in the case of inhalation and rinsing with plenty of water in case of exposure to skin and eyes

POTENCY:


1,000 ppm likely to be fatal after a few deep breaths

DELIVERY SYSTEM:


Ballistic and cruise missiles, combat aircraft-delivered bombs, artillery shells and land mines.

HYDROGEN CYANIDE

WHAT IS IT?


Hydrogen cyanide is an extremely flammable, colorless gas or liquid. It gives off toxic fumes in a fire and is highly explosive.

HEALTH EFFECTS:


Exposure irritates the eyes, the skin and the respiratory tract. Symptoms are burning and redness for the skin and eyes. Inhalation causes confusion, drowsiness and shortness of breath, leading to collapse. The substance can affect the central nervous system, resulting in impaired respiratory and circulatory functions. Exposure can be fatal.

ANTIDOTE:


Fresh air in the case of inhalation and rinsing with plenty of water in the case of skin or eye exposure.

POTENCY:


Lethal dose for 50 percent of exposed individuals for hydrogen cyanide have been estimated to be 1.1 mg/kg for intravenous administration and 100 mg/kg after skin exposure.

DELIVERY SYSTEM:


Ballistic and cruise missiles, combat aircraft-delivered bombs, artillery shells and land mines.

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