Nerve Agent The nerve agents are a group of particularly toxic chemical warfare agents. They were developed just before and during World War II and are related chemically to the organophosphorus insecticides. In the pure state nerve agents are colorless and mobile liquids. The principle agents in this group are: • GA - tabun • GB - sarin • GD - soman • VX - methylphosphonothioic acid The "G" agents tend to be non-persistent whereas the "V" agents are persistent.
Nerve Agent The nerve agents kill in minutes through skin, eye or respiration. The rapid action of nerve agents call for immediate self treatment. Unexplained nasal secretion, salivation, tightness of the chest, shortness of breath, constriction of pupils, muscular twitching, or nausea and abdominal cramps call for the immediate intramuscular injection of 2 mg of atropine, combined if possible with oxime.
Blister Agents Blister or vesicant agents are likely to be used both to produce casualties and to force opposing troops to wear full protective equipment thus degrading fighting efficiency, rather than to kill, although exposure to such agents can be fatal. Blister agents can be used to contaminate terrain, ships, aircraft, vehicles or equipment with a persistent hazard. Vesicants burn and blister the skin or any other part of the body they contact. They act on the eyes, mucous membranes, lungs, skin and blood-forming organs. They damage the respiratory tract when inhaled and cause vomiting and diarrhea when ingested. The vesicant agents include: HD - sulfur mustard, or yperite • HN - nitrogen mustard • L - lewisite (arsenical vesicants may be used in a mixture with HD) • CX - phosgene (properties and effects are very different from other vesicants)
Choking agents Chemical agents which attack lung tissue, primarily causing pulmonary edema, are classed as lung damaging agents. To this group belong: • CG - phosgene • DP - diphosgene • Cl - chlorine • PS - chloropicrin The toxic action of phosgene is typical of a certain group of lung damaging agents. Phosgene is the most dangerous member of this group and the only one considered likely to be used in the future. Phosgene was used for the first time in 1915, and it accounted for 80% of all chemical fatalities during World War I. Phosgene is a colorless gas under ordinary conditions of temperature and pressure. It is an extremely volatile and non-persistent agent. Its vapor density is 3.4 times that of air. It may therefore remain for long periods of time in trenches and other low lying areas.
BLOOD AGENTS The name blood agent, like those of other groups of agents, derives from its effect on victims. Blood agents are distributed via the blood and generally enter the body via inhalation. They inhibit the ability of blood cells to utilise and transfer oxygen. Thus, blood agents are poisons that effectively cause the body to suffocate. Examples of blood agents include: <ul><li>AC - Hydrogen Cyanide
CHEMICAL WARFARE CONVENTION <ul><li>Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (usually referred to as the Chemical Weapons Convention)
Plague fleas dropped by Japanese in China (Second Sino-Japanese War) </li></ul></ul></ul>
DEFINITIONS <ul><li>Biological weapon - the use of biological toxins or infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi with intent to kill or incapacitate humans, animals or plants as an act of war.
Biological weapons (often termed "bio-weapons" or "bio-agents") - are living organisms or replicating entities (viruses) that reproduce or replicate within their host victims. </li></ul>
Biological agents <ul><li>Classification based on taxonomy - </li><ul><li>Bacteria (anthrax, plague tularemia )
Against animals (anthrax) </li></ul><li>Based on lethality – Lethal, incapacitating, debilitating </li></ul>
BIOLOGICAL WARFARE CONVENTION <ul><li>Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (usually referred to as the Biological Weapons Convention)