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Transcript of Nerve Agents
Used "burster charges" to aerosolize the CW
Difficulty: enough charge to aerosolize but less than enough to destroy CW
All of these reactants are in the chemical stockroom here at Cal Poly. (Don't get any ideas)
Historical Uses of Gases between 1920-1950
Physical Effects of Exposure to Nerve Agents
Why weren't Chemical Weapons used in World War II?
Public saw effects of chemical warfare in World War I
Hitler's experience with chemical warfare
Hitler's worry that Allies would retaliate quickly and more effectively
Horses in War
G Series vs. V Series
G is a non-persistent liquid
high vapor pressure
V is a persistent liquid
What is a Nerve Agent?
Organic molecules containing phosphorous
Attack the nervous system (acetylcholinesterase)
Used as chemical weapons
Mild-Moderate Eye Exposure/Inhalation:
Sarin, Cyclosarin, and Soman
Synthesis of VX
Synthesis of Tabun
Synthesis of Sarin
Biological Mechanism of Nerve Agents
Red - Nerve Agent
Yellow - Acetylcholinesterase
Blue - Acetylcholine
2. Phosphorus (V) oxychloride - used in semiconductor and solar panel industry - 10g / $100
Methylphosphonyl difluoride - Schedule 1 substance CWC
Requires as proton sponge
Can be utilized as a binary weapon
pinpoint pupils (miosis)
redness of membranes (conjunctivia)
pain, sense of pressure on eye
runny nose (rhinorrhea)
narrowing of airways/shortness of breath
fluid accumulation in lungs
loss of consiousness
Mild-Moderate Skin Exposure:
Physical Effects of Exposure to Nerve Gases
Limited data available.
Faint fruity odor, like apples, in small quantities
Larger quantities smell like fish
Pralidoxime Chloride (2-PAM Cl)
How much does it take to kill me?
*this room = 424 cubic meters
From the ORGANISATION FOR THE
PROHIBITION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS
31,500 Metric Tonnes
40,000 Metric Tonnes
5,000 Metric Tonnes
1,300 Metric Tonnes
Exposure to low levels of Sarin gas may be a cause of Gulf War Syndrome.
Other possible long-term effects include memory problems, physical fatigue, and visual disturbances.
Nerve Gas Categories
Japanese Unit 731
General Shiro Ishii
POWs of China and Russia and Australia
Third Reich Concentration Camps
Zyklon B (Hydrogen Cyanide w/ stabilizers, (+/-)odorants, adsorbent)
~960,000 inmates gassed in concentration camps
Bruno Tesch - 1946
What Might Have Happened if Germany Had Used Nerve Agents in WWII?
Retaliation of Allies
US and Britain had access to more resources, could have discovered identity of Tabun and Sarin and ways to produce it very quickly
Everyone might have died
The name "Sarin" comes from
mbros of IG Farben and
üdiger and L
de of the Army Ordnance Office
Other names for Sarin: Gelan III and Trilon 46
Other names for Tabun: Gelan I, Substance 83, Trilon 83
Second Sino-Japanese War
Battle of Wuhan
Emperor Showa authorized 375 uses of toxic gases
Note: Trilon B is a chelating agent, tetrasodium EDTA. It is used for cleaning.
Detection of Chemical Agents
Methods used During WW2
Detection of Nerve agents
Methods used During WW2
Chlorobenzene, a solvent used in preparation of Tabun was added to the product to increase both its shelf life and volatility
Detection of Nerve Agents
Nerve agent inhibits acetylcholinesterase
Creates buildup of acetylcholine
M4 Mustard Agent Detector Kit
What does a buildup of Acetylcholine do?
Causes cholinergic crisis:
In the peripheral nervous system:
In the autonomic nervous system:
Skeletal muscles go into violent spasms, then paralysis
Affects smooth muscles and glands that control:
M5 Liquid Detector Paint
M6 Liquid Detection Paper
M9A1 Chemical Agent Detector kit
M-18A2 Detector Kit
Dr. Gerhard Schrader
British Occupation of Mesopotamia
Second Italo-Ethiopian War
Chemical Tests in
St. Louis, Missouri
25 February 1903 – 10 April 1990
Began work at IG Farben working on organophosphates in the area of insecticides
Credited with discovering Tabun
US army tested toxic compounds on citizens of St. Louis Missouri during The Cold War to see if they would be effective against Russian cities.
Agent tested was Zinc Cadmium Sulfide
Many residents who lived near testing sites developed cancer
Italians invaded Ethiopia (earlier known as Abyssinia)
Henry Dale in England and Otto Loewi in Germany research and discover acetylcholine and its connection to nervous system stimulation
British occupied Iraq, known as Mesopotamia at the time
Country wide uprising began in 1920's
Churchill had no reservation towards the use of gas, if advantageous.
Dale and Loewi share the Nobel prize for physiology or medicine in 1936
Richard Kuhn accepts the German army assignment to study the mechanism of action of nerve agents
Creator of VX (1950s)
Worked for Imperial Chemical Industries
A paper roll that is taped to body parts
Only reacts with liquid agents
Any form of red indicates positive for chemical agent (not specific for agents)
Used to check positive result on M9 paper.
Can detect liquid and vapor samples
Tests performed in sequence to prevent false positive
Contains a variety of reagents to test for specific agents.
Involved pumping contaminated air into detection tubes.
Color changes indicate presence of specific chemical agents
Used a blue dye that turned red when exposed to Mustard gas
Decontaminating agent could result in a false reaction.
Contaminated gel drawn through a tube containing silica gel.
Solution turned blue in presence of Mustard Gas, intensity of color reflects concentration.
VX can be a binary agent = VX2
created by combining Agent QL with elemental sulfur
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alleged_British_use_of_chemical_weapons_in_Mesopotamia_in_1920- british use of CW in Mesopotamia
toxicity of different nerve agents
Holocaust Gases - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_chamber
Detection of nerve agents
protective equipment for various concentrations of agents
Symptoms, treatment, long term treatment, protective equipment, decontamination, and different ways the agents can be distributed
Weapons Delivery 1
Sarin - nerve gas mechanism of action
synthesis of VX
synthesis of Tabun
synthesis of sarin
tabun, reactants to buy
what is a schedule 1 substance
respirator fact sheet
notes on belladonna
article on stereochemistry of nerve agents
Both consisted of same dye which reacted with Mustard
Resulted in Italian occupation of Ethiopia.
Churchill's view on the
use of gas
"I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas...I am strongly in favor of the use of gas against uncivilized tribes. The moral effect should be so good that the loss of life be at a minimum."
Italians used Mustard Gas
Violation of 1928 treaty of Friendship and Arbitration
Allegations that British used Mustard gas to stop revolt.
British use in Iraq
Italian use in Ethiopia
U.S. testing in Missouri
Gas Masks in WWII
Were made of activated charcoal from coconuts, chestnuts, horse-chestnuts, or peach stones.
More effective that wood charcoal filters used in WWI gas masks
Churchill: Gas in WW2
"I want a cold blooded calculation made as to how it would pay to use poison gas...we could drench the cities of the Ruhr and many other cities in Germany in such a way that most of the population would be requiring medical attention."
Sarin --> Sauron
NATO adopted Sarin in 1950
Lord of the rings written from 1945-1959
Tolkein Fought in WW1
Only known as "Necromancer" in The Hobbit
Opinions on Chemical Weapons
Now for some perspective