Blood Agent Symptoms
to the body is even more rapid through the surface of the
eye and through the linings of the mouth and nose. A
Symptoms produced by blood agents, such as
lethal dose can be absorbed as rapidly by getting liquid
in the eyes as by inhaling concentrated vapor. When
concentration of the agent and the duration of the
poisonous vapors are swallowed, the first symptoms are
exposure. Typically, either death occurs rapidly or
excess flow of saliva, intestinal cramps, nausea,
recovery takes place within a few minutes after removal
vomiting, and diarrhea. When the nerve agent is
of a victim from the contaminated area. When the victim
absorbed into the system after the victim is exposed to
inhales a high concentration of a blood agent, the victim
liquid or vapor, the symptoms may be generalized
begins to breathe more deeply within a few seconds, has
sweating, difficulty in breathing, muscular weakness,
violent convulsions after 20 to 30 seconds, stops
and eventually convulsions, paralysis, and unconscious-
breathing regularly within 1 minute, then gives
occasional shallow gasps, and finally the heart stops
only a few minutes after the onset of exposure. After
moderate exposure, giddiness, nausea, and headache
appear very early, followed by convulsions and coma.
Long exposure to low concentrations may result in
Immediate contact with LIQUID MUSTARD or
damage to the central nervous system. Mild exposure
MUSTARD VAPOR causes no eye or skin pain or any
may produce headache, giddiness, and nausea, but
other immediate symptoms. Exposure to mustard gas for
usually recovery is complete.
more than half an hour, however, produces these
symptoms: Half an hour to 12 hours after exposure, the
The effects of CYANOGEN CHLORIDE combine
contaminated eyes water, feel gritty, and become
the properties of two agents: chlorine and cyanogen.
progressively sore and bloodshot. The eyelids become
The chlorine properties induce coughing, dryness of the
red and swollen. Infection frequently results.
nose and throat, tightness across the chest, and smarting
and watering of the eyes, resulting finally in the
Mustard vapor will burn any area of the skin, but the
accumulation of fluid in the lungs. Cyanogen is similar
burn will be most severe in moist areas (neck, private
to hydrogen cyanide and, like that agent, causes
parts, groin, armpits, bends of knees, and elbows).
giddiness, headaches, unconsciousness, convulsions,
Redness of the skin follows in one half to 36 hours after
exposure. This condition may be accompanied by
intense itching, and blisters may then appear. Stiffness,
Choking Agent Symptoms
throbbing pain, and swelling may also be observed.
A few hours after breathing mustard vapor, a victim
In low concentrations, choking agents produce an
action on the respiratory system that results in the
experiences irritation of the throat, hoarseness, and
accumulation of fluid in the lungs. This effect may lead
coughing. After severe exposure, the lining of the
to death. High concentrations produce death for the
respiratory system swells and interferes with breathing.
same reason, but the upper respiratory tract may be
Frequently, pneumonia develops.
involved as well. Exposure to choking agents may
When the whole body is exposed to mustard vapor,
produce immediate dryness of the throat, coughing,
the body goes into a state of shock. This reaction is
choking, tightness across the chest, headache, nausea,
accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
and at times, smarting and watering of the eyes.
Symptoms usually are delayed, however, and it is
NITROGEN MUSTARDS irritate the eyes before
possible that no immediate symptoms will appear when
they affect the skin or respiratory system. The action of
you are exposed to a fatal dose.
nitrogen mustards on the eyes occurs in a shorter time
than does mustard. Even low concentrations of these
Even mild exposure to a choking agent that is
agents may seriously decrease vision during or shortly
accompanied by immediate symptoms may cause fluid
after exposure. Later effects are similar to those of
to accumulate in the lungs within 2 to 24 hours after
mustard. Contact of these agents with the skin produces
exposure. The presence of this fluid is indicated by
damage like that produced by mustard, and their effects
shallow and rapid breathing, hacking and painful cough,
on the respiratory system are also similar.
frothy saliva, and an ashen-gray color of the skin.