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 ISU 152  
A chemical agent is a substance which is intended for use in military operations to kill, seriously injure or incapacitate people because of its physiological effects. Excluded from this definition are riot control agents, herbicides, smoke and flame.
Tabun (GA)
VX
CS
   Tabun (GA)
Tabun, also known as “GA”, is a man-made chemical warfare agent classified as a nerve agent (nerve agents the most toxic and rapidly acting of the known chemical warfare agents) and it was originally developed as a pesticide in Germany in 1936. Tabun is a clear, colorless, tasteless liquid with a faint fruity odor, it can become a vapor if heated. Tabun can be absorbed through any body surface, but vaporized Tabun is absorbed through the respiratory tract and conjunctiva. Clothing in contact with liquid form releases vapors within 30 minutes after exposure. Tabun mixes easily with water, so it could be used to poison water. Tabun acts by inhibiting neuro-muscular functions such as respiratory failure. This typically occurs within a few hours. Mild or moderately exposed people usually recover completely. Severely exposed people are not likely to survive.

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   VX
VX, the most lethal nerve gas agent, was developed in the United Kingdom in the early 1950s. VX is an oily liquid that is amber in color and very slow to evaporate. It evaporates about as slowly as motor oil. VX is odorless and tasteless. People can be exposed through skin contact, eye contact, or inhalation (breathing in the VX mist). Symptoms of overexposure may occur within minutes or hours, depending upon the dose. VX is the most potent of all nerve agents. Doses which are potentially life threatening may be only slightly larger than those producing least effects. Death usually occurs within 15 minutes after absorption of a fatal dosage. It is possible that any visible VX liquid contact on the skin, unless washed off immediately, would be lethal.

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   CS
CS, which stands for 0-chlorobenzalmalononitrile, is actually a white solid powder usually mixed with a dispersal agent, like methylene chloride, which carries the particles through the air. CS is a riot control agent (sometimes referred to as “tear gas”, chemical compound that temporarily make people unable to function by causing irritation to the eyes, mouth, throat, lungs, and skin.) Physical effects of this tear gas are felt almost immediately. They are: severe burning in the eyes, involuntary closing of the eyes, copious tearing, extreme burning in the nose, tendency to breathe through the mouth, extreme burning in the throat, coughing, consciousness of pain, holding of breath, breathing and heart rate slows down, blood pressure rises, circulation on the periphery of the body shuts down. The effects of exposure to a riot control agent are usually short-lived (15–30 minutes) after the person has been removed from the source and decontaminated (cleaned off). Riot control agents are used by law enforcement officials for crowd control and by individuals and the general public for personal protection (for example, pepper spray).

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