Mustard Gas, hold the Mayo

REading an article refering this so I checks. The below are samplues.

While lesser cooks spent time gathering ingredients, Duncan organized a cooking session as would a chef at a four-star restaurant. He assigned helpers to cut open bottles of ingredients. Others dumped products in mixing vats.

At any time, one or two persons would be shopping in area stores — often Wal-Marts, Kmarts or Price Choppers — for large quantities of some fairly ordinary ingredients: boxes of matches; cans of camping fuel; bottles of nail-polish remover.

Combined, all these are potentially deadly, which gave Duncan another incentive not to cook at his home.

He’d mix these ingredients with piles of cold and asthma medicines. Then he’d pour them through coffee filters to separate out the heart of meth: pseudoephedrine, an over-the-counter drug that could be converted into an illegal high.

The end result looked like pieces from a broken windowpane, although wet. He flattened them into Pyrex casserole dishes to dry for a couple of hours.

During the cooking session, the room would fill with combustible gases, one reason meth houses commonly catch fire or explode.

Worse, if the room temperature rose to 87 degrees, a deadly purple fog would steam off the chemical cocktail. Breathing the fog directly could cause brain damage or death. Overheat another of the chemicals in meth, and it would turn into lethal mustard gas.

Casual cooks use fans to speed the fog outside. Duncan piped his into a sealed bucket of kitty litter. Police think he dumped the litter onto sandpiles on school playgrounds.

Through the years, chemical splashes scarred his arms and sampling his product clouded his brain.

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Meth labs are one of the most dangerous areas that federal agency’s raid each year. The gases that are produced by meth are not only toxic, but have the ability to explode at any moment. Here is a list of just some of the toxins in meth: chloroform, used today in Freon refrigerant. Ether which can be found in aerosol propellant, hydrogen chloride, which can be found in toilet bowl cleaner, and lithium, used to fuse metal during welding and soldering.

This combination can cause trouble because none of these ingredient above are nutritional or healthy for the human body. The fumes that chemicals give off can also be lethal. Phospine gas, one of the gas produced during the production of meth is highly explosive. Lack of ventilation, and over heating are two components that usually are to blame for massive explosions that leave victims dead or severely burned. That is why it is important for federal agency to crack down on meth labs and ingredients need to support meth labs. Unfortunately, the innocent civilian is subject to the rules and regulations of the government regarding over the counter drugs containing these ingredients.

 

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The process of cooking meth requires many dangerous procedures. For example, if red phosphorous overheats, it creates phosphine gas, a highly toxic gas if inhaled. Many chemical reactions may create toxic gases, while others may cause explosions. Small mistakes may cause large explosions or gas leaks and many fatalities. Chemicals such as ammonia or alkali metals are very reactive with one another, and are a leading cause of meth lab explosions.

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NEW BEDFORD — The fisherman who was blistered and hospitalized after dredging up a chemical catch suffered from rare mustard gas exposure, according to Edward Boyer, chief of the division of medical toxicology at the UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester.

UMass Medical Center sent blood and urine samples to a state laboratory in Boston, which made the confirmation, said Boyer, who is also a professor of emergency medicine at UMass Medical School.

“There have been five exposures to mustard gas in the United States that we know of since World War I … that have been published in the literature,” he said Tuesday.

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The Air Raid on Bari was an air attack by German bombers on Allied forces and shipping in BariItaly on 2 December 1943 during World War II. In the attack, 105 German Junkers Ju 88 bombers of Luftflotte 2, achieving complete surprise, bombed shipping and personnel operating in support of the AlliedItalian campaign, sinking 17 cargo and transport ships in Bari harbor.

The attack, which lasted a little more than one hour, put the port out of action until February 1944 and was called the “Little Pearl Harbor“. The release ofmustard gas from one of the wrecked cargo ships added to the loss of life. For various reasons, the British and American governments covered-up the presence of mustard gas and its effects on victims of the raid.

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Mustard agents are regulated under the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Three classes of chemicals are monitored under this Convention, with sulfur and nitrogen mustard grouped in Schedule 1, as substances with no use other than chemical warfare. Mustard agents can be deployed on the battlefield via spraying from aircraft, or more typically by means of air-dropped bombs or artillery shells.

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Sulfur mustard is the organic compound described with the formula (Cl-CH2CH2)2S. In the Depretz method, sulfur mustard is synthesized by treating sulfur dichloridewith ethylene:

SCl2 + 2 C2H4 → (Cl-CH2CH2)2S

In the Meyer method, thiodiglycol is produced from chloroethanol and potassium sulfide and chlorinated with phosphorus trichloride:[4]

3 (HO-CH2CH2)2S + 2 PCl3 → 3 (Cl-CH2CH2)2S + 2 P(OH)3

In the Meyer-Clarke method, concentrated hydrochloric acid (HCl) instead of PCl3 is used as the chlorinating agent:

(HO-CH2CH2)2S + 2 HCl → (Cl-CH2CH2)2S + 2 H2O

Thionyl chloride and phosgene have also been used as chlorinating agents.

It is a viscous liquid at normal temperatures. The pure compound has a melting point of 14 °C (57 °F) and decomposes before boiling at 218 °C (424.4 °F).

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The vesicant property of mustard gas can be neutralised by oxidation orchlorination, using household bleach (sodium hypochlorite), or by nucleophilic attack using e.g. decontamination solution “DS2” (2% NaOH, 70% diethylenetriamine, 28%ethylene glycol monomethyl ether) can be used. After initial decontamination of the victim’s wounds is complete, medical treatment is similar to that required by any conventional burn. The amount of pain and discomfort suffered by the victim is comparable as well. Mustard gas burns heal slowly, and, as with other types of burn, there is a risk of sepsis caused by pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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Mustard gas is referred to by numerous other names, including HDsenfgas,sulfur mustardblister gass-lostlostKampfstoff LOSTyellow cross liquid, and Yperite. The abbreviation LOST comes from the names Lommel and Steinkopf, who developed a process for mass producing the gas for war use at the German companyBayer AG. This involved reacting thiodiglycol withhydrochloric acid.

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In its history, several varieties and mixtures of sulfur mustard have been employed. Some of those varieties are listed below:

  • H – Also known as HS (“Hun Stuff”) or Levinstein mustard. Manufactured by reacting dry ethylene withsulfur monochloride under controlled conditions. Undistilled sulfur mustard contains 20–30% impurities, for which reason it does not store as well as HD. Also, as it decomposes, it increases in vapor pressure, making the munition it is contained in likely to split, especially along a seam, thus releasing the agent to the atmosphere[1]
  • HD – Codenamed Pyro by the British, and Distilled Mustard by the US[1]Distilled sulfur mustard (bis(2-chloroethyl) sulfide); approximately 96% pure. The term “mustard gas” usually refers to this variety of sulfur mustard.
  • HT – Codenamed Runcol by the British, and Mustard T- mixture by the US[1]. A mixture of 60% sulfur mustard (HD) and 40% T ([[bis[2-(2-chloroethylthio)ethyl] ether]], a related vesicant with lower freezing point lower volatility and similar vesicant characteristics).
  • HL – A blend of distilled mustard (HD) and lewisite (L), originally intended for use in winter conditions due to its lower freezing point compared to the pure substances.
  • HQ – A blend of distilled mustard (HD) and sesquimustard (Q) (Gates and Moore 1946).
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 In 1886, Viktor Meyer published a paper describing a synthesis which produced good yields. He reacted 2-chloroethanol with aqueouspotassium sulfide and treated the resulting thiodiglycol with phosphorus trichloride. The purity of this compound was much higher and the adverse health effects on exposure consequently much more severe. These symptoms presented themselves in an assistant, and in order to rule out that the assistant was suffering from a mental illness (faking the symptoms) Meyer had the compound tested on rabbits, which consequently died. In 1913, English chemist Hans T. Clarke (of Eschweiler-Clarke fame) replaced phosphorus trichloride by hydrochloric acid in Meyers recipe while working with Emil Fischer in Berlin. Clarke was hospitalized for 2 months for burns after a flask broke, and according to him Fisher’s subsequent report on this incident to the German Chemical Society set Germany on the chemical weapons track[2]Germanyin World War I relied on the Meyer-Clarke method with a 2-chloroethanol infrastructure already in place in the dye industry of that time. Mustard gas was first used effectively in World War Iby the German army against British soldiers near Ypres in July 1917 and later also against theFrench — Second Army. The name Yperite comes from its usage by the German army near the city of Ypres. The Allies did not use mustard until November 1917 at Cambrai, and this was only because they captured a large stock of German mustard-filled shells. It took the British over a year to develop their own mustard gas weapon (their only option was the Despretz–Niemann–Guthrie process), first using it in September 1918 during the breaking of theHindenburg Line. Mustard gas was dispersed as an aerosol in a mixture with other chemicals, giving it a yellow-brown color and a distinctive odor. Mustard gas has also been dispersed in such munitions as aerial bombs, land mines, mortar rounds, howitzer rounds, and rockets[1]. Mustard gas was lethal in only about 1% of cases. Its effectiveness was as an incapacitating agent. The countermeasures against the gas were quite ineffective, since a soldier wearing agas mask was not protected against absorbing it through the skin. Furthermore, mustard gas was a persistent agent which would remain in the environment for days and continue to cause sickness. If mustard gas contaminated a soldier’s clothing and equipment, then other soldiers he came into contact with would also be poisoned. Towards the end of the war it was even used in high concentrations as an area-denial weapon, which often forced soldiers to abandon heavily contaminated positions. Since then, mustard gas has also been reportedly used in several wars, often where the side it is used against cannot retaliate:[3]
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How difficult is it to make mustard gas?

Making mustard gas is easier than making nerve gases but harder than “weaponizing” industrial chemicals such as chlorine, experts say. Without special equipment, an individual probably couldn’t make enough mustard gas to kill large numbers of people.

Have terrorists ever used mustard gas?

No. But there are unconfirmed reports that groups linked to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network tried to obtain the ingredients to make mustard gas in Afghan labs.

How does mustard gas compare with other deadly chemicals such as sarin and VX?

Mustard gas is a blister agent, which limits its appeal as a weapon because it is less likely to prove deadly than nerve agents like sarin and VX. But depending on the level of exposure, mustard gas can also leave victims with more lasting injuries. Dr. Jean Pascal Zanders of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) says that terrorists might consider using mustard gas to cause economic or social disruption—by contaminating a transportation route, for instance—but probably wouldn’t use it to cause mass casualties.

Has mustard gas been used against civilians?

Yes. Saddam Hussein used mustard gas on Kurds in northern Iraq during a 1987-88 campaign known as the Anfal. The worst attack occurred in March 1988 in the Kurdish villageof Halabja; a combination of chemical agents including mustard gas and sarin killed 5,000 people and left 65,000 others with severe skin and respiratory diseases, abnormal rates of cancer and birth defects, and a devastated environment. Experts say Saddam launched about 280 chemical attacks against the Kurds.

 

 

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