Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Wikipedia.
Related to nerve gas: mustard gas
nerve gas,any of several poison gasespoison gas,
any of various gases sometimes used in warfare or riot control because of their poisonous or corrosive nature. These gases may be roughly grouped according to the portal of entry into the body and their physiological effects.
..... Click the link for more information. intended for military use, e.g., tabuntabun
, liquid chemical compound used as a nerve gas. It boils at 240°C; with some decomposition. The liquid is colorless to brownish; its vapors have a fruity odor similar to that of bitter almonds. The liquid is absorbed through the skin, but the vapor is not.
..... Click the link for more information. , sarinsarin
, volatile liquid used as a nerve gas. It boils at 147°C; but evaporates quickly at room temperature; its vapor is colorless and odorless. Chemically, sarin is fluoroisopropoxymethylphosphine oxide; it is more toxic than tabun or soman.
..... Click the link for more information. , somansoman,
colorless liquid used as a nerve gas. It boils at 167°C;, evolving an odorless vapor. It is rapidly absorbed through the skin; death may result within 15 min of exposure. In nonfatal concentrations it is hazardous to the eyes.
..... Click the link for more information. , and VXVX
, nerve gas several times more toxic than sarin but less volatile. It kills within minutes if inhaled or deposited on the skin; protection from VX would require both protective suits and masks.
..... Click the link for more information. . Nerve gases were first developed by Germany during World War II but were not used at that time. These gases generally cause death by asphyxiation, often preceded by such symptoms as blurred vision, excessive salivation, and convulsions. Physiologically, the toxic effect of nerve gases arises because they inactivate the enzyme cholinesterase, which normally controls the transmission of nerve impulses; the impulses continue without control, causing breakdown of respiration and other body functions. Atropineatropine
, alkaloid drug derived from belladonna and other plants of the family Solanaceae (nightshade family). Available either as the tincture or extract of belladonna, or as the pure substance atropine sulfate, it is a depressant of the parasympathetic nervous system.
..... Click the link for more information. is an effective antidote against most nerve gases. See also chemical warfarechemical warfare,
employment in war of incendiaries, poison gases, and other chemical substances. Ancient armies attacking or defending fortified cities threw burning oil and fireballs. A primitive type of flamethrower was employed as early as the 5th cent. B.C.
..... Click the link for more information. .
nerve gas[′nərv ′gas]
Chemical agent which is absorbed into the body by breathing, by ingestion, or through the skin, and affects the nervous and respiratory systems and various body functions; an example is isopropylphosphonofluoridate.
(esp in chemical warfare) any of various poisonous gases that have a paralysing effect on the central nervous system that can be fatal