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(zärēn`), volatile liquid used as a nerve gasnerve gas,
any of several poison gases intended for military use, e.g., tabun, sarin, soman, and VX. Nerve gases were first developed by Germany during World War II but were not used at that time.
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. 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 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.
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 or 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.
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. Sarin acts by interfering with cholinesterase, a chemical that transmits impulses from one nerve cell to the next. A gas mask provides adequate protection against the vapor, but the liquid form can also be absorbed through the skin. Sarin was developed by the Nazis during World War II. In 1995 it was used by Aum Shinrikyo, a Japanese religious sect, in a terrorist attack in the Tokyo subway, killing eight people and injuring thousands.



an isopropyl ester of the acid fluoride of methylphosphonic acid:

a toxic substance with neuroparalytic action; a colorless, mobile liquid. Boiling point, 151.5°C, d4/420, 1.094; index of refraction nD20, 1.383; volatility (maximum concentration), 11.3 mg per liter (20°C).

Sarin is miscible with water in any proportion and dissolves readily in organic solvents. It hydrolyzes very slowly with water, much faster in the presence of inorganic acids, and especially rapidly in aqueous alkalies, ammonia, and amines; it forms nontoxic compounds in all cases. These reactions can be used for degassing of sarin.

Sarin has strongly pronounced myotic action (contraction of the pupil); the lethal concentration is about 0.2 mg per liter for an exposure of one min. A gas mask serves as reliable protection against sarin.


Sartori, M. “Novoe v khimii boevykh otravliaiushchikh veshchestv.” Uspekhi khimii, 1954, vol. 23, issue 1.
Stepanov, A. “Otravliaiushchie veshchestva.” Zhurnal Vsesoiuznogo khimicheskogo obshchestva im. D. I. Mendeleeva, 1968, vol. 13, no. 6.


References in periodicals archive ?
As a result, one of the dangers of Sarin gas is its ability to reach far distances from the location of the warhead's original impact.
A total of 13 people, including the cult founder, are on death row for staging a series of heinous crimes that included two rounds of sarin gas attacks in Tokyo and Nagano Prefecture in central Japan in the mid-1990s.
A Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995 killed 12 people and seriously injured 54 more.
After the subway attack with sarin gas, Japanese officials questioning cult members turned up mentions of earlier anthrax releases.
Momoi and Ogata's subject matter is familiar news for people living in Japan: murders carried out by a 14-year-old in Kobe in 1997; a Tokyo mother who killed her neighbor's 2-year-old daughter in 1999; the murder of Lucie Blackman, a club hostess and former flight attendant, in 2000; and Aum's sarin gas attacks in 1995.
The 1994 sarin gas attack in Matsumoto, which killed seven people and injured or made ill 600 others, was carried out by members of the AUM Shinrikyo religious sect, as was the Tokyo subway sarin gas attack in 1995.
On March 20, 1995, several teams of Aum Shinrikyo sect members released aqueous solutions containing highly toxic sarin gas in five Tokyo subway lines during morning rush hour.
In the Tokyo subway attack, 85 percent of the 5,510 patients who went to the hospital were suffering from anxiety, not sarin gas exposure.
One notable failure of a terrorist chemical attack occurred in 1995, when terrorists released sarin gas in the subway system of the city of -- .
Prof Richard Wise, a consultant at Birmingham's City Hospital microbiology department, believes hospital doctors must be ready to deal with terrorist assaults similar to the sarin gas attack in Tokyo in 1995.
Dickinson said the booths are intended for more than the security of soldiers and civilians in faraway lands or as a response to the deadly 1995 sarin gas attack in a Tokyo subway.
Sarin gas was used by the Japanese religious sect AUM Shinrikyo in the 1995 Tokyo subway attack and the 1994 sarin gas incident in Matsumoto, central Japan, that killed more than 10 people and injured thousands.