nerve gas

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Related to nerve agent: Blood agent, Choking agent

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.
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 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.
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, 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.
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, 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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, 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.
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. 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.
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 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.
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.
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nerve gas

[′nərv ′gas]
(chemistry)
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

nerve gas

(esp in chemical warfare) any of various poisonous gases that have a paralysing effect on the central nervous system that can be fatal
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
"The BBC Panorama programme, broadcast last year, on the Salisbury nerve agent attack was informative and a well-balanced documentary and it's disappointing that they want to follow it up with a drama."
This causes a spectrum of muscle activity ranging from bronchospasm, skeletal muscle fasciculations, tetany, and eventual complete fatigue and skeletal muscle paralysis, depending on the dose of nerve agent absorbed.
Moscow has denied involvement in the nerve agent attack in Britain, and has also denied interference in the 2016 election.
Police said they suffered the effects of an alleged nerve agent.
Britain blamed Russia for the poisonings and identified the poison as Novichok, a deadly group of nerve agents developed by the Soviet military in the 1970s and 1980s.
Sturgess is the first person to die after coming in contact with the Russian nerve agent.
British police launched a murder inquiry Sunday after a woman died following exposure to the nerve agent Novichok in southwest England, four months after the same type of chemical was used against a former Russian spy in an attack blamed on Moscow.
London [UK], Jul 9 ( ANI ): Dawn Sturgess, a 44-year-old British woman who was exposed to a nerve agent novichok, died on Sunday in hospital, reported the New York Times.
Amesbury is not far from the city of Salisbury where a former Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter were poisoned by the same type of nerve agent in March.
The Kremlin said on Thursday it had offered Britain its assistance in investigating a nerve agent attack on a Russian former spy and his daughter in Salisbury in March long ago, but had been rebuffed.
Two British citizens are critically ill after they were exposed to Novichok, the same nerve agent that struck down a former Russian agent and his daughter in March, Britain's top counter-terrorism officer said on Wednesday.