nerve gas


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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.
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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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.

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.

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
References in periodicals archive ?
It makes the military look very negligent and supports the allegation that these men were exposed to nerve gas.
April 24, 1997 -- Asahara pleads not guilty to all charges, except for a VX nerve gas attack on a man.
His lawyers argued Asahara had lost control over his flock by the time of the March 20, 1995, attack with the nerve gas, sarin.
Of the three buildings, two are laboratories of AUM scientists who allegedly produced the sarin nerve gas.
Exposure to the nerve gas sarin killed 10 people and injured 5,000.
Chemical warfare agents-including the type of nerve gas used in last year's Tokyo subway terrorist attack-can kill quickly unless neutralized immediately after release.
Once, the season meant a continuous procession of tractors pulling insecticide sprayers, contraptions with nozzles and fans spewing clouds of insect nerve gas over the trees and the aphids plaguing them.
Under the terms of the CRADA, Maas BiolAB and WRAIR will further collaborate to develop the Maas patented cyclosporin neuroprotection formula NeuroSTAT(R) in models of military traumatic brain injury and nerve gas poisoning.
On March 20, 1995, AUM members released sarin nerve gas on Tokyo subway trains, killing 12 people and seriously injuring 14 others.
THE High Court yesterday quashed the verdict of an inquest into the death of a serviceman who died nearly 50 years ago during nerve gas tests at Porton Down.
AL-QAEDA could be planning an Independence Day nerve gas attack on New York's subway.
Mr Maddison from Swindon, Wiltshire, died after he was allegedly given a 200mg dose of sarin nerve gas in May 1953 at the MOD's Porton Down laboratories on Salisbury Plain.