poison gas


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poison 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. Vesicants (blister gases) produce blisters on all body surfaces (see lewisitelewisite
, liquid chemical compound used as a poison gas. Like mustard gas and nitrogen mustard, it is a blistering agent; when inhaled, it is a powerful respiratory irritant.
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; mustard gasmustard gas,
chemical compound used as a poison gas in World War I. The burning sensation it causes on contact with the skin is similar to that caused by oil from black mustard seeds.
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); lacrimators (tear gastear gas,
gas that causes temporary blindness through the excessive flow of tears resulting from irritation of the eyes. The gas is used in chemical warfare and as a means for dispersing mobs.
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) produce severe eye irritation; sternutators (vomiting gases) cause nausea; nerve gasesnerve 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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 inhibit proper nerve function; and lung irritants attack the respiratory tract, causing pulmonary edema. By the middle of the 19th cent. the possibility of the use of poison gas as a weapon was already envisaged and was viewed by most people with a peculiar horror—a feeling that has persisted. The first effective use of poison gas came in World War I, when the Germans released (1915) chlorine gas against the Allies in the Ypres sector of the Western Front. The success was immediate, but the attackers, uncertain as to the effect, failed to pursue the retreating French. Shortly afterward protective measures (see gas maskgas mask,
face covering or device used to protect the wearer from injurious gases and other noxious materials by filtering and purifying inhaled air. In addition to military use (see chemical warfare), gas masks are employed in mining, in industrial chemistry, and by firemen and
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) were introduced as both sides used gas more extensively. The gas shell (much more suitable than wind-blown gas) was introduced by the French. Gas did not have any dominant influence on the course of the war, but it did seem to point toward wide-scale use in the future. However, except for the use of poison gas by the Italians in the war against Ethiopia (1935–36) and by the Japanese against Chinese guerrillas (1937–42), poison gas was not generally employed in warfare after World War I out of fear of retribution, even though the military powers of the world continued to develop new gases. Poison gas was used in the Iran-Iraq War, and Iraq under Saddam Hussein used poison gas on its own civilians, in particular the Kurds. In the Persian Gulf War, the UN troops were equipped with antidotes for nerve gas, protective clothing, and gas masks in case Iraq used poison gas. Poison gas also has been used during the Syrian civil war (2010s). An international treaty (signed 1993, in force from 1997) banning the production, stockpiling (both by 2007), and use of chemical weapons and calling for the establishment of an independent organization to verify compliance has been ratified by all but a handful of nations and is enforced by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical WeaponsOrganization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
(OPCW), international body (est. 1997) responsible for the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which aims at the destruction of all chemical weapons. The CWC was adopted in 1992 and came into force in 1997.
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. 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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.

poison gas

[′pȯiz·ən ′gas]
(materials)
A substance employed in chemical warfare to disable enemy troops; may be a gas, or a liquid or solid that gives off a gas. An example is mustard gas.
References in periodicals archive ?
The great puzzle about poison gas use in Syria is that it has no plausible military purpose.
Price argued that one "very plausible explanation for the origins of the ostracism of chemical weapons is their close kinship to poison, a method of warfare thought to have been condemned throughout the ages as treacherous and cowardly." (1) After the first successful poison gas attack by the Germans at Ypres in 1915, British commander Sir John French (1852-1925) said that he regretted "the fighting has been characterized on the enemy's side, by cynical and barbarous disregard of the well-known usages of civilized war." (2) Barbarous and uncivilized were characterizations that would be repeated throughout the First World War with regard to chemical weapons.
"The United States is supporting these animals, who used poison gas against the civilian population," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote in a statement posted to social media.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights , which reports on the Syria conflict using activists on the ground, said it confirmed Daesh used a poison gas attack near Tel Brak on June 28.
The YPG militia said poison gas had been used in attacks on June 28 and June 29 against YPG-held areas in the northeastern province of Hasaka.
rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and poison gas towards local residents, shooting
It alleges that the poison gas attack in Damascus last August that killed more than a 1,000 people, and almost triggered a massive US air attack on Syria, was not really carried out by Bashar Al Assad's tyrannical regime (which the US wants to overthrow).
13 ( ANI ): Both sides in Syria's bloody civil war have accused each other for a new poison gas attack that reportedly caused 'suffocation and poisoning' of residents.
There ought to be no more poison gas shells raining down on innocent civilians, as happened this summer in Damascus, where 1,400 people, mostly women and children, were massacred.
Syria's use of poison gas prompted a international response greater than a hundred thousand deaths and two million refugees: a threat of American missile attack on the Assad government and an agreement that the Syrian gas stockpile must be surrendered and disarmed.
The use of poison gas in a Middle Eastern civil war does not mean that North Korea or anybody else is going to use it on Americans.
We need a policy response that simultaneously deters another Syrian poison gas attack, doesn't embroil the United States in the Syrian civil war and also doesn't lead to the sudden collapse of the Syrian state with all its chemical weapons, or, worse, a strengthening of the Syrian regime and its allies Hezbollah and Iran.