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Extra resources for Encyclopaedia of Biological Disaster Management: vol. 9. Toxic Gases and Disaster Management
Eyes are especially susceptible to Vesicants. Inhalation of Vesicants can cause lung membranes to swell and become filled with liquid (pulmonary edema). Death may result from lack of oxygen. Vesicants are also systemic agents and readily pass through the skin to affect susceptible tissue including those that produce blood. Sulfur Vesicants are carcinogenic. , breaks in the skin or penetration of skin by debris). Exposure Hazards (See Specific Agent in Agent Index): Skin impacts from Sulfur Vesicant vapor occur at concentrations as low as 15 ppm (10 minute exposure).
Sensations range from mild prickling to almost intolerable pain resembling a severe bee sting. Direct contact of the agent with the skin produces a corrosive type lesion. Skin lesions may not fully heal for over 2 months. Inhalation of Urticant vapor can cause lung membranes to swell and become filled with liquid (pulmonary edema). Death may result from lack of oxygen. Pathways: Urticants are hazardous through inhalation, skin and eye exposure, and ingestion. 04 ppm (10 minute exposure). 6 ppm (one minute exposure).
Persistency: Nitrogen Vesicants are among the most persistent agents and, under proper conditions, remain hazardous in soils for years. Environmental Fate: Vapors from Nitrogen Vesicants have a density greater than air and tend to collect in low places. Liquids are very persistent. These agents are absorbed into porous material, including painted surfaces, and these materials could continue to re-release vapor after exposure has ceased. Solubility in water ranges from sparingly soluble to insoluble.