PART B - BLOOD AND CHOKING AGENTS
Blood and choking agents primarily enter the body through the
These agent are nonpersistent agents.
normally effective only against personnel not wearing protective masks and
The standard protective mask gives adequate protection against
the mask is needed when liquid AC is handled. Blood agents produce their
effects by interfering with normal utilization of oxygen within the body.
Inhalation is the usual route of entry. Hydrogen cyanide (AC) and cyanogen
chloride (CK) are the important agents in this group.
also acts as a choking agent. These agents can be dispersed by artillery or
mortar shells, rockets, aircraft spray, and bombs.
a. Blood Agent (AC). Blood agent AC (Hydrogen Cyanide) is a colorless,
highly volatile liquid. It is highly soluble and stable in water. It has a
faint odor, like peach kernels or bitter almonds, and sometimes cannot be
detected even in lethal concentrations.
The central nervous system, particularly the respiratory
center, is especially susceptible to AC, and respiratory failure is the
usual cause of death. In high concentrations, the amount of AC inhaled in a
few breaths may be enough to cause immediate death without anatomical
changes. After exposure to lower concentrations, there may be small areas
of hemorrhage and softening in the brain which are more pronounced in
delayed deaths. Death from AC leaves the blood well oxygenated and the skin
has a pink color similar to that seen in carbon monoxide poisoning.