to a low vapor concentration of agent for a long period of
time may eventually become casualties.
produce marked effects such as redness, inflammation, and
(4) Mustard agents are quickly absorbed through the skin.
Reddening of the affected area may appear any time up to 12
Blisters may appear in a day or less following
the reddening. Healing time varies from 6 days to 8 weeks in
severe cases, particularly those involving moist skin areas,
such as the armpits and crotch.
tissues in the mouth, nose, throat, and lungs.
(6) Blister agents often have a more serious effect than is
immediately apparent. Exposure to some of the mustard agents
may go unnoticed because they usually do not cause any
immediate pain and signs of injury may not appear for several
hours. The vapor of other types of blister agents irritates
the eyes and respiratory tract immediately, and the liquid
stings the skin and causes pain within a few seconds after
c. Blood Agents
Blood agents are usually disseminated as vapors or gases and are taken
into the body by breathing. They affect the circulatory and respiratory
systems by preventing the use of the oxygen carried by the blood. They
cause symptoms ranging from convulsions to coma. After inhaling a high
concentration of blood agent, a soldier may become unconscious and die.
d. Choking Agents
Choking agents are usually disseminated as gases and are taken into the
body by inhalation. They affect the respiratory system by damaging the
lungs and, in extreme cases, cause them to fill with fluid. They produce
the following symptoms: coughing; choking, tightness in the chest,
to 4 hours after exposure, usually follow a period during which the
rapid and shallow breathing, painful cough, discomfort, fatigue, shock,