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What does mustard gas do?

Mustard gas, or sulfur mustard (Cl-CH 2 CH 2) 2 S, is a chemical agent that causes severe burning of the skin, eyes and respiratory tract. It can be absorbed into the body through inhalation, ingestion or by coming into contact with the skin or eyes. First used during World War I, the gas is effective at incapacitating its victims en masse.

What is ‘mustard gas’ and what is it used for? Mustard gas was used to lethal effect during World War I, and early gas masks offered little protection. Mustard gas, or sulfur mustard (Cl-CH 2CH 2) 2S, is a chemical agent that causes severe burning of the skin, eyes and respiratory tract.

What is mustard gas and is it harmful? Mustard gas is a vesicant that was first used in chemical warfare in World War I, but is now only used in small amounts in research studies involving alkylating agents. Exposure to this substance is corrosive to the eyes, skin and lungs and leads to blindness and blistering of the skin and can cause severe and sometimes fatal respiratory damage. Mustard gas is a mutagen and is a known carcinogen that is associated with an increased risk of developing lung and other respiratory tract cancers

What were the dangers of mustard gas?

The Institute of Medicine believes the following conditions are related to mustard gas exposure:

  • Respiratory cancers (nasopharyngeal, laryngeal, and lung)
  • Skin cancer
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Leukemia
  • Laryngitis
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Asthma
  • Chronic conjunctivitis
  • Chronic keratitis

What are the long term effects of mustard gas? Long-term mustard gas effects can include much graver consequences. If sulfur gas is not removed from the skin relatively quickly, second and third-degree burns may appear. Breathing-based exposure may lead to chronic respiratory disease or in some cases death.