Mustard Gas During World War I
LOST was the original name for mustard gas, it was named after Lommel and Steinkopf. They were the first people who proposed this gas to the military to use as a weapon in 1916. Although mustard gas could possibly been developed as early as 1822 by a French chemist, Cesar-Mansuete Desperetez. Thirty-two years later Alfred Riche repeated this reaction of the sulfur dichloride and ethylene, but both Riche and Desperetez did not note any harsh properties. In 1860, Frederick Gutherie synthesized and described the characteristics of the compound and it’s irritating properties. Another chemist known as a pioneer in cocaine chemistry, Albert Nieman repeated the reaction, and recorded blistering formations.
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Mustard gas appears colorless if pure, but when impurities are present the color ranges from pale yellow to dark brown. There is a small odor garlic or horseradish. Mustards gas is actually not a gas; it is a volatile, very thick liquid. Mustard gas has a molecular weight of 159.08 grams/mole, a density of 1.27 grams/mL; melts at 144ºC, and boils at 217ºC. Mustard agents are regulated under the 1933 Chemical Weapons Convention. Mustard gas was formed in large amounts during World War I and II. Mustard gas was first used in World War I, but was used in the war Iran-Iraq war in 1884-1988. By 1977, the United States Secretary of Defense was told to dispose of all the fatal chemical agents, like mustard gas. When mustard gas comes into contact to skin, blistering and burns occur. These agents may cause brutal damage to the eyes, the respiratory system, and internal organs. The symptoms don’t occur immediately, they usually appear from two hours to twenty-four hours after contact. By the time the symptoms become apparent, severe cell damage has already occurred. Mustard gas is strongly carcinogenic and mutagenic. Mustard agents are lipophilic, meaning it can dissolve in fats, oils, and non-polar solvents. Therefore people can unknowingly be exposed to mustard gas. Mustard gas is classified as a vesicant, which means it leaves lesions and burns on the skin and respiratory tract. Mustard gas can damage deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The compound eliminates a chloride ion