Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A is in arsenic, and also in anthrax


An ABC of bacteriological agents, all potential biological weapons, all with the potential to cause either death, or permanent harm to humans.  

  •  ArsenicAfter World War I the United States built up a stockpile of 20,000 tons of Lewisite; a chemical weapon composed with arsenic, acting as a vesicant (blister agent) and lung irritant. The stockpile was neutralized with bleach and dumped into the Gulf of Mexico after the 1950s. During the Vietnam War the United States used Agent Blue (a mixture of sodium cacodylate) and dimethyl arsenic acid (cacodylic acid) as one of the rainbow herbicides to deprive the Vietnamese of valuable crops.
  • Blister agents, or vesicants, are one of the most common BW agents. These oily substances act via inhalation and contact with skin. They affect the eyes, respiratory tract, and skin, first as an irritant and then as a cell poison. Exposure to blister agents often results in blindness and permanent damage to the respiratory system.
  • Blood agents interfere with the way that blood cells use and transport oxygen. A cyyanide group of chemicals that affect bodily functions by preventing the normal utilization of oxygen by body tissues.   Hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and cyanogen chloride (CNCl) are the main BW agents in this class.
  • Choking agents affect the victims' ability to breath and also have corrosive affects on the skin and eyes. Chlorine gas, used in World War II, is an example of a choking agent.
  • Cyanide was used along with other chemical agents during the Iran/Iraq War.
  • Cruelty isn't softened by tears, it feeds on them.--Publilius Syrus.
  • Delivery, The primary threat is by aerosol release.
  • Earthwide bacteria, of the thousands that occur approximately 100 have been identified as pathogens of military significance.
  • Food-bourne attack of brucellosis is a definite threat.
  • Glanders (Pseudomonas mallei), potential for aerosol delivery, the symptoms are profuse watery stools. Death occurs in over 50% of untreated cases.
  • Genocide, extermination utterly of races, species and sects.
  • Humans, can contract anthrax through the inhalation of aerosolized spores. Transmission can be by missiles, bomblets,artillery fires, point release, or airbourne line release. Food and water contamination is an alertantive method.
  • Incubation, the incubation period for various agents varies from hours to up to 40 days and depends on the strength of the infecting dose.
  • Judgement, do not wait for the last judgement. Judge for yourself.
  • Lice, the body louse is a carrier of various infections including bubonic plague. It can be spread to an enemy population by infected vectors and aerosol spray.
  • Melioidosis, the case fatality for severely affected victims exceeds 90%. No vaccines are available. The primary threat is aerosol release.
  • Nerve agents  are highly toxic and work rapidly by affecting the way that nerve signals are transmitted through the body to the brain. 
  • Prevention, the military mask provides protection from aerosols. 
  • Query (Q Fever), spread by aerosol spray or contaminated food, the organisms persists in the release environment for months.
  • Rickettsiae are of grave concern,specifically because of ease of distribution and the organism's ability to survive for extended periods in harsh environments.
  • Sarin kills in minutes. It was developed by Nazi scientists in 1938.The United States now says the Syrian regime has used the deadly nerve gas against rebel forces. 
  • Trichothecene mycotoxin, a BW agent that was allegedly used in South East Asia in the 1980s.
  • Viral Agents, the group of organisms called viruses are all agents that live in the cells of an infected host. 60% of all infections are caused by viruses. Diseases of viral origin cannot be cured by antibiotics.
  • Umpteen( many, a lot of) Kill a man and you are a murdererer. Kill millions of men and you are a conquerer. Lill everyone and you are a god. --Jean Rostand
  • Western Equine Encephalitis, is a virus and a potential BW agent.
  • Xanthamonas Albilineans, a bacteria and a potential BW agent.
  • Yellow Fever Virus is a a potential BW agent.
  • Zyklon B (Hydrogen cyanide) has high toxicity and in sufficient concentrations it rapidly leads to death. During the Second World War it was used in the Nazi gas chambers.

Author, Ann Massey

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