Sulfur mustard

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14.4 °C

217 °C (decomposes)

The sulfur mustards, or also known as mustard gas (1,5-dichloro-3-thiapentane) is a member, are a class of related cytotoxic, vesicant chemical warfare agents with the ability to form large blisters on exposed skin. Pure sulfur mustards are colorless, viscous liquids at room temperature. However, when used in impure form, such as warfare agents, they are usually yellow-brown in color and have an odor resembling mustard plants, garlic or horseradish, hence the name. Mustard gas was originally assigned the name LOST, after Lommel and Steinkopf, who first proposed the military use of sulfur mustard to the German Imperial General Staff in 1916.[citation needed].

Mustard agents are regulated under the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Three classes of chemicals are monitored under this Convention, with sulfur and nitrogen mustard grouped in Schedule 1, as substances with no use other than chemical warfare. Mustard agents can be deployed on the battlefield via spraying from aircraft, or more typically by means of air-dropped bombs or artillery shells.

Pallets of 155 mm artillery shells containing "HD" (distilled sulfur mustard agent) at Pueblo chemical weapons storage facility. Note the highly distinctive color coding scheme on each shell

Bottle containing 'HD' (distilled sulfur mustard agent) used for testing/training purposes


Contents

Synthesis

Sulfur mustard is the organic compound described with the formula (Cl-CH2CH2)2S. In the Depretz method, sulfur mustard is synthesized by treating sulfur dichloride with ethylene:

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