Tabun (nerve agent)

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-50 °C, 223 K, -58 °F

247.5 °C, 521 K, 478 °F

Tabun or GA is an extremely toxic chemical substance. It is a clear, colorless, and tasteless liquid with a faint fruity odor.[1] It is classified as a nerve agent because it fatally interferes with normal functioning of the mammalian nervous system. As a chemical weapon, it is classified as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations according to UN Resolution 687, and its production is strictly controlled and stockpiling outlawed by the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993. Tabun is the first of the so-called G-series nerve agents along with GB (sarin), GD (soman) and GF (cyclosarin).

Although pure tabun is clear, less-pure tabun may be brown. It is a volatile chemical, although less so than either sarin or soman; because of this, tabun can be used to contaminate water.[1]

Tabun can be destroyed with bleaching powder, though the poisonous gas cyanogen chloride is produced.[2]

Contents

Effects of overexposure

The symptoms of exposure include:[2][3][4] nervousness/restlessness, miosis (contraction of the pupil), rhinorrhea (runny nose), excessive salivation, dyspnea (difficulty in breathing due to bronchoconstriction/secretions), sweating, bradycardia (slow heartbeat), loss of consciousness, convulsions, flaccid paralysis, loss of bladder and bowel control, apnea (breathing stopped) and lung blisters. The exact symptoms of overexposure are similar to those created by all nerve agents. Tabun is toxic even in minute doses. The number and severity of symptoms which appear vary according to the amount of the agent absorbed and rate of entry of it into the body. Very small skin dosages sometimes cause local sweating and tremors accompanied with characteristically constricted pupils with few other effects. Tabun is about half as toxic as sarin by inhalation, but in very low concentrations it is more irritating to the eyes than sarin. Also, tabun breaks down slowly, which after repeated exposure can lead to build up in the body.[1]

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