VX Gas: An Introduction
Despite its name, VX gas is a straw coloured, toxic liquid (boiling point 298 degrees celcius) with the formula:
methylphosphonothioic acid, S-[2-[bis(1-methylethyl)amino]ethyl]- O-ethyl ester
In a combat situation, VX Gas would be deployed by detonating a container (e.g. a missile) of gas over the target area.
VX Gas has an LD50 (dose toxic to 50% of victims) is the lowest of any known compound at only 10mg (a raindrop weighs about 50mg).
VX Gas is easily absorbed into the body, and inhalation at concentrations as low as 30mg per cubic metre kills within fifteen minutes.
VX Gas disrupts the passage of
messages between nerves
, and from nerves to muscles.
VX Gas causes many symptoms, and usually kills.
VX Gas has effective
if treated promptly.
The International Chemical Weapons Convention
bans the use of nerve agents (including VX Gas), and requires all stockpiles to be destroyed by 2007.
UN weapons inspectors have found EMPTA, a VX precursor, in Iraqi factories, and at the site of the 1998
of factories in The Sudan