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Chemical Structure.
The three so called classic nerve agents that have been discussed all have very similar structures

Click on the structures to get a 3-D view

1. Tabun / GA (O-ethyl dimethylamidophosphorylcyanide).

Tabun is the easiest to manufacture but is quite unstable.


2. Sarin / GB (Isopropyl methylphosphonofluoridate)

A volatile compound mainly taken up through inhalation.

3. Soman / GD (pinacolyl methylphosphonofluoridate)

A more viscous liquid that may be taken up through skin contact.

Many modern insecticides have similar structures to these lethal compounds! Their structure usually differ by replacement of the P=O group by P=S and a less reactive group than (-CN) or (-F) is used.

The insectisides are metabolized in the body of the pest organism to produce anticholinesterase poisons.

The structure of VX is similar to the G-Agents but the reactive (-CN) or (-F) group seen in tabun, sarin and soman is replaced by a thioether with a tertiary amine group.