The use of Blister agents has been known for more than 150 years. Blister agents are the largely common Chemical warfare agents and are also known as vesicants. There are five known vesicants, which are, Sulfur Mustard (HD), Nitrogen Mustard (HN), Lewisite (L), Lewisite Mixture (HL), and Phosgene Oxime (CX). The two most know vesicants consist of Sulfur mustard, also known as Mustard gas, and Lewisite. It was once stated that, Sulfur mustard was the most commonly Blister agent associated with warfare and was in fact, the major cause of chemical casualties during World War I even though it was only used during the last year of the War. (Smith, 2002).
Sulfur mustard was first introduced by Germany in 1917. It caused 88 percent of deaths and
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In 1918, right before the end of the War, Americans had discovered lewisite which acts faster than mustard gas in its severity. During that same time frame, the United States were developing and producing Chemical agents. These agents included Chlorine and Phosgene Oxime (CX). Despite the production of the Chemical agents, the majority of the agents never made it to Europe. Americans were producing these Chemical agents to try and keep up with the Germans and their mass production of Chemical agents. (Taylor 1992)
According to Military medicine, there have been a few cases of U.S. Military members being exposed to Sulfur mustard. One case in particular, became the main severe mustard exposure of a U.S. Military member since World War II. It was the case of a Service member who sustained a 6.5 percent body surface area burn. His unit was tasked to dispose of munitions and they proceeded to use a shape charge to open it. The Service member did not experience any symptoms until about two hours after exposure. It wasn’t until he woke up the next morning with burns and blisters on his left arm. Even though his exposure to Sulfur mustard was not life threatening, his skin never fully recovered. (Newmark, 2007).
It is tough to say that one will have full protection against Blister