CHOKING AGENTS AND THEIR EFFECTS
Agent + (Code)
Phosgene (CG)
Chlorine (CL)
Diphosgene (DP)
Chloropicrin (PS)
Form at 68oF
Colorless gas Greenish yellow gas Yellow to dark brown or black liquid Colorless to light green oily liquid
Odor
Green corn or new mown hay Pungent Green corn or new mown hay Intense and penetrating
Persistence at
70-90oF

30 minutes 18 - 36 hours 30 minutes - 3 hours N/A
Persistence at
40-60oF
1 hour 2 - 3 days 1 - 4 hours N/A
Onset of
Symptoms
Rapid Rapid, but may be delayed Rapid Very rapid
Symptoms of
Skin Exposure
Burns to the skin and eyes. Acute skin contact lesions similar to those of frostbite and burns; it is a severe skin irritant. Chronic skin contact may result in dermatitis. Acute eye contact may result in conjunctivitis, lacrimination, lesions similar to those of frostbite, and burns; chronic eye contact may result in conjunctivitis. Corrosive to skins and eyes causing pain, blurred vision and severe deep burns. Mid-level exposure causes eye tearing and irritation of skin. Direct eye exposure to DP liquid can cause corneal abrasions, ulcers, or perforation. Direct skin exposure to DP liquid can burn. Chemical burns, irritated or bluish skin. Eyes will have pain, redness, and tearing. Prolonged eye exposure can cause blindness. Entrance through damaged skin causes similar symptoms as those seen in overexposure through inhalation.
Symptoms of
Inhaled Exposure
Causes severe respiratory damage. Acute inhalation may cause respiratory and circulatory failure with chills, dizziness, thirst, cough, viscous sputum, dyspnea, feeling of suffocation, tracheal rhonchi, burning in throat, vomiting, pain in chest and cyanosis. Rapid progression to pulmonary edema and pneumonia, and death. Pulmonary edema can suddenly occur up to 48 hours after exposure. Phosgene is a severe mucous membrane irritant. Chronic inhalation may cause irreversible pulmonary changes resulting in emphysema and fibrosis. Corrosive, burning sensation, cough, headache, labored breathing, nausea, shortness of breath, sore throat. Symptoms may be delayed as for lung edema which often don't manifest until a few hours have passed and they are aggravated by physical effort. Exposure to low concentrations causes chest discomfort or shortness of breath. High concentrations quickly cause pulmonary edema with cough, shortness of breath, and frothy sputum. It can cause respiratory failure, hypotension, and death.
Irritation of nose and throat and eyes tearing. Vapor exposure leads to coughing, labored breathing, sore throat, dizziness, bluish skin, vomiting and sometimes chemical pneumonia and pulmonary edema.
LD50 Skin Dose
mg/man
4500 or 200 through eyes N/A N/A 250
LCt50 Inhaled
Dose mg-min/m3
3,200 N/A 3,200 Death can occur within 10 minutes at concentrations as low as 300 ppm.
Fatality
Death from respiratory and circulatory failure may occur. N/A N/A Ingesting large quantities of chloropicrin liquid can be fatal.
First Aid
Inhalation: move victim to fresh air; keep individual calm and avoid any unnecessary exertion or movement; maintain airway and blood pressure; give oxygen if breathing is difficult - artificial respiration if victim is not breathing. Eye Contact: flush eyes immediately with running water or normal saline for at least 15 minutes; hold eyelids apart during irrigation; do not delay rinsing to avoid permanent eye injury. Skin Contact: unlikely that emergency treatment will be required; gently wrap affected part in blankets if warm water is not available or practical to use; allow circulation to return naturally; if adverse effects occur. Ingestion: treat symptomatically and supportively; if vomiting occurs, keep head lower than hips to prevent aspiration. In all instances except skin contact, unless needed, seek medical attention immediately. Fresh air, rest. Half-upright position. Artificial respiration if indicated. Refer for medical attention. Remove contaminated clothes. Rinse skin with plenty of water or shower. Refer for medical attention. First rinse eyes with plenty of water for several minutes (remove contact lenses if easily possible), then take to a doctor. Move patient to fresh air and give oxygen if necessary. Remove clothing and decon skin with soap and water. Enforce strict bedrest if possible. Antibiotics aren't necessary unless treating a secondary infection. Flush eyes with copious amounts of normal saline solution and check for corneal abrasions or ulcers. Seek immediate medical care. To relieve strong bronchospasms, an adult is usually given Albuterol 0.5% (Proventil, Ventolin) in the amount of 0.5 cm3 (2.5 mg) mixed with 2.5 cm3 normal saline solution and used as a nebulizer. Skin Contact: Remove clothes immediately and flush skin with water for at least 15 minutes. Inhalation: move victim to fresh air; give oxygen if breathing is difficult - artificial respiration if victim is not breathing. Eye Contact: flush eyes immediately with running water for at least 15 minutes; hold eyelids apart during irrigation; patient must "roll" eye. Ingestion: do not induce vomiting. Rinse mouth with water. Drink large quantities of milk or water or give egg whites.


LD50
is the dose at which 50% of the exposed population will die.

A different measure, LCt50, is used for inhalation, the product of the concentration (C) and the length of exposure (t). Effective dosages for vapor are estimated for exposure durations of 2-10 minutes.


This information may be used by you freely for noncommercial use only with
my name and email address attached.

hollydeyo@millennium-ark.net
http://millennium-ark.net
Contents 2001-2002 Holly Deyo. All rights reserved.