Table 1.

Potential Chemical Agents for Use in Chemical-Biological Terrorism3 8–10

ClassExamplesDiagnostic AidsInterventions*Antidotes
Nerve agentsTabunPlasma, red cell
Respiratory support, skin
Atropine, pralidoxime,
Sarin cholinesterase decontamination diazepam
Soman
VX
VesicantsMustard gasAir samplingRespiratory support, skin
Nitrogen mustard and eye decontamination
Irritants/corrosivesChlorineAir samplingRespiratory support, skin Nebulized albuterol
Bromine and eye decontamination
Ammonia
Choking agentsPhosgeneAir samplingRespiratory support
CyanogensHydrogen cyanideBlood or serum
analysis
Cardiorespiratory supportAmyl nitrate, sodium
nitrite, sodium
thiosulfate
Incapacitating agents
Central nervous system
CannabinoidsBlood or serum
Respiratory support
 depressantsBarbiturates analysis
Anticholinergics3-Quinuclidinyl
benzilate (BZ)
Physostigmine
LacrimatorsCapsaicin
  • * 1. Skin decontamination is performed by showering victims unclothed in warm water for 8 to 10 minutes.

    2. Standard equipment for infection control (gloves, masks, gowns) is ineffective in protecting health care workers. Avoid contact with victims and their clothing until personal protective gear is obtained.

    3. Clothing should be considered hazardous waste and safely discarded.