chapter  30
6 Pages

Guides for Emergency Response: Chemical Agent or Weapon: Nerve Agent VX (VX)

Guides for Emergency Response: Chemical Agent or Weapon: Nerve Agent VX (VX) NERVE AGENT: VX (VX). Th e U.S. standard V-agent is a very persistent nerve agent called VX (VX). A few drops of VX, the most deadly nerve agent produced today, can kill a person in minutes. Death is oft en by suff ocation; the nerves that control breathing are disrupted and the diaphragm fails to expand and contract. Even small doses can cause blindness, hallucinations, convulsions, and death; VX vapors linger on the ground for weeks before dispersing. Although VX is many times more persistent than G-agents, it is very similar to sarin (GB) in mechanisms of action and eff ects. Since VX has low volatility, liquid droplets on the skin do not evaporate quickly, thereby increasing absorption. VX by the percutaneous (skin) route is estimated to be more than 100 times as toxic as GB. VX by inhalation is thought to be twice as toxic as sarin (GB). It is extremely toxic by skin and eye absorption, although VX liquid does not injure the skin or eyes but penetrates rapidly.