Q:

What is poison gas?

A:

Quick Answer

Poison gas is any type of noxious gas that is used to harm or kill living things intentionally. Poison gas warfare, sometimes known as chemical warfare, came into wide use during World War I, when mustard gas was used to harm the troops fighting in trenches.

Know More
What is poison gas?
Credit: Timothy Allen Photolibrary Getty Images

Full Answer

Chemical warfare during World War I used mostly chlorine and phosgene gases released from canisters and spread by the wind. These substances settled in trenches and killed more than 90,000 people throughout the conflict. More than 124,000 ton of poison gas was dispersed. Those who survived a chemical attack suffered ill effects for the rest of their lives.

Modern chemical weapons include deadlier substances and faster methods of delivery. Nerve agents and sarin gas made headlines in the 1980s and 1990s when Iraq used mustard gas on Kurds and Japanese terrorists applied sarin to civilians in a subway attack. Poison gas can be dispersed through missiles, landmines, artillery shells, bombs and spray tanks.

Purdue University lists 85 chemicals as poison gases, more than half of which are noted to be toxic or highly toxic. Exposure to some of the most toxic gases reach poisonous levels at less than one part per million over a 15-minute span. Poison gas should be handled with extreme care and only after specialized training.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    What is the chemical composition of rat poison?

    A:

    Rat poison is composed of chemicals such diphacinone, bromadiolone and warfarin — all anticoagulants that cause internal bleeding. Highly toxic metal phosphides are also a common ingredient.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is gas made of?

    A:

    Gas comes from crude oil. The remains of organisms that lived on Earth hundreds of millions of years ago were eventually covered with sediment and rock. The pressure and heat of the Earth caused the remains and sediment to combine and create liquid hydrocarbon, or crude oil.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What gas does limewater test for?

    A:

    Limewater can be used to detect the presence of carbon dioxide, or CO2. When air containing CO2 is blown directly into the limewater, it forms calcium carbonate. This turns the liquid cloudy, showing that the gas is present.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is natural gas?

    A:

    Natural gas is a fossil fuel composed of flammable gases, primarily methane, that formed from decaying organisms buried deep beneath the Earth's surface due to intense heat and pressure over thousands of years. It is one of the major energy sources throughout the United States and the world.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore