World War I
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What is mustard gas used for in war?
Mustard gas is a vesicant (blister-inducing agent) first used in chemical warfare in World War I. It was also used in chemical warfare in Ethiopia in 1936 and in the Iran-Iraq war from 1984 to 1988. Small amounts are used in research as a model compound in biological studies of alkylating agents.
What is sulphur mustard gas?
Sulfur mustard gas is a potent chemical agent that people infamously used in World War I because of its devastating effect. Upwards of 120,000 people died from the effects of mustard gas during the first World War, leading the international community to ban the use of mustard gas in the Geneva Protocol.
When was the use of mustard gas banned?
When Iraq used it against the Kurdish village in Halabja in March 1988, they ended up killing nearly 5,000 people. In 1925, after several battles in which mustard gas and chemical weapons were employed, the use of any chemical weapon was banned, though there was no law against the development of these dangerous weapons.
How was mustard gas synthesised?
Bis (2-chloroethyl) sulphide is synthesised by treating sulphur dichloride with ethylene. Although not used as a weapon until much later, mustard gas was likely synthesised as early as 1822, but it wasn’t until 1860 when its dangerous properties were documented. The Germans first used it as a weapon in 1917 but the Allies were quick to catch on.