Seyhan Polat, Mehmet Gunata, Hakan Parlakpinar
Inonu University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Pharmacology, Malatya, Turkey
Chemical agents; is the general name of substances known to have toxic effects on the environment, which cause a large number of deaths and disabilities in a short period of time. These agents are divided into subclasses such as blister, nerve, choking, incapacitating/behavior altering, and asphyxiants/blood agents. In addition to the short-term effects of these agents there may be long-term reflections which affect the next generation. The previous century has been an important period in terms of observing the problems arising from the usage of the agents during wars. Deaths only due to nerve agents are thought to exceed 5 millions in recent wars. Especially the situation that the World War II has emerged shows the magnitude of the use of chemical agents. Due to these detrimental effects, their usage is restricted or prohibited by various international organizations. Despite these obstacles, chemical agents have been used by some countries and terrorist groups. Effects of these agents can take part vary from basic symptoms such as nose irritation to serious problems such as respiratory arrest. Healthcare professionals working in the management of exposure to these agents should have sufficient knowledge and be aware of their effects on the body. For this purpose; we discussed the serious effects of chemical warfare agents on human health and environment, post-exposure applications and pharmacological treatment options.
Keywords: Chemical Warfare Agents; Gas Poisoning; Decontamination; Drug Therapy.