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File: 970613_8001112_txt_0001.txt
Page: 0001
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[b.2]


[b.2]



SECTION 001 OF 002

/*********** THIS IS A COMBINED MESSAGE ************/

SUBJECT: SPECIAL WEEKLY WIRE 48-90B


1. (U) THIS SPECIAL WIRE IS INTENDED TO PROVIDE CLARIFICATION AND
FURTHER DISSEMINATION OF MEDICAL INTELLIGENCE ON A SUBJECT OF
CURRENT
INTEREST. CLINICAL REVIEW HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY THE AFMIC SG 
[b.6.]
2. (U) TABLE OF CONTENTS
    A. DESERT SHIELD  HYDROGEN SULFIDE INTOXICATION MIMICS CHEMICAL
UARFARE (CW) AGENT SYMPTOMS (U)
    B  WORLDWIDE: TERRORIST AND CLANDESTINE BIOLOGICAL WARFARE (BU)
THREAT (U)
3.        INTELLIGENCE FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS (U)

[b.1. sec. 1.5.(e)]



COMMENT  (U) H2S GAS, WHICH IS HEAVIER THAN AMBIENT AIR, IS A
RECOGNIZED HAZARD IN THE PETROLEUM INDUSTRY. IT IS A HIGHLY TOXIC'
COLORLESS GAS THAT PRODUCES SYMPTOMS WHICH AT RELATIVELY HIGH
CONCENTRATIONS MIMIC CW AGENTS SUCH AS THE CYANIDE BLOOD AGENTS.
BEGINNING AT CONCENTRATIONS OF 20 TO 30 PARTS PER MILLION (PPM) 
H2S
GAS IS EASILY IDENTIFIED BY ITS DISTINCTIVE ODOR OF ROTTEN EGGS.
HOWCVER. AT CONCENTRATIONS AROUND 100 TO 150 PPM, IT PRODUCES A
RAPID
PARALYSIS OF THE OLFACTORY NERVE ENDINGS THAT INHIBITS DETECTION.
(U) THE DEGREE AND SEVERITY OF H2S INTOXICATION ARE DETERMINED BY
THE
CONCENTRATION AND DURATION OF EXPOSURE. H2S IS RAPIDLY DETOXIFIED
IN
THE BODY, AND THE SYMPTOMS MOST COMMONLY SEEN AT LOW TO MODERATE
CONCENTRATIONS (UP TO 300 PPM) FROM LOCAL TISSUE IRRITATION DEVELOP
SLOWLY AND PROGRESS TO SYSTEMIC INTOXICATION OVER A PERIOD OF
HOURS.
THE LOCAL TISSUE SYMPTOMS OF KERATOCONJUNCTIVITIS. TEARING,
PHOTOPHOBIA, VISUAL "COLORED HALOS," TRACHEOBRONCHITIS, AND PROFUSE
SALIVATION MAY NOT BE SEEN AT HIGH CONCENTRATIONS. SYSTEMIC
TOXICITY
(VOMITING, TACHYPNEA, TACHYCARDIA, AND MUSCLE CRAMPS) IS MANIFESTED
WITHIN 30 MINUTES AT CONCENTRATIONS BETWEEN 500 PPM AND 700 PPM. AT
H2S CONCENTRATIONS ABOVE 700 PPM, ABRUPT CARDIORESPIRITORY ARREST
OCCURS. A FEW BREATHS OF H2S AT 1'000 PPM CAN LEAD TO SUDDEN
COLLAPSE, UNCONSCIOUSNESS, AND DEATH FROM RESPIRATORY PARALYSIS
WITHOUT EVEN A WARNING CRY.
(U) BECAUSE THE DISTINCTIVE ODOR IS APPARENT ONLY AT LOW TO
MODERATE
VAPOR CONCENTRATIONS  DONNING OF A READILY AVAILABLE PROTECTIVE
CHEMICAL MASK WILL REDUCE THE DEGREE OF INTOXICATION. TROOPS
SUDDENLY
EXPOSED TO CONCENTRATIONS ABOVE 400 PPM MAY NOT DETECT THE ODOR OF
H2S, WHICH COULD RESULT IN LETHAL INTOXICATIONS THAT MIMIC CW AGENT
INTOXICATIONS. A LIKELY SCENARIO WOULD BE REMOVAL OF THE PROTECTIVE
CHEMICAL MASK IN AN H2S AREA AND LEAVING IT OFF WHEN NO ODOR IS
DETECTED. THE RAPID ONSET OF DIZZINESS, CONFUSION, HEADACHE,
NAUSEA,
AND WEAKNESS MAY PREVENT AN INDIVIDUAL FROM DONNING THE PROTECTIVE
MASK BEFORE LAPSING INTO COMA. AT INTENSE AND SUSTAINED EXPOSURES,
CASUALTIES RAPIDLY BECOME APNEIC AND EXHIBIT ANOXIC CONVULSIONS.
DEATH RESULTS FROM CENTRAL RESPIRATORY PARALYSIS. FOR MILD
EXPOSURES
IN WHICH INDIVIDUALS ARE STILL BREATHING, PROMPT AID IN APPLYING
THE
CHEMICAL MASK AND REMOVING THC VICTIM FROM THE AREA INTO FRESH AIR
OR
APPLYING OXYGEN (FIELD MANUAL 8-285) SHOULD RESULT IN COMPLETE
RECOVERY IN THE LONG TERM. SIGNIFICANT EXPOSURES INVOLVING
RESPIRATORY PARALYSIS ARE BEST TREATED WITH ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION
AND ADMINISTRATION OF SODIUM NITRITE VIA THE INTRAVENOUS ROUTE TO
INDUCE METHEMOGLOBINEMIA. METHEMOGLOBIN WILL BIND THE SULFIDE IONS
AND LIMIT THEIR INFLUENCE UPON CELLULAR ENZYMES. SUBSEQUENT
ADMINISTRATION OF SODIUM THIOSULFATE IS OF LITTLE ADDITIONAL VALUE.
SULFHEMOGLOBIN IS NOT OF SIGNIFICANCE IN H2S INTOXICATION.
MORBIDITY
FROM BOTH BRAIN STEM AND CORTICAL PATHOLOGIC SEQUELAE SUCH AS
AMNESIA, NEURASTHENIA  TREMOR, AND PROBLEMS WITH EQUILIBRIUM
USUALLY
PERSISTS FOR SOME TIME.
(U) RULING OUT THE POSSIBILITY OF ACTUAL CW AGENT ATTACK, IN THE
ABSENCE OF ANY OBVIOUS MILITARY ACTION, CAN BE FACILITATED BY
NOTING
THE PRESENCE OF OIL WELLS OR SOUR CRUDE ON THE GROUND OR IN
TRENCHES,
AND RAPID REVIVAL OF THE CASUALTY AFTER RECEIVING FRESH AIR OR HIGH
CONCENTRATIONS OF STORED OXYGEN.
(U) THIS MESSAGE HAS BEEN COORDINATED WITH THE OFFICE OF THE ARMY
SURGEON GENERAL. SPECIAL CLINICAL REVIEW AND CONTRIBUTIONS WERE
PROVIDED BY THE AFMIC SURGEON  [b.6.]
     FOR U.S. MEDICAL TREATMENT ISSUES, POC IS [b.6.]
                        FOR FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE ON CHEMICAL
WARFARE
AGENT PROPHYLAXIS AND TREATMENT, POC IS [b.6.]



      [b.1. sec. 1.5.(c)]

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