Tag: tear gas

Chemical Warfare: Poison Gases in World War 1

An infographic on chemical warfare agents in World War I. Tear gases, chlorine, phosgene and mustard gas are highlighted. Tear gases such as ethyl bromoacetate were used to incapacitate rather than kill. Chlorine was initially devastating but less effective once gas masks were developed to protect from it. Most gas-related fatalities in WWI were caused by phosgene and disphosgene which were used to fill artillery shells. Mustard gas had a low mortality rate but had debilitating effects, leaving those affected by it requiring elaborate care.
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I’ll be accompanying some of the students from my school on a history trip to Ypres and a few other World War 1 battlefields in a few weeks’ time. Obviously, they’d much rather be learning chemistry, so I’ve been reading up on the different chemical agents used during World War 1, and this graphic is a byproduct of that. As it turns out, several of them were used for the first time at Ypres, so it’ll even be topical!

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