Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Agony of Mustard Gas

Blinded Gas Victims
Early studies of World War I veterans clearly indicated that those who had been exposed to mustard gas suffered more frequent respiratory and eye problems and in some cases (4 of 53 gas victims in one study) experienced delayed deaths from their gassing. A more contemporary scientific study, however, indicates there were probably other severe problems.

Evidence indicates a causal relation between sulfur mustard exposure and the occurrence of excess respiratory and skin cancer, and possibly leukemia. This conclusion is based upon estimates of exposure to sulfur mustard during [World War II] chamber tests, which may have approximated the battlefield exposure of surviving World War I (WWI) soldiers and WWII production workers in Japan and Great Britain. Inadequate exposure information, however, limits precise estimation of the cancer excesses that may be expected.

Source: Veterans at Risk: The Health Effects of Mustard Gas and Lewisite, Institute of Medicine (IOM), 1993

1 comment:

  1. My grandmother told me her brother
    Adolph F Mahnke [b 20 Jul 1894 in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio; d 28 Apr 1924 in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, OH] died of complications of being mustard gassed in World War I. Cause of Death = "Acute Miliary Tuberculosis (Pulmonary), Contributory - Toxemia"