What are Blister Agents? (28 characters)

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Blister agents are chemical derivatives that damage the body upon contact, classified into lewisite, sulfur mustard, and nitrogen mustard. Exposure to vapor or liquid forms causes severe reactions, including blindness and painful blisters. Symptoms vary depending on the mode of exposure.

Blister agents are chemical derivatives that severely damage parts of the body such as the mucous membranes, lungs, eyes and skin, upon contact. They can be in the form of vapor or in the form of liquid chemicals and are classified into lewisite, sulfur mustard and nitrogen mustard. The vapor form of the chemical disperses into the air as an aerosol and will adversely affect anyone who breathes it in or on whose skin or eyes it lands. Blister agents can refer to agents of warfare such as mustard gas, or can generally refer to chemicals capable of causing burns when in contact with skin or when inhaled.

Each type of blister agent affects people in different ways. For example, nitrogen mustard can be in liquid or vapor form. Liquid nitrogen mustard is more potent than the vapor form, and exposure to liquid nitrogen mustard causes more immediate and severe reactions upon contact. The duration of contact is important in both the liquid and vapor forms of this blister agent, because the longer the exposure, the more severe the effects. Some of the effects of exposure to vapor include eye irritation on minor exposure or blindness on prolonged exposure.

Lewisite can influence people through a variety of channels. People can be affected by exposure to the gaseous or vapor form of this blister agent. The agent can also affect people through the liquid form, which can come into contact with the skin in its raw liquid form or through contamination of drinking water or food. Unlike other blister agents, which can take a few hours to develop symptoms in people, lewisite symptoms can be seen within minutes of exposure. Symptoms depend on the mode of exposure. If through ingestion, they will include cramping and severe abdominal pain. If it is in contact with the liquid form, as is the case with other blister agents, painful blisters will form on the skin and quickly develop into open sores or lesions.

Sulfur mustard affects people in the same way as lewisite. One of the two main differences is that sulfur mustard does not last as long as lewisite in the environment and will dissipate shortly after being released. The other difference is that the effects of sulfur mustard are not immediate, as they usually develop much more slowly. In its liquid form, exposure to sulfur mustard also causes painful blisters to form on the skin of exposed people. Exposure to the vapor form of this blister agent can lead to respiratory problems, while prolonged eye exposure to the vapor can lead to blindness.

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