Cover Image


View/Hide Left Panel

TABLE 7-1 Effects of Acute Sulfur Mustard Vapor Exposure on the Human Respiratory Tract (at 16°C-27°C unless otherwise noted)

Estimated Exposure




12-70 mg·min/m3

Hoarseness; nasal mucosa irritation; nondisabling; recovery in approximately 2 weeks

12 hours to 2 days

Project Coordination Staff, 1946

100-500 mgmin/m3

Pulmonary effects evident (very little data)

Not available

Sidell, 1990

200 mg·min/m3

Median incapacitating Ct (ICt50). Upper airway effects of sneezing, lacrimation, rhinorrhea, sore throat, hoarseness, nosebleed, from which recovery usually occurs after two weeks. Lower airway effects of tracheobronchitis, hacking cough, rapid breathing, and pseudomembrane formation. Pulmonary edema, bronchial pneumonia, and other secondary infections may develop after 36-48 hours. Prolonged recovery (1-2 months), particularly after infections.

4 to 6 hours

Ganas, 1969; Stepanov and Popov, 1962

1,000-1,500 mg·min/m3

1,500 mg·min/m3 is estimated median lethal Ct (LCt50). Injuries as for ICt50 above, progressing to edema in pharynx and tracheobronchial tree; death due to severe edema, secondary infection or necrotic bronchopneumonia. Incapacitating for survivors; recovery over period of several mnths.

24 to 48 hours

Robinson, 1967; Sidell, 1990; Stepanov and Popov, 1962; U.S. Army, 1974; U.S. Army CRDEC, 1990; U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, 1975; WHO, 1970

150 mg/m3 (10 min) 1,500 mg·min/m3

Reported human lethal concentration; no temperature data

Not available

Back et al., 1972

70 mg/m3 (30 min) 2,100 mg·min/m3

Reported human lethal concentration; no temperature data

Not available

Inada et al., 1972


SOURCE: Adapted from Papirmeister et al., 1991; Watson and Griffin, 1992.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement