. "3 History and Analysis of Mustard Agent and Lewisite Research Programs in the United States." Veterans at Risk: The Health Effects of Mustard Gas and Lewisite. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1993.
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Veterans at Risk: The Health Effects of Mustard Gas and Lewisite
Committee on Treatment of Gas Casualties, the Summary Technical Report of the National Defense Research Committee (OSRD, 1946, declassified in 1960), and from the Fasciculus on Chemical Warfare Medicine, Volume III: Skin and Systemic Poisons (NRC, 1945, declassification date unknown). It should also be noted that some subjects participated in tests in which only the protective ointments were applied to test skin sensitivity to the ointments themselves (many of the ointments were found to be highly irritating and corrosive to the skin). Analysis of the amounts of vesicant used was difficult, however, due to great variability in reporting of concentrations and cumulative exposures in individual experiments.
There were three types of delivery systems for patch testing. One type was called ''Edgewood Rods," which were stainless steel rods with tips of varying diameters that were dipped into liquid sulfur or nitrogen mustard, or Lewisite, and then touched to the skin of a subject, usually on the forearm. A second type, "drod," was constructed from a small syringe that could deliver a measured amount of liquid to the skin. Various types of "vapor cups" were also used. The most common was the Edgewood Vapor Cup, a small glass cup similar to a beaker in which a section of filter paper saturated with liquid vesicant was placed. The cup was placed on the skin, allowing the vapor to rise from the filter paper and contact the skin. The cumulative exposures achieved in the vapor cups have been estimated to be 40,000 to 78,000 Ct. In some experiments, vapor cups were left on the skin for 15 minutes; in others, the cups were applied every 5 minutes for up to 3 hours and 40 minutes; in yet others, the cups were left on for more than an hour. Liquid patch tests, employing rods or drods, were more common than vapor cup tests and exhibited a wide variability in cumulative exposures.
Most of these experiments involved the application of liquid vesicant either before or after some test ointment. Most often, there were two or more sites on the forearm to which the vesicants were applied, thus providing for control sites at which no ointments were applied, and the liquids were allowed to remain on the skin for up to 2 minutes. The amounts used in these types of patch tests ranged from 0.15 to 7 mg for mustard agents and 1.4 to 7 mg for Lewisite. In some experiments, concentrations were expressed in micrograms. In still other experiments of this type, concentrations were also expressed as dilutions, ranging from 1:100 to 1:50,000 sulfur mustard, or Lewisite, to solvent. To further complicate analysis, a number of different solvents were used, including benzene, alcohol, paraffin oil, and chloroform.
Because the chamber tests were largely designed for the technical development of protective clothing, these tests were conducted by CWS