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Suggested Citation:"REFERENCE." National Research Council. 1997. Review of Acute Human-Toxicity Estimates for Selected Chemical-Warfare Agents. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5825.
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APPENDIX 81 leakages of gas masks should be so small that even men performing heavy work and breathing at high rates should suffer no ill effects. This same reasoning applies to all other protective devices. For all defensive calculations, therefore, the incapacitating exposure (ICt50) for active man should be used. Although much consideration has been given to the soldier's activity level and resultant respiratory minute volume in developing human toxicity estimates, little consideration has been given to the purpose of many of the existing human- toxicity estimates for CW agents: Many were probably formulated for offensive purposes. Offensive estimates are designed to produce the desired effect in at least the stated percentage of the population and to produce that effect quickly. The time required for CW agents to produce an effect is generally inversely proportional to the dose received. For defensive purposes, those factors (for example, high minute volume or the use of most resistant individuals in developing human toxicity estimates) result in an underestimation of the potency (toxicity) of the agents. REFERENCE Silver, S.D. 1953. The Estimation of the Toxicity of GB to Man (U), MLRR 23, Chemical Corps Medical Laboratories Research Report, Army Chemical Center, Md., June 1953. Confidential report.

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No reliable acute-exposure1 standards have been established for the particular purpose of protecting soldiers from toxic exposures to chemical warfare (CW) agents. Some human-toxicity estimates are available for the most common CW agents--organophosphorus nerve agents and vesicants; however, most of those estimates were developed for offensive purposes (that is, to kill or incapacitate the enemy) and were intended to be interim values only. Because of the possibility of a chemical attack by a foreign power, the Army's Office of the Surgeon General asked the Army's Chemical Defense Equipment Process Action Team (CDEPAT) to review the toxicity data for the nerve agents GA (tabun), GB(sarin), GD (soman), GF, and VX, and the vesicant agent sulfur mustard (HD) and to establish a set of exposure limits that would be useful in protecting soldiers from toxic exposures to those agents. This report is an independent review of the CDEPAT report to determine the scientific validity of the proposed estimates.

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