Lethal sarin gas is used in Syrian chemical weapon attack

sarin gas
British Prime Minister David Cameron has said British laboratory tests have confirmed that the lethal sarin neuro-toxic gas was used in the notorious chemical attack in Syria in August. Speaking at the G20 summit in Saint Petersburg, he also questioned how Labour could live with itself for taking the easy political way out in Commons vote, a decision that he said had been made in the knowledge that a large number of children had been gassed to death in eastern Damascus.

Clues to the source of the poisonous gas that U.S. officials say killed more than 1,400 people last month may released from the weapon casing.

Sarin, the deadliest neuro-toxic gas which the United States says was unleashed by the Asad Government in a Damascus suburb, was developed by Nazi scientists in 1938.

Originally conceived as a pesticide, sarin gas was used by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's regime to gas thousands of Kurds in the northern town of Halabja. A cult also used this odorless gas, paralyzing agent in two attacks in Japan in the 1990s.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said lab tests on hair & blood samples taken from the emergency workers who rushed to the scene of the Damascus attack on August 21 had shown indications of sarin used at an escalated scale.

Inhaled or absorbed through the skin, sarin gas kills by crippling the respiratory center of the central nervous system & paralyzes the muscles around the lungs. This finally results in death by suffocation. Sarin can contaminate food or water in supply system, according to the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, which notes that antidotes exist.

Sarin gas is 26 times more poisonous than cyanide gas. Just a pinprick sized droplet of sarin will kill a human. Exposure symptoms include nausea & intolerable headaches, blurred vision, drooling, muscle convulsions, respiratory arrest & loss of consciousness. Inhalation of a high dose -- say 200 mg of sarin gas may cause death within a couple of minutes, with no time even for symptoms to appear. Exposure through the skin takes longer to kill & the first symptoms may not occur for half an hour, followed by a quick progression. Even when it does not kill, sarin's effects can cause permanent harm, that is, by damaging a victim's lungs, eyes & central nervous system.

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