Agent Name

Bis(2-chloroethyl)sulfide

Alternative Name

Mustard gas

CAS Number

505-60-2

Formula

C4-H8-Cl2-S

Major Category

Toxic Gases & Vapors

Synonyms

Mustard gas; 1,1'-Thiobis(2-chloroethane); 1-Chloro-2-(beta-chloroethylthio)ethane; 2,2'-Dichlorodiethyl sulfide; 2,2'-Dichlorodiethyl sulphide; 2,2'-Dichloroethyl sulfide; 2,2'-Dichloroethyl sulphide; Agent HD; Agent THD; Bis(2-chloroethyl) sulfide; Bis(2-chloroethyl)sulphide; Bis(beta-chloroethyl)sulfide; Bis(beta-chloroethyl)sulphide; Di-2-chloroethyl sulfide; Di-2-chloroethyl sulphide; Dichlorodiethyl sulfide; Diethyl sulfide, 2,2'-dichloro; Distilled mustard; Ethane, 1,1'-thiobis(2-chloro-; Gelbkreuz [Czech]; HD; Iprit; Kampstoff "lost"; Lost; Mustard HD; Mustard vapor; Mustard, sulfur; Psoriasin; S mustard; S-Lost; S-Yperite; Schwefel-lost; Senfgas; Sulfide, bis(2-chloroethyl); Sulfur mustard; Sulfur mustard gas; Sulphur mustard; Sulphur mustard gas; THD; Yellow Cross Gas; Yellow cross liquid; Yperite; beta,beta'-Dichloroethyl sulfide; beta,beta'-Dichloroethyl sulphide; beta,beta-Dichlor-ethyl-sulphide; [ChemIDplus] UN2810

Category

Chemical Weapons

Description

Oily yellow-brown liquid with garlic taste and mustard odor;

Sources/Uses

Chemical warfare;

Comments

After inhalation, it has delayed effects 2-24 hours after exposure. It penetrates the skin in 1-2 minutes without initial irritation. It is corrosive to skin and lung tissue resulting in skin blisters and hemoptysis. [NIOSH Emergency Response Card] A lethal dose is about 1.5 tsp. or enough to cover about 25% of the body surface area. Mustard is an alkylating agent that disrupts cell function by reacting with DNA and other macromolecules. The eyes, skin, and respiratory tract are most commonly affected by mustard poisoning. High doses also damage the hematopoietic, gastrointestinal, and central nervous systems. Death is usually caused by pulmonary injury, immunosuppression, and secondary infections. Most casualties recover completely after treatment of first and second degree burns. Victims who have lost vision should be reassured that it is temporary. [ccc.apgea.army.mil] Casuses lachrymation; [ICSC] Thiodiglycol can be detected in the urine for about one week. Initial leukocytosis may be followed in 3-5 days by bone marrow depression. Chest x-ray may show evidence of chemical pneumonitis within a few days. [Weinstein, p. 136] 2,2'-dichlorodiethylsulfide (mustard gas) is classified by IARC as a human carcinogen, and it has a MAK skin designation. Mustard gas is fibrogenic to the lungs in the context of an acute inhalation exposure complicated by bronchiolitis obliterans.

Reference Link

ATSDR - Medical Management: Blister Agents: Sulfur Mustard Agent H or HD; and Sulfur Mustard Agent HT

Exposure Assessment
TIH

Yes

Lethal Concentration

LCLo (human) = 23 ppm/10min

Explanatory Notes

VP depends on purity. Distilled sulfur mustard VP = 0.072 mmHg at 68 deg F. [Jane's] Exposure to vapor a significant hazard at higher temperatures, e.g., desert environment. [ccc.apgea.army.mil] TIH when used as a weapon; [ERG 2012]

Reference Link

IARC 2012: Sulfur Mustard

Adverse Effects
Lacrimator

Yes

Toxic Pneumonitis

Yes

Fibrogenic

Yes

Dermatotoxin

Skin Burns

IARC Carcinogen

Known Carcinogen

NTP Carcinogen

Human Carcinogen

Links to Other NLM Databases
Health Studies

Human Health Effects from Hazardous Substances Data Bank:

Toxicity Information

Chemical Information

Search ChemIDplus

Related Information in HazMap
Diseases

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent: