Agent Name


Alternative Name

Mustard gas

CAS Number




Major Category

Toxic Gases & Vapors


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


Chemical Weapons


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


Chemical warfare;


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. [] 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


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. []

Reference Link

IARC 2012: Sulfur Mustard

Adverse Effects


Toxic Pneumonitis





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

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Related Information in HazMap

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent: