Poison Gases That Pollute The Planet

Throughout history, Human beings have purposefully contaminated the planet to kill fellow human beings by using deadly gases. Remember the horrors of Holocaust and how thousands of Jews that were mass murdered in Gas Chambers with the effect of carbon monoxide and some other poisonous gases. However, here are some of the gases other than those emanating from vehicle emissions that have been used in wars and various other battlefields, no doubt polluting the planet.

Chlorine gas produces a greenish-yellow cloud that smells of bleach and instantly irritates the eyes, nose, lungs, and throat of those exposed to it. At high enough doses it kills by asphyxiation.

Years ago, when Fritz Haber (1868-1934) head of the chemistry section in the Nazi Ministry of War, he used to coordinate the production of ammonia needed to fight the war. He was also in charge of chemical warfare, choosing chlorine gas as the agent.

He also supervised the installation of gas cylinders in the trenches on the Western front, near Ypres. According to highly reliable source, Haber, along with others waited for the wind to blow from the east towards the Allied trenches and launched the first gas attack on April 22 1915. As clouds of chlorine drifted towards the Allies, panic set in. It was no good diving into a trench, as the dense chlorine was heavier than air and poured in. Of the 15,000 or more casualties, 5,000 soldiers were killed.

Phosgene, which has an odor like moldy hay, is also an irritant. However, it is six times more deadly than chlorine gas. Phosgene is also a much stealthier gas: Since it is colorless, soldiers fighting in the war front did not at first know that they had received a fatal dose. However, after  day or two victims’ lungs would fill with fluid, and they would slowly suffocate and die an agonizing death. Although the Germans were the first to use phosgene on the battlefield, it became the key chemical weapon of the Allies. Phosgene was responsible for 85% of chemical-weapons fatalities during World War I.

Mustard gas is infamously christened as the King of the Killing Gases. Like phosgene, its effects are not abrupt. It has a potent smell; some say it smells of garlic or even dead horses. Hours after exposure, the victim’s eyes become bloodshot, begin to water, and become increasingly painful, while some suffering temporary blindness. Also, skin begins to blister, particularly areas such as the armpits and genitals. As the blisters burst, they become infected. Mustard gas also contaminates the land where it had been deployed.. Mustard gas caused the highest number of casualties from chemical weapons—upward of 120,000 by some estimates—but it caused few direct deaths because the open air of the battlefield kept concentrations below the lethal threshold.

Looking back at history, we find the use of killer gases and how they created horrors.

1861 -1865: During the American Civil War, civilians and soldiers on both sides propose using chemical weapons. Among a multitude of unrealized ideas, New York City schoolteacher John Doughty recommends firing chlorine-gas projectiles at Confederate troops, and Confederate soldier Isham Walker suggests dropping canisters of poison gas from balloons.

1914 (August):During the first month of World War I the French deploy tear-gas grenades, first developed in 1912 for police use.

1914 (October): German forces fire 3,000 shells containing dianisidine chlorosulfate, a lung irritant, at the British army at Neuve-Chapelle. The British are unaware that they had been subjected to a chemical attack because the chemical is incinerated by the explosive charge.

1915: The Germans fire 18,000 shells filled with the irritant xylyl bromide at Russian troops, but the Russians remain unharmed because of the extremely cold weather that keeps the liquid from vaporizing.

1916: The British military uses chemical weapons for the first time against the Germans t the battle of Loos. The release chlorine gas from cylinders