Background: Sulfur mustard (2,2’-bis-chloroethyl-sulfide;
SM) has been a military threat since the World War I. SM is the major chemical
warfare agent used byJapanduring World War II. The clinical picture of poisoning, including cutaneous
blisters, respiratory tract damage, ocular lesions and bone marrow depression is
well known. In this report, we describe a civilian exposure in August 2003, in
Qiqihar, Northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province. Aim: To describe the clinical features and treatment of sulfur
mustard toxicity. Results: In 44
victims of SM exposure, 32 had ocular symptoms; 43 showed significant skin
blistering and pigmentation; 15 had pulmonary symptoms such as productive cough
occurred; 18 have Central nervous symptoms and other effects. Conclusion: The 44 victims were all
injured, when five barrels of mustard gas
were dug up at a construction site inQiqihar.
The gas leak killed one and injured 43 others, one of the worst accidents
involving chemical weapons abandoned by Japanese invading troops in China after
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