Molecules of the Week

VX and Sulfur Mustard

July 16, 2012

VX (a thiophosphonate ester) and sulfur mustard [bis(2-chloroethyl) sulfide] are chemical warfare agents. VX, first patented in 1974, is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor that is more potent than sarin. Sulfur mustard, also known as mustard gas, is a vesicant whose effects include skin blisters, edema, and conjunctivitis; it was prepared as early as 1822. Chemists are currently developing methods to detect trace amounts of these and other chemical weapons.

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