Poisonous Gas During World War I by lauren dunn

The first large scale use of chemical warfare was during World War I. Between the Allies and Axis powers, phosgene, chlorine, and mustard gas were used as weapons. This was a major component of the first global war.
It must've been hard to imagine how trench warfare could get much worse in 1917- but it did when mustard gas was introduced. Mustard gas was first used by Germany against British soldiers near Ypres, Belgium. At first there weren't many deaths, but it was very weakening.
July 12, 1917, was the first time mustard gas was used effectively. Victims had excruciating and unbearable blisters on their bodies. Most victims were blind and some were slowly suffocating. These are the effects of mustard gas. By autumn that year, the gas was used up and down the western front.
You might be wondering what exactly mustard gas is. It is reaction of ethylene with sulfur dichloride to form bis(β-chloroethyl) sulfide, which is known as the mustard gas. When used in impure form (such as warfare), it has a yellow-brown color and smells like mustard or horseradish, hence the name "mustard gas".
There are different types of mustard gas including HS, HD, HT, HL, and HQ. It can be used with artillery shells, aerial bombs, rockets, and sprayed by warplanes. In my opinion, the fact that there's so many different ways to use mustard gas probably made this weapon even more deadly during World War I.
Gas masks were used so gas couldn't get in somebody's eyes, mouth, or nose. Gas masks didn't really cover you completely though- it can be absorbed through skin and leave awful rashes and blisters on the skin. Mustard gas could take up to 6 weeks to kill you-a horrible way to die.
Many people didn't know this, but Adolf Hitler was temporarily blinded by mustard gas on October 14, 1918. His time as a German soldier shaped his views, which led him to become the leader of the Nazi party.
How is it used today? In September, the pentagon confirmed that ISIS, took responsibility for trying to use mustard gas on US troops that were stationed in Iraq. Obviously it's not used today as much as it was in the trenches during World War 1, but mustard gas is still deadly today.
Sources- https://www.britannica.com/science/mustard-gas https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_weapons_in_World_War_I http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2014/08/27/mustard-gas-from-the-great-war-to-frontline-chemotherapy/


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