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Definition Of:

GB

Military DictionaryDOD Joint Acronyms & Abbreviations
group buffer; Sarin, a nerve agent
  
Source: U.S. Department of Defense, Joint Doctrine Division. ( About )
Military DictionaryInternational Relations & Security Acronyms
Nerve Gas 

Sarin, developed in 1938, is the most toxic of the three G-agents made by Germany. Its name is derived from the names of the chemists involved in its creation: Schräder, Ambrose, Rüdiger and van der Linde. NATO adopted it as a standard chemical warfare agent in the early 1950s. Iraq used sarin in the 1980-88 war with Iran and had large stocks available in the 1990-91 Gulf War. The Japanese Aum Shinrikyo religious sect released an impure form of sarin in Matsumoto in 1994 and in the Tokyo underground in 1995.

Nerve agents in general attack the nervous system of the human body. When a nerve receives a stimulus acetylcholine is released in order to carry the impulse to muscles and organs. Once the impulse has passed the enzyme cholinesterase acts to prevent the accumulation of acetylcholine after its release in the nervous system. Nerve agents inhibit the functioning of cholinesterase, as a consequence of which the acetylcholine continues to act so that nervous impulses keep on being transmitted. The first symptoms a victim will experience following exposure to nerve agents are a runny nose, tightness in the chest and constriction of the pupils (miosis). The victim will then encounter breathing difficulties, drooling from the mouth and nausea. Because he loses control over his bodily functions, he will involuntary vomit, defecate and urinate. This phase is followed by twitching and jerking. Ultimately the victim will become comatose and suffocate as a consequence of convulsive spasms.

Sarin is a highly volatile liquid, so that inhalation as well as absorption through the skin pose a great threat. Even vapour concentrations will immediately penetrate the skin. Death may follow in one minute after direct ingestion of extremely low concentrations (0.01 mg per kg of body weight or higher). People who did not accumulate a lethal dose but did not receive immediate appropriate medical treatment may suffer permanent neurological damage.

More information:
SIPRI Chemical and Biological Warfare Project 

See also: Q&A , B-H , T&E , WAS , UAJ

 

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