New mustard-gas assessment can be used up to fourteen days after exposure

Categorie(s) : Innovation & Society, News, Research

Published : 5 April 2021

Mustard gas has been banned by international treaties. However, it does remain a threat in certain armed conflicts and could potentially be used by terrorists. Scientists at Irig, who have been studying the effects of the gas for years, recently developed* a method for measuring the dose received. It can be used up to fourteen days after exposure. It is also simpler and provides more complete information than the techniques currently in use.

This method, which targets the metabolites produced when mustard gas interacts with an intracellular antioxidant, glutathione, has been tested with success on cells in culture, skin tissue, and animal blood plasma. It could make a real difference in providing an accurate exposure assessment, crucial to prescribing effective treatment and limiting long-term negative health effects. It is used in addition to the non-quantitative assessment of eye and skin damage.

*With CEA-Joliot (Saclay) and France’s military biomedical research institute


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