Surviving Chemical Weapons with Basic Supplies

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Surviving Chemical Weapons with Basic Supplies

Postby Perry » Fri Mar 11, 2022 1:50 am

There is speculation that Russia might start using chemical weapons in Ukraine. I started reading a bit about protection from various types. It sounds like most nerve agents can be filtered by a carbon (organic) filter, possibly also needing a rating for acid gas. But some of these chemicals can kill people through contact of skin, in various quantities. Can people spray something on their skin to deactivate or dilute it? Maybe baking soda water or cooking oil? Can people build an effective respirator if they are unable to purchase one?

I don't think Russia would launch chemical missiles to the US when they have nukes instead. However, agents living in the U.S. could do various types of attacks inside cities.
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Re: Surviving Chemical Weapons with Basic Supplies

Postby futbol » Fri Mar 11, 2022 10:41 am

There are different types of chemical agents (blood, nerve, etc.).

Chemical agents can't just be launched on a large missile without significant preparation and timing. They are more of a local threat.

The best defense (IMHO) is to get out of the area. Second is to have military gear for protection. I doubt either of these is an option at this point for those in peril in Ukraine.

If you can't evacuate, stay indoors if possible, and cover all body parts with something semi-impermeable if possible, like a rain coat, rain pants, boots, and gloves. Keep water in sealed containers. Have a shower or shower-like apparatus nearby and handy. Don't exert yourself.

I'm doubtful that anyone could construct an effective improvised respiratory defense against chemical weapons. Maybe they could mitigate the risk?

Pyridostigmine bromide (PB) is used to mitigate the effects of nerve agents on the human body (we were issued these in the first Gulf War). Perhaps there are a combination of household items that would provide similar protection.

Atropine (injected) was used when a person was determined to have been affected by a nerve agent.

Either way, use of chemical weapons will be tragic.
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Re: Surviving Chemical Weapons with Basic Supplies

Postby Perry » Fri Mar 11, 2022 1:34 pm

Thanks for the info. I was thinking about people taking shelter in basements to avoid shooting and bombing risks. They could close all the doors and seal the cracks, but unfortunately these gases or vapors are heavier than air and sink. I'm wondering if applying sunscreen, homemade goggles, and breathing through a coffee filter with baking soda would help with very low concentrations of a nerve agent.
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Re: Surviving Chemical Weapons with Basic Supplies

Postby Perry » Fri Mar 11, 2022 1:35 pm

From what I've read, atropine is dangerous and the dose has to be adjusted with patient being monitored by a doctor, ideally.
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Re: Surviving Chemical Weapons with Basic Supplies

Postby Perry » Fri Mar 11, 2022 1:51 pm

Actually if I was in that position, I would sprinkle baking soda over the entire floor and every counter while inhaling through a coffee filter to avoid breathing in the baking soda. Sitting far away from a door, in theory the baking soda might absorb the chemical with all that surface area. And a pile of baking soda under the door too.
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Re: Surviving Chemical Weapons with Basic Supplies

Postby phydeux » Fri Mar 11, 2022 7:04 pm

On the ground in Ukraine I wouldn't expect to see a nerve agent (which could be traced), but something simple like mustard gas (military) or something common like chlorine or some type of cyanide gas. Both Syria and Saddam used chlorine a few years ago. No missiles or aircraft-dropped bombs would be required since the gaseous compounds could be sprayed from the back of a truck with a tank of the compound in it as it rolled through a town. Russia could use the excuse it was a chemical leak from a nearby chemical plant or a water purification plant. I'd also rule out passive dispersal of radioactive 'dust' as that is traceable back to its origination point by its chemical make-up.

As for the USA it would be unlikely an attack on an existing facility that contained those chemicals would succeed as places which have weaponizable amounts of chemicals have increased their security since 9-11 and the Oklahoma City bombing. More likely I'd expect someone to carry the stuff (or chemicals that would react to make the stuff) into an enclosed place with lots of people and release it; into a building like a multi-story office building, stadium, gymnasium, crowded retail store on a Saturday, etc. (same scenarios as were expected after 9/11).

Edited for clarity in a few spots 3/12/2022.
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