Chemical Agent

Last updated: November 10, 2018

What Does Chemical Agent Mean?

A chemical agent is a chemical compound that has toxic effects on human health. Within this definition, the term includes dusts, mixtures, and even common materials such as paints, fuels, and solvents.

Chemical agents are used for various reasons, ranging from controlling crowds to chemical warfare.

Safeopedia Explains Chemical Agent

There are various types of chemical agents that affect the human body in numerous ways—blister agents, blood agents, nerve agents, riot control agents, mustard agents, psychotomimetic agents, and toxins. When the chemical agent is disseminated as a vapor, as liquid or solid particles of respirable size, or as a spray deposited on surfaces to eventually evaporate to form a vapor, it poses an inhalation hazard.

Some chemical agents present a hazard to sensitive mucous membranes if, for example, the agent is deposited directly on people or on surfaces with which people are likely to come into contact.

Some examples of chemical agents include phosgene (a choking agent or lung irritant), hydrogen cyanide (a blood gas), dibenzoxazepine (a type of tear gas), and sarin (a type of nerve gas).


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