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What are the Effects of Improved Toxic Agent Chemistry?

Jeff Brodeur
Jeff Brodeur
Business Development, CBRNE

Improvements to toxic agent chemistry increases the technological challenges of detection and identification.

The history of chemical warfare agents (CWAs) identifies four generations of increasingly sophisticated chemistries that enable ground maneuver formations to incapacitate or neutralize enemies of war.

Rigaku CBRN Operator-sm
  • First generation agents - debuted in World War I composed of choking, blood, and blister agents (i.e., phosgene, hydrogen cyanide, mustard gas)
  • Second generation agents - in preparation for a retaliate in kind World War II policy, nerve agents were developed and weaponized in large inventories (i.e., sarin, VX)
  • Third generation agents - in a post-WWII era, the development of binary munitions mitigated safety challenges with storing, transporting, and deploying toxic agents.  Upon deployment, separated components would mix in flight presenting a nerve agent on the target.
  • Fourth generation agents - during the 1980 – 1990s, Russian chemistry developed a fourth generation of chemical agents (i.e., Novichok)

Rigaku’s 1064nm Raman laser technology combined with an optimized library provides the technician presumptive identification for all four generations of chemical agents and precursors within one minute. Capturing the report, embedded photo, spectra, and sending an encrypted report to reach back and headquarters can be accomplished with a few button presses.