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8 Facts About VX

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1

VX is an extremely toxic substance that has no known uses except in chemical warfare as a nerve agent.

Nerve agents are a class of phosphorus-containing organic chemicals that disrupt the mechanisms by which nerves transfer messages to organs.

Chemical warfare involves using the toxic properties of chemical substances as weapons.

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2

It is a tasteless and odorless liquid with an amber-like color.

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3

10 milligrams is sufficient for it to be fatal through skin contact and the LCt50 for inhalation is estimated to be 30–50 mg·min/m3.

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4

As a chemical weapon, it is classified as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations in UN Resolution 687.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 687, adopted on 3 April 1991, after reaffirming resolutions 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674, 677, 678 and 686, the Council set the terms, in a comprehensive resolution, with which Iraq was to comply after losing the Gulf War.

A weapon of mass destruction is a nuclear, radiological, chemical, biological or other weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans or cause great damage to human-made structures, natural structures, or the biosphere.

The United Nations is an intergovernmental organization to promote international co-operation.

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5

The production and stockpiling of VX exceeding 100 grams per year per signatory was outlawed by the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993.

The Chemical Weapons Convention is an arms control treaty which outlaws the production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons and their precursors.

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6

The only exception is for "research, medical or pharmaceutical purposes outside a single small-scale facility in aggregate quantities not exceeding 10 kg per year per facility."

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7

The VX nerve agent is the best-known of the V-series of nerve agents and is considered an area denial weapon due to its physical properties.

An area denial weapon is a device used to prevent an adversary from occupying or traversing an area of land, sea or air.

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8

It is far more potent than sarin, another well known nerve agent toxin, but works in a similar way.

Sarin, or GB, is a colorless, odorless liquid, used as a chemical weapon owing to its extreme potency as a nerve agent.

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