Where were you in 1987?
Either you were shaking your hip to Tina Turner’s music, rocking your voluptuous (and regretful) hairstyle, or you still had the flexibility to use your toes as a pacifier – like me – Environics was already being settled.
Julius Arhur Nieuwland, a Belgian-born Holy Cross priest and professor of chemistry and botany, made the first known synthesis of acetylene and arsenic trichloride in 1904, during his PhD studies, while conducting a research on acetylene, looking for a solution to synthetic rubber.
Cyanogen chlorine was synthesized for the first time in 1802 by the French chemist Claude Louis Berthollet, although the correct chemical format was established by his compatriot Louis-Joseph Gay-Lussac in 1815. Cyanides have been used for their toxic potential since ancient Roman times.
In 1886, German chemist Victor Meyer made the first reliable synthesis of pure Sulphur Mustard. The purity of this compound was high and consequently the adverse health effects upon exposure were also severe. Meyer tested this compound on laboratory rabbits, most of which died.
Nowadays, technology is constantly developing in a very rapid rate. This gives different organizations and individual operators a vast variety of possibilities to extend and enhance their actions and procedures in different situations. Manufacturers are constantly looking for new ways to improve the operative capabilities of their equipment and chemical detectors are no exception.
Choking chemical agents are the oldest warfare agents. This type of agents was used for the first time in Peloponnese war in 428 and 424 B.C. The English scientist J.H Davy discovered already in 1812 phosgene, when exposing a mixture of carbon oxide and chlorine to the sunlight.
Environics got together with their distributors in the US to discuss business and share experiences. This time, focus on discussion was solely on first responders and their needs. Especially, the Clean Cab concept for First Responders.
The production of hydrogen cyanide (hydrocyanic acid) out of the sulfuric acid and Berlin-blue was discovered by Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele in 1782. French chemist and physicist Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac prepared pure liquefied hydrogen cyanide in 1811.
Chlorine was discovered in 1774 by Carl Wilhelm Scheele, a German / Swedish pharmaceutical chemist. He also discovered nitrogen, oxygen, barium, manganese, and wolfram, not forgetting organic acids like hydrofluoric, hydrocyanic, and arsenic acids.
Throughout 2020 I will share with you a compilation of information, a self-tailored Chemical Agent Database, I use as knowledge basis when conducting CBRN trainings myself.