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Cyclosarin or GF (cyclohexyl methylphosphonofluoridate) is an extremely toxic substance that is one of the world's most dangerous weapons of war. It is a member of the G-series family of nerve agents, a group of chemical weapons discovered and synthesized by a German team led by Dr. Gerhard Schrader. The major nerve gases are the G agents, sarin (GB), soman, tabun, and the V agents such as VX. The original agent, tabun, was discovered in Germany in 1936 in the process of work on organophosphorus insecticides. Next came sarin, soman and finally the most toxic, VX, a product of commercial insecticide laboratories prior to World War II.
As a chemical weapon, it is classified as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations, according to UN Resolution 687, and its production and stockpiling was outlawed by the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993.
Like its predecessor sarin, cyclosarin is a liquid organophosphate nerve agent. Its physical characteristics are quite different from sarin, however.
At room temperature, cyclosarin is a colorless liquid whose odor has been variously described as sweet and musty, or resembling peaches or shellac. Unlike sarin, cyclosarin is a persistent liquid, meaning that it has a low vapor pressure and therefore evaporates relatively slowly, about 69 times more slowly than sarin and 20 times more slowly than water.
Like other nerve agents, cyclosarin can be shipped in binary munitions.
A cyclosarin binary weapon would most likely contain methylphosphonyldifluoride in one capsule, with the other capsule containing either cyclohexanol or a mixture of cyclohexylamine and cyclohexanol.
According to CBWInfo.com, Iraq fielded munitions filled with a mixture of GB (sarin) and GF (cyclosarin). Tests on mice indicated that GB-GF mixtures have a relative toxicity between GF and GB.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Cyclosarin". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|