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Suicide by Blood Agent

A teen age girl in Japan committed suicide by creating deadly hydrogen sulphide gas in her apartment. The instructions for creating the chemical mixture was found on a computer in the apartment...apparently there have been a number of suicides/attempts since the internet information has been published. About 100 residents in the apartment building had to be evaluated following exposure. Other residents complained of respiratory distress and irritation.

This tragic story is yet another example of the Consumer-Level Hazardous Materials Incident. These events are created when routine chemical products are combined, intentionally or accidentally, to generate harmful chemical events. With all the focus on terrorism...we tend to forget about the common items we see everyday...and the impact they can have on our response.

In this case, Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) was created by a mixture of readily available products (note: I am not listing the chemicals in attempt to keep people from doing this...if you're a responder and would like the information, please email me). H2S is a blood agent, meaning that it prevents the hemoglobin from functioning. Carbon Monoxide and Cyanide are other examples of blood agents. As an interesting note: cyanide is described as one of the least toxic blood agents. H2S poisoning follows the toxidrome of mucous membrane dryness, gasping, air hunger, respiratory failure, tachycardia and CV collapse.

In addition, H2S and a variety of other chemicals and acids can be produced by homemade chemical bombs. These types of events, intentional or accidental, can produce deadly outcomes. They can create the instant MCI and include worried well as well as actual exposure patients. Remember to consider decontamination of any patient exposed to a chemical liquid or gas.

More to follow.
Rick

3 comments:

  1. Dear Sir,

    As a HazMat Advisor for the Amsterdam FireDepartement I am interested in your findings with the recent H2S-development. We are very concerned someone might not use this to commit suicide but to engage in an act of terror. We have some information already but would like to be better informed on the chemicals used to create the gas. We can use this information to warn first defenders about this possible risk.

    If you would be so kind as to share your information with us I would be very gratefull. Please contact me via e-mail: m.vanstaaveren@brandweer.amsterdam.amstelland.nl

    Thank you for your trouble.

    Kind regards,

    Marieke van Staaveren
    HazMat Advisor
    FireDepartement Amsterdam-Amstelland

    ReplyDelete
  2. Marieke - Could you please email me again...I've attempted to reply to you several times. My notes to you are bounced back.

    Rick

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous11:25 AM

    Hey Rick,

    Found your article while searching for something else -- am also an EMTP. Would appreciate knowing the additional specs. Will make sure to pass it on. Thanks for the good work and bringing it to others' attention.

    Ken
    k.rockford @ gmail.com

    ReplyDelete

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