Gulf War and Postjunctional Muscarinic Receptors Essay

Submitted By semperfidancer@hotma
Words: 524
Pages: 3

Hello Class! My, my, my, I must say, this was one of my favorite chapters! I have always held an extreme curiosity and fascination with chemical and biological warfare. It was great to reread all the signs, symptoms, means of dissemination and use, history, etc. of prominent chemical weapons. However, I chose a chemical weapon that is fairly new to the warfare world, 3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate (QNB), also known as Agent Buzz, Agent 15, or BZ. Agent 15 is classified as a psychedelic nerve agent that affects the central nervous system, as well as the circulatory system, digestions, salivation, sweating, and vision (Burke, 2007, p. 121). Agent 15 appearance depends on form, as it can appear as white crystalline solid or a colorless liquid, with the sent ranging from odorless, to fruity with a slight scent of benzene (PubChem, 2015).
The primary means of dissemination of this chemical is via aerosol, but can include dissemination through water and food as well. QNB’s absorption methods occur through inhalation, ingestion, dermal contact, and eye contact. When in an aerosol form, it travels along the ground, thriving in poorly ventilated, low-lying, and confined areas. Signs and Symptoms are usually fairly delayed (anywhere from 4 to 36 hours) but long lasting (3 to 4 days, dependent on severity of toxicity); directly dependent on dose and route of exposure (CDC, 2015). The mechanism of action of QNB is an inhibitor of neurotransmitter acetylcholine neurons as the postjunctional muscarinic receptors in cardiac and smooth muscle, as well as in exocrine glands, and the postsynaptic receptors in neurons (USAMRIDC, 2007).
If exposed to this agent, supportive care is the best means of mitigating life-threatening damage. Decontamination must commence, with the use of soap and water, once this is completed and it has been determined that severe toxicity has occurred, the use of physostigmine is indicated, although hospital staff must be aware and prepared to deal with a wide range of adverse affects. (Fitzgerald, 2015).
Although there have been no confirmed reports of this agent being used by governments, armies, terrorist organizations, factions, etc.; but the empirical data comes from tests…