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Monday, November 1, 2010

Urban Survival - CBRNE Threat: VX Nerve Agent

I see alot of back and forth on the internet assessing the probability of Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE) events being the catalyst for a collapse. I assess this is less likely than either a gradual or dynamic economic collapse, but still possible. possess very basic knowledge in this area and feels that Urban Survivalists can take some steps to protect against some of the likely agents, be it military grade weapons or some type of commercial contaminant, however the required technology, equipment, and expertise to be exceptional prepared and protected is far outside the scope of most Survivalists.

It is always prudent to have Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as protective (gas) masks, extra filters, protective suits, gloves, and decontamination material, such as bleach on hand. The ability to seal the air input into your home or residence may be crucial as well.

Over the next few weeks and months, we will post some information on CBRNE Threats, particularly chemical and biological threats.

VX Nerve Agent

First symptoms of exposure (skin contact) may be muscular twitching or sweating at the area of exposure followed by nausea or vomiting. Some of the early symptoms of a VX vapor exposure a runny nose, tightness in the chest with shortness of breath, and pinpoint pupils.

Treatment would include first removal of the liquid agent from the skin before moving the person out of the contaminated area. Begin decontamination by washing the contaminated areas with household bleach and flushing with clean water. After decontamination, the contaminated clothing is removed and skin contamination washed away.

An individual who has received a known nerve-agent exposure or who exhibits definite signs or symptoms of nerve-agent exposure should immediately have the nerve agent antidote drugs atropine, pralidoxime (2-PAM), and diazepam injected. In several nations the nerve agent antidotes are issued for military personnel in the form of an auto-injector such as the United States military Mark I auto-injector.


  1. During one of my tours of duty in the military I was required to wear my gas mask bag on my hip so I would always have it with me. At best this provided about a 50/50 chance I would have it if I needed it and probably the odds were half that. As a civilain what would be the odds that you would have your gas mask in that split second when you needed it. I'm gonna guess conservatively that it would be 1,000,000 to 1. When you factor in the odds that you would need it which is easily another 1,000,000 to 1 I have to wonder why would you buy one? The gas mask will not protect you from the newer biological and chemical agents. The simple fact is that if you are in a biological or chemical attack the first indication you will have is when you begin to die and your gas mask will be useless.

  2. I would be more interested in obtaining the atropine, pralidoxime (2-PAM), and diazepam. I was reading up on the mechanisms that the nerve agents take to kill you and fast application of those chemicals in your system would improve your chances of survival greatly as long as you can get out of the gas cloud before your muscles stop working.

  3. VX is distributed as a liquid. It does not give off vapors as a mechanism to kill. You could sit next to a pool of VX and it wouldnt bother you but if you put your finger in it it would kill