Smoke producing and inflammable materials

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On behalf of the AMGB (Afdeling Militair Geneeskundig Beleid) toxicological reviews have been made about several smoke producing and inflammable materials. The reviews have been made after a literature search and are meant to complete or to replace the concerning chapters in the NATO handbook on the Medical Aspects of NBC Defense Operations, AMed P-6, part III-Chemical. These reviews are also important for the civilian population and poison information centres. The smokeforming materials Zinc Chloride, Titanium Tetrachloride and Stannic Chloride are a group of related metal chlorides producing hydrochloric acid on contact with moisture. The toxicity of the metal chlorides is mainly due to the formation of the strongly acidic hydrochloric acid, but is also in a lesser extent due to thermal lesions. The thermal lesions are caused by the exothermic reaction of the smokeforming material with water. Magnesium and white phosphorus can cause severe skin or eye lesions caused by chemical and of thermal damage. Serious systemic intoxication can be observed following absorption of white phosphorus through the damaged skin or after ingestion.

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