A Review of the Scientific Literature as it Pertains to Gulf War Illnesses

Volume 5: Chemical and Biological Warfare Agents

by William Augerson


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That Iraq had already used chemical warfare agents led coalition forces to take protective action. Yet many Gulf War veterans have reported a host of symptoms that could be construed as coming from exposure to chemical or biological weapons. The scientific literature on the effects of exposure to such agents suggests the following: Militarily effective doses of any of the agents reviewed would have produced severe health effectsthat would have required clinical treatment or resulted in death. However, since low-level exposures could have produced mild clinical signs that could have been overlooked or misinterpreted, it is not possible to rule out low-dose exposures to one or several classes of agents or the possibility of some resultant contribution to some of the symptoms Gulf War veterans have experienced. Still, it is difficult to believe that exposures affecting largenumbers of persons would escape clinical recognition. Further, no references in the literature report clinical symptoms developing years after exposure, as was the case in about 50 percent of the health problems Gulf War veterans have reported.

Table of Contents

  • Preface PDF

  • Figures PDF

  • Tables PDF

  • Summary PDF

  • Foreword and Acknowledgments PDF

  • Glossary PDF

  • Chapter One

    Introduction PDF

  • Chapter Two

    Overview of Chemical and Biological Warfare PDF

  • Chapter Three

    Skin-Damaging Agents PDF

  • Chapter Four

    Toxins PDF

  • Chapter Five

    Nerve Agents PDF

  • Chapter Six

    Conclusions and Recommendations PDF

  • Appendix A

    Dose and Exposure Characterizations PDF

  • Appendix B

    Data on Nerve Agents PDF

  • Appendix C

    Survey of C-fos PDF

  • Bibliography PDF

This research was sponsored by the RAND National Security Research Division and RAND Health.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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