Half-life of the "novichok" nerve agent outside of a body?

  • #1

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What is the half-life of "novichok" in, and outside, a biological system? There seems to be an "epidemic" of "novichok" poisoning in Great Britain lately, and given that it's a nerve agent, my understanding is that it should be susceptible to fairly rapid decomposition/breakdown.
 
  • #2
  • #3
Here's an interview with a toxicologist: https://www.npr.org/2018/07/06/626664129/the-deadly-novichok-nerve-agent-what-is-it?t=1531106306623 but they don't mention how it is removed, kidneys or liver.

Wikipedia mentions evaporation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novichok_agent
According to Vladimir Uglyov, who worked on the development of Novichok , it is very stable with a slow evaporation rate and can remain dangerous for years once deployed.

IMO it's better explained on the German Wikipedia page, at least as the body chemistry is concerned. They have a hint that the liver is affected, which makes me assume that it takes longer than if it were dissipated by the kidneys. Due to only a few cases, it's probably difficult to tell for how long it remains in a body.
 
  • #4
"dangerous for years" scares the hell out of me.

Edit: has to have been for some very special use/application; too long-lived for any military purpose.
 
  • #5
"dangerous for years" scares the hell out of me.
Add the amount they had produced!

Also from Wikipedia:

Mirsajanow counts the substances A-230, A-232 and A-234 to the basic substances of the Novichok series and also the Russian variant of the VX (substance 33, VR). Of these, Substance 33 and A-230 were approved as chemical weapons, with Substance 33 producing 15,000 tonnes said Mirsajanow and A-230 only producing experimental quantities (tens of tonnes).

Mirsajanow zählt[ die Substanzen A-230, A-232 und A-234 zu den grundlegenden Substanzen der Nowitschok-Reihe sowie außerdem die russische Variante des VX (Substanz 33, VR). Davon erhielten Substanz 33 und A-230 die Zulassung als chemische Waffen, wobei von Substanz 33 nach Mirsajanow 15.000 Tonnen produziert wurden, von A-230 nur experimentelle Mengen (einige zehn Tonnen).

Now what is tens of tons divided by ##100\,\mu g\,## (Hay)?
 
  • #6
A small experimental amount of 100 billion times the lethal dose.
 

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