Prep America | Chemical Glossary of Terms

Chemical Glossary of Terms

Anthrax – An infectious disease that affects humans and animals. It is produced, dried out and packed into missiles. A microscopic particle is fatal. It is the biological “weapon of choice” because it is easy to make and stores indefinitely. There are two ways to avoid anthrax contamination: vaccinations and using a gas mask.

Arsenical Agents – a k.a. vomit agents – Acts within a few minutes of exposure to irritate eyes and mucus membranes. Can last from 30 minutes to several hours. Symptoms include headaches, sneezing, coughing, chest pains, nausea and vomiting.

Bacterial Agents – Anthrax, pneumonic plague, etc. – incubates for one to five days before rendering victim fatally ill.

Biological – Pertaining to agents that are biological in nature; agents that attack the body, spreading disease that could prove fatal.

Blister Agents (vesicants) – Causes large blisters and burns. Potentially fatal.

Blood Agents – Cyanogens – Impairs the blood so it can’t carry oxygen. Can last for days or weeks. Fatal!

Botulin Toxin – 3 million times more potent than Sarin.

BW – Biological Warfare.

Canisters – A disposable filter attached to the gas mask which cleans contaminated air, turning it into breathable air instantaneously. Layman’s term is “filter”.

Chemical – Pertains to toxins that are chemical in nature. Man-made toxins that burn, disfigure or suffocate the body.

Chemical Agents – The following is a list of the most common fatal chemical agents used in warfare or by terrorists:

Tabun “GA”
Sarin “GB”
Soman “GD”
VX Distilled Mustard
Nitrogen Mustard
Botulin Ricin
Saxitoxin “TZ”
Enterotoxin “B”

Chemical Suit – A full-body chemical suit that protects the entire body from chemical burns and possible contamination of all biohazardous materials. Large enough in the back area for air tanks and/or backpacks. The Chemturion “Ready 1” suit carried by Safety Central is the finest quality chemical protection suit in the world. It was designed and is manufactured by the same company which manufactures the Apollo, SkyLab and Shuttle spacesuits. The Saratoga suit is a military version used by the United States Army and Marine Corps.

Chemical Resistant Hood – Hood goes over the head, shoulders and upper torso of the wearer. Designed to be worn in conjunction with the gas mask to protect the wearer against chemical agents such as “liquid mustard” which can cause severe burns to the head, neck and body.

Choking Agents – First used in WWI. Causes exposed person to have trouble breathing. Causes suffocation, then death.

Civilian Mask – A gas mask that is styled for use by civilians. As effective as a military gas mask for saving the wearer’s life from NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) agents.

Contamination – The end result of an individual or area exposed to NBC agents.

CW – Chemical Warfare.

Disinfectant Liquid – 32 oz. bottle of fluid that is effective against bacteria, odors, etc. (Mix 2 oz. of disinfectant with 1 gallon of warm water.)

Ebola – Causes internal bleeding; organs liquefy within days. Fatal.

ESP Communication System – A self-contained electronic speech protection device. The compact, battery-operated unit clearly amplifies and projects the wearer’s voice, allowing ungarbled speech to be heard in areas with high ambient noise. (Can be used with M-40A1, MCU-2/P, Phalanx Survivor, and the Advantage 1000.)

EZ Don Facepiece Harness – Provides quick, simple facepiece donning. A quick tug on the bottom two straps secures a snug fit. Takes seconds to don mask in an emergency.

Filters – A disposable canister attached to the gas mask which “cleans” contaminated air, turning it into breathable air instantaneously. Same as a canister.

Full-Face Mask – Pertains to gas masks. A full-face mask protects the wearer’s eyes, face, lungs, etc., from contamination.

Gas Mask – A device that fits snugly against the face to protect the wearer from breathing NBC agents. Attached filtering device is interchangeable.

Half-Face Mask – Pertains to gas masks. A half-face mask does not protect the eyes, upper face and forehead from biological or chemical agents. Can be used with the proper filter to protect the wearer from viruses.

Harassing Agents – a.k.a. Riot Control Agents – Tear gas, pepper spray, CN, CNS, CNB, BBC, CS, CR, etc.

Hantavirus – Causes fever and respiratory distress. Mostly fatal.

Immunization – When immunized, an individual is protected from getting a particular disease caused by a particular biological agent.

Inoculations – A series of injections given to humans to protect them against diseases caused by biological agents.

Isoamyl Acetate (Banana Oil) Test – A test used by Safety Central and throughout the gas mask industry to detect leaks in the mask or faulty filters. If the wearer can smell a “banana” odor, the mask is either (a) not fitted properly, or (b) has a used and ineffective filter (canister).

Lens Cover – Protects the facepiece lens from scratches during handling, use and storage.

Lens Outsert – Polycarbonate lens outsert snaps into place over the lens of the gas mask facepiece. Outsert provides additional impact protection. Tinted outsert helps conceal identity.

Lithium Batteries – Powerful, disposable batteries. Can provide up to fourteen hours of use with “Positive Air” System. Has shelf-life of ten years without losing charge.

Military Mask – A gas mask that is styled for use by the military. As effective as a civilian gas mask for saving the wearer’s life from NBC agents. Styled for wear while using firearms, carrying large amounts of equipment on the body, etc.

Mustard Agents – a.k.a. Blister Agents – Used in the 1980s by the Iraqis against the Kurds. Can cause blindness. Problem may continue for 30-40 years after exposure.

NBC – Stands for Nuclear, Biological and Chemical. Pertains to warfare and terrorist activities.

Negative Air System – Standard gas mask system in which contaminated air is pulled through a filter upon inhalation, allowing the wearer to breathe clean, filtered air.

Nerve Agents – “G” or “V” Agents – Stays in the body for days or weeks. Penetrates all mucous surfaces: mouth, eyes, skin, etc. Fatal.

NICAD Batteries – Batteries that are made from NIckel and CADmium. These are typically rechargeable. They can be stored for up to one year without losing their charge. Can provide up to ten hours of use with “Positive Air System.”

NIOSH Approved – National Institute of Occupational and Safety Hazards. A U.S. government agency which puts their “seal of approval” on items designed to protect the health and life of consumers. NIOSH has the same “Standard of Excellence” as “UL” does with electrical products.

Nosecup – Used to reduce the possibility of lens fogging under low-temperature and high-humidity conditions.

Nuclear – Pertaining to atomic in nature. Radionuclides that cause burns, cancer, and eventual death.

Positive Air System – A breathing system which employs the use of blowers or pressure to lightly blow fresh air across the face of the wearer.

Psychotomimetic Agents – Agents that affect the mind, making it impossible for those affected to go about their normal routines.

Ricin – A toxin derived from the castor bean, it can be spread in aerosol or liquid form. It causes blood poisoning and leads to the collapse of the circulatory system and a slow death.

Sarin – The chemical released by terrorists into a subway system in Tokyo, Japan in 1995. A small amount killed 12 and injured several thousand, including hundreds whose lungs were completely burned. One of the most common nerve agents.

Shelf-Life – The period of time a gas mask and/or filter will last while in storage (at normal temperatures and humidity).

Spectacle Kit – For use by individuals who must wear corrective lenses. Easily inserted kit includes wire support, rubber guide and one pair of metal frame spectacles (excluding lenses). Lens size = 44mm.

Toxins – Chemical weapons.

VEE (Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis) – Infects central nervous system, causing swelling of the brain. Fatal.

Vibrio Cholera – Forces fluid loss of up to 1 liter per hour.

Viral Agents – Smallpox, yellow fever, etc. Genetically modified to increase effectiveness.

Yersinia Pestis – The plague. Causes lung fever and swelling of the lymph nodes.


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