Chemical analysis of environmental samples collected in Iraq: Analysis for the presence of chemical warfare agents

John F. Weimaster, William T. Beaudry, Paul C. Bossle, Michael W. Ellzy, L. Gail Janes, Dennis W. Johnson, J. Michael Lochner, Stephen G. Pleva, Janet H. Reeder, Dennis K. Rohrbaugh, Thomas E. Rosso, Leonard J. Szafraniec, Linda L. Szafraniec, Thomas G. Albro, William R. Creasy, John R. Stuff, Philip B. Smith, Ian R. Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nineteen samples from the United Nations Special Commission 65 on Iraq (UNSCOM 65) were analyzed for chemical warfare (CW) related compounds using a variety of spectroscopic and chromatographic techniques including multinuclear NMR, GC (phosphorus, sulfur and atomic emission detection), GC/MS (electron impact and chemical ionization), tandem MS, HPLC/ion chromatography, HPLC/thermospray/MS, FTIR, ICP and GFAA. The samples consisted of one piece of cloth, one piece of wood, six waters, six soils, two vegetation samples and two mortar shell crosscut sections. No intact CW agents were detected; however, diethyl phosphoric acid was unambiguously identified in three of the water samples and ethyl phosphoric acid was tentatively identified, at lower levels, in one of the water samples. Diethyl phosphoric acid and ethyl phosphoric acid are degradation products of munitions‐grade Tabun (GA), an organophosphorus nerve agent. However, these compounds are also degradation products of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) scheduled compound Amiton as well as many commercially available pesticides.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-128
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Chemical Technology & Biotechnology
Volume64
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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