Review by Choice Review
Forensic chemist Hoenig's useful resource on chemical warfare agents introduces, in chapter 1, types of chemicals, terminology, and history and geography of potential use (from which the US is excluded). Chapter 2 treats chemical agents and devotes one page each to specific agents (11 blister, three blood, two choking, one incapacitating, five nerve, five tear, and three vomit). Each page provides name, molecular weight, physical properties, toxicity levels, color, odor, and structure. Chapter 3 discusses delivery systems and does identify US stockpiles and types of munitions. The detailed inventory is provided by location, and schematic designs of the munitions are included. Chapter 4 details protection and decontamination and covers personal protective equipment. This is the most detailed and most useful chapter and provides extensive description of these procedures, including neutralizing and decontamination chemicals. Chapter 5 treats detection/decontamination/protection equipment. The variety of detection kits is encouraging, although not all substances can be detected in time. The section on protective masks seems outdated but mentions new equipment. Significantly, it does not mention duct tape and plastic sheeting as a protection option. There are worrisome errors, such as identifying DDT as an organophosphate when it is, in fact, an organochlorine. Summing Up: Optional. General readers; lower-division undergraduates through faculty; two-year technical program students. M. Gochfeld Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
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