What is a chemical weapon?
Experts generally recognize seven categories of chemical agents used to expose,
disable or kill people. READ: Nerve agents are the deadliest recognized chemical weapons
Riot control agents
Injure the nose, throat and lungs. Inhalation causes lungs to bleed, drowning victim.
Severely burn and blister the skin or respiratory tract.
Inhibit the ability of blood cells to absorb oxygen, causing suffocation.
Enter body through skin or lungs. Rapidly disrupt the transmission of nerve impulses.
Eye, skin and respiratory-tract irritants. Can be fatal in concentrated doses.
Cause psychotic disorders, including incapacitation and an inability to make decisions.
Destroy vegetative cover and crops and can cause nerve damage.
Chlorine gas, phosgene gas
Mustard gas, lewisite
Cyanide compounds, arsenic compounds
Sarin, tabun, soman
Tear gas (CS gas or CN gas)
LSD, BZ, PCP
Agent Orange, paraquat
SOURCE: Sources: Staff reports, Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. GRAPHIC: Patterson Clark / The Washington Post. Published Aug. 22, 2013.