Sulfur mustard exposure in Massachusetts

June 16, 2010, 12:37 am

The Worchester (Mass.) News Telegram reports that the clinical toxiciology unit at UMass Memorial Medical Center recently treated a case of sulfur mustard exposure. Two local fishermen were injured when they netted a leaking World War I canister containing the vesicant (blistering agent).  Although the article mentions potential dire complicatons of contact with sulfur mustard — specifically, cancer and immune system shutdown, I know of no data to suggest that either of these are appreciable risks, especially with low-level exposures involving less than 50% body surface area.  In fact, sulfur mustard is rarely fatal, and most victims exposured in World War I recovered even if the initial injury looked horrendous.


  1. Bostonian in NY Says:

    it’s Worcester…;)

  2. Leon Says:

    You are correct, Bostonian in NY. Thanks for noticing!