Sulfur Mustard

CAS ID#: 505-60-2

Affected Organ Systems: Developmental (effects during periods when organs are developing) , Gastrointestinal (Digestive), Lymphoreticular (Lymphoid), Ocular (Eyes)

Cancer Classification:  Please contact NTP, IARC, or EPA with questions on cancer and cancer classification.

Chemical Classification: Warfare and Terrorism Agents (used in acts of war or terror)

Summary: Sulfur mustard (HD) is a thick liquid at ambient temperature, but becomes a solid at 58 °F. It is heavier than water as a liquid and heavier than air as a vapor. It does not occur naturally in the environment It is often called mustard gas, but sulfur mustard is not likely to change into a gas immediately if it is released at ordinary temperatures. As a pure liquid, it is colorless and odorless, but when mixed with other chemicals, it looks brown and has a garlic-like smell. Sulfur mustard has been used in chemical warfare and was made in large amounts during World Wars I and II. It was reportedly used in the Iran-Iraq war in 1980-1988. It is not presently used in the United States, except for research purposes, and the U.S. Department of Defense must destroy all remaining stocks of sulfur mustard by 2004.

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Page last reviewed: February 10, 2021