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Pueblo County Sheriff's Office


Emergency Services Bureau - CSEPP

Mustard Facts

Background:  Pueblo Chemical Depot has been storing mustard agent since the 1950's.  This represents about 8.5 percent of the original U.S. chemical weapons stockpile.  Pueblo's stockpile includes projectiles and mortar rounds.

MUSTARD AGENT

  • Clear liquid when pure.
  • Consistency of motor oil or molasses.
  • Normally a yellow-brown color.
  • Heavier than water as a liquid & heavier than air as a vapor.
  • Mustard is a persistent agent.
  • Mustard is a vesicant; can cause blisters.
  • Designed to incapacitate personnel.

STORAGE & SAFETY

  • Stored in earth-covered bunkers called igloos.
  • Igloos, constructed of concrete with reinforced steel, are 25 feet high, 25 feet wide, and 80 feet long.
  • The igloos are specifically designed to contain the weapons and protect them from damage caused by deterioration and weather-related events.
  • The chemical storage area is secured and monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

HD HT - Pueblo's stockpile consists of two types of mustard - HD & HT

  • HD is a sulfur mustard, distilled to remove impurities.
  • HD becomes a solid at 58º F, and boils at 422° F.
  • HD is 1.27 times heavier than water, and 5.5 times heavier than air.
  • HT is a distilled mustard combined with a sulfur and chlorine compound.
  • HT becomes a solid at 34° F, and boils at 442° F.
  • HT is 1.27 times heavier than water, and 6.9 times heavier than air.

SYMPTOMS OF MUSTARD EXPOSURE

  • Burning or stinging of the eyes.
  • Sore throat & hoarse cough.
  • Burning, stinging, or redness of the skin.
  • Skin blisters, appear on delicate tissues first.
  • Ingestion can cause weakness, nausea, vomiting, and fever.
  • 2 - 24 hour delay before symptoms appear.

PERSONNEL DECONTAMINATION

  • Flush eyes and exposed wounds with clear water or saline only.
  • Remove contaminated clothing.
  • Flush skin with a 5% household bleach to water mixture followed by washing with soap and water.
  • If any of above symptoms appear, seek medical attention immediately.

 

 

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    Pueblo, CO  81003
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Pueblo County Sheriff's Office