Category Archives: Chemical Weapons Discussions

BOTULISM – A Paralytic Nerve Toxin

Botulism, as an accidental illness, is rare these days. More sophisticated canning processes and better preservation of food products have prevented this serious neurotoxin from poisoning those in the modern world. Intentional poisonings, however, are another story. The botulism toxin … Continue reading

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Got Milk or Brucellosis?

I’ve often blogged about biological weapons—both those used in the past and those with potential for use in your new thriller plots. The world’s population has certainly been victim to biological warfare in the past. In 184 BC, Hannibal’s warriors … Continue reading

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TOXIDROMES: Wet vs Dry Symptoms

In last week’s blog, I introduced the concept of toxidromes—defined as a group of specific symptoms and clues which medical examiners use to identify the specific substance used to poison a victim. In that blog, I discussed two of the … Continue reading

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TABUN – A Dramatic Murder Weapon!

Although first developed as a possible pesticide in Germany in 1936, tabun quickly became known as an excellent chemical warfare agent and was made on an industrial scale by Germany during World War II. It was the first of the … Continue reading

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Aconite – A Two-Edged Sword!

Many botanical compounds have important medical uses, and some of modern medicine’s most important drugs were derived initially from plant sources. However, some of these botanical compounds have a very narrow dosage range between a therapeutic effect and toxicity. This … Continue reading

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Mad As A Hatter!

More than 200 years ago, hat making was a profitable business, but it could also be a deadly one! The furs used to make felt hats were dipped in a preservative made with mercury nitrate solutions. The soaking also helped … Continue reading

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Perchloric Acid – A Versatile Murder Weapon!

Unique lethal compounds fascinate me and, as a medical thriller writer, I’m constantly on the search for new methods of murder. Today, I’d like to discuss a most interesting chemical—perchloric acid. It has deadly potential in a number of ways … Continue reading

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