"But you have to have some chemical and biological know-how to produce it," said Stephanie Loranger, biology-issues director for the Federation of American Scientists.
Because sarin is heavier than air, it can remain in an area for up to six hours, depending on weather conditions.It will sink to low-lying areas and create a greater exposure hazard there, according to the CDC
. "It takes very little sarin to be toxic ... let's say you have 100 milligrams (of sarin) in a drop.That amount could kill the average person," Stephanie Loranger, biology-issues director of the Federation of American Scientists, said yesterday. She
noted that specialist knowledge and equipment are needed to make pure and long-lasting sarin.
So muscles and glands are constantly being stimulated," said Ms. Loranger
. As a result, the CDC
says, the glands and muscles may tire and no longer will be able to sustain breathing. Symptoms of exposure to low or moderate levels of sarin include runny nose, watery eyes, blurred vision, sweating, drowsiness and nausea, according to the CDC
. Even a small drop of sarin on the skin can cause sweating and muscle twitching where sarin touched the skin.Ms. Loranger
said uncontrolled twitching from exposure to larger doses of sarin "results in paralysis, coma and death." In high doses, she
said, sarin paralyzes the muscles around the lungs and prevents a turn-off of bodily secretions.