Nerve Agents


Nerve agents are very poisonous chemicals designed to attack the nervous system. They can be used as weapons during war, or by terrorists. Generally, nerve agents are most dangerous in gas form. When released into a crowded area, people may inhale them and become suddenly ill or die. In liquid form, nerve agents can be used to poison food and water.

There are several nerve agents, including sarin, soman, tabun and VX.

In the 1990s, terrorists released sarin gas in Japan on two separate occasions. Several people were killed and thousands were injured.

Symptoms of exposure include:



How to respond if you are exposed:

While it’s very unlikely that nerve agents would be used in an attack, it’s not impossible. In case of exposure, people should take the following actions:


Learn more about specific nerve agents: