In DepthCHEMICAL WEAPONS

Obscure Cold War nerve agents set to be banned

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  25 Oct 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6464, pp. 404-405
DOI: 10.1126/science.366.6464.404

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Summary

A class of nerve agents developed during the Cold War by the Soviet Union may soon be banned. During a meeting next month, parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention are expected to bring them under the convention's verification regime, along with two groups of carbamates that are also highly toxic. Novichoks have long been shrouded in mystery. The first public clues came in 1992 from a Soviet military chemist who later revealed structural details. The U.S. government for years classified the agents as top secret. But last year's assassination attempt against former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, U.K., thrust the Novichoks into the spotlight. The new openness should spur research on their mechanism of action and on countermeasures and treatments.

View Full Text