The cyanogen blood agent, cyanogen chloride (CK), is a substance which is a metabolic poison which interferes with life-sustaining processes of the blood. It is an inorganic compound with the formula NCCI. It affects the bodily functions by activating the cytochrome oxidase system. It poisons and prevents the cells in the body from receiving oxygen and transferring to the body tissues. This agent can be very deadly and exposure to high amounts or concentrations can cause many effects and even death in seconds.
CK is a colorless gas which has an irritating odor. It is used in order to cause quick-acting casualties. It can be detected because of its irritant effects. In small amounts its symptoms include headaches, faintness, sore throat, coughing, confusion, vomiting, loss of consciousness, convulsion and even paralysis.
CK was used during World War I beginning in July 1916 and it was used exclusively by the French. The British also used it and they knew it as CC which lead to the current name. Later interest in the agent came back during World War II when Americans realized that it would be useful against the Japanese.
Douglas, D.E., and Winkler, C.A., “The Preparation, Purification, Physical Properties and Hydrolysis of Cyanogen Chloride,” Ca. J. Research, Vol. 25B, p. 381, 1947
FM 8-9/NAVMED P-5059/AFJMAN 44-151, NATO Handbook on the Medical Aspects of NBC Defense Operations AMEDP-6(B), 1 February 1996
Franke, S., Manual of Military Chemistry Volume I - Chemistry of Chemical Warfare Agents, ACSI-J-3890, Chemie der Kampfstoffe, East Berlin, April 1968, UNCLASSIFIED Report (AD849866)