The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

cia_72232_72232_01.txt
Subject: GULF WAR SYNDROME
Not Finally Evaluated Intelligence
TO FACILITATE ELECTRONIC ACCESS, THIS DOCUMENT HAS BEEN
REFORMATTED TO ELIMINATE INFORMATION THAT DOES NOT PERTAIN
TO GULF WAR ILLNESS ISSUES OR THAT IS CLASSIFIED. A COPY OF
THIS REDACTED DOCUMENT, IN ORIGINAL FORMAT, IS AVAILABLE ON
REQUEST.
JULY 1995
SUBJECT: GULF WAR SYNDROME
1. AT YOUR REQUEST, WE HAVE ATTEMPTED TO RELATE THE
ACCOUNTS OF VETERANS SUFFERING FROM GULF WAR SYNDROME WITH THE
AVAILABLE INFORMATION ON IRAQI SCUD MISSILES. WE HAVE CONCLUDED
THAT WHILE SOME ACCOUNTS WHICH CITE SCUD MISSILES ARE PROBABLY
RELATED TO SOMETHING ELSE, OTHER ACCOUNTS ARE ACCURATE AND SOME
VETERANS WERE PROBABLY EXPOSED TO RED FUMING NITRIC ACID (RFNA),
A CHEMICAL PROPELLANT USED BY SCUD MISSILES.
2. AT LAUNCH, AN IRAQI SCUD CONTAINS ABOUT 3,500 KG
(7,700 LBS) OF RFNA AND ABOUT 1,000 KG (2,200 LBS) OF KEROSENE.
MOST OF THE RFNA AND KEROSENE ARE USED WITHIN THE FIRST 80
SECONDS OF FLIGHT WHILE THE MISSILE IS GAINING ENOUGH SPEED TO
REACH ITS TARGET. WHEN THIS SPEED IS REACHED, THE SCUD SHUTS OFF
ITS ENGINE BY SHUTTING OFF THE PROPELLANT TANKS. THE UNUSED
PROPELLANTS, ROUGHLY 150 KG (330 LBS) OF RFNA, AND 50 KG
(110 LBS) OF KEROSENE REMAIN ON-BOARD FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE
FLIGHT.
3. THE HAZARDS POSED BY THESE UNUSED SCUD PROPELLANTS ARE
GENERALLY CONSIDERED NEGLIGIBLE IN THE PRESENCE OF A FULL YIELD
WARHEAD DETONATION. FULL YIELD DETONATIONS RARELY OCCURRED
HOWEVER BECAUSE OF PATRIOT, AND BECAUSE OF THE POOR RELIABILITY
OF THE IRAQI SCUDS. IN FACT, SOME SCUDS SIMPLY BROKE APART AND
CAME DOWN IN PIECES. SHOWN BELOW IS ONE OF A NUMBER OF RFNA
TANKS WHICH LANDED VIRTUALLY INTACT AND ALMOST CERTAINLY
CONTAINED HARMFUL AMOUNTS OF RFNA.
SUBJECT: GULF WAR SYNDROME
4. WE BELIEVE THAT INDIVIDUALS IN THE VICINITY OF IMPACTING
SCUD DEBRIS COULD HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO NOTICEABLE LEVELS OF RFNA.
THE MOST LIKELY HAZARDS WOULD BE EXPOSURE TO THE NITROGEN DIOXIDE
(NO2) FUMES ASSOCIATED WITH RFNA, AND DROPLETS OF NITRIC ACID
(HNO3). (RFNA IS ROUGHLY THREE PARTS NITRIC ACID AND ONE PART
NITROGEN DIOXIDE. HOWEVER, AERODYNAMIC HEATING.ON THE SCUDS
WOULD SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE THE NITROGEN DIOXIDE VAPOR LEVELS AS
WELL AS INCREASE THE CORROSIVENESS OF THE NITRIC ACID.)
5. WE BELIEVE THAT 150 KG OF RFNA DISPERSED AT OR NEAR
IMPACT WOULD BE VISUALLY NOTED AS A LARGE REDDISH-BROWN CLOUD
WHICH MAY PERSIST FOR ABOUT 30 MINUTES. AT LEVELS WHICH WOULD
CREATE NOTICEABLE SKIN, EYE, AND RESPIRATORY EFFECTS, THE HAZARD
AREA COULD BE AS LARGE AS 2 KM TO 3 KM DOWNWIND AND 100 METERS TO
200 METERS WIDE FOR A "WORST CASE" DISPERSAL. RFNA DISPERSED
ABOVE 3 KILOMETERS ALTITUDE WOULD NOT BE EXPECTED TO CAUSE ANY
HAZARD TO PEOPLE ON THE GROUND. WE WOULD NOT EXPECT
CONCENTRATIONS TO REACH LETHAL LEVEL'S IN ANY REASONABLE CASE, AND
ALL OF THE RFNA WOULD PROBABLY EVAPORATE FROM THE SCUD DEBRIS IN
A MATTER OF HOURS OR LESS. NOTE THAT ANY DISPERSAL OF RFNA FROM
SCUDS WAS UNINTENTIONAL. THAT IS, THE SCUDS HAD NO RFNA
DISPERSAL MECHANISMS.
6. EXACT RFNA EXPOSURE LEVELS TO INDIVIDUALS ON THE GROUND
WILL DEPEND ON HOW MUCH RFNA REMAINED IN THE MISSILE AFTER
LAUNCH, HOW THE RFNA WAS ULTIMATELY RELEASED AS THE MISSILE
REACHED ITS TARGET, ATMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS SUCH AS WINDS AND
HUMIDITY, AND THE INDIVIDUALS RELATIVE LOCATION AND SHELTER. THE
HAZARDS AND SYMPTOMS OF EXPOSURE TO RFNA, TAKEN FROM A ROCKET
PROPELLANT MANUAL, ARE AS FOLLOWS:
SUBJECT: GULF WAR SYNDROME
1. GENERAL: THE HAZARDS ASSOCIATED WITH THE USE OF THE FUMING NITRIC ACIDS ARE OF TWO 
TYPES:
A. CORROSION OF BODY TISSUE ON CONTACT WITH THE LIQUID;
B. LUNG INJURY AFTER INHALATION OF THE VAPOR AND/OR DECOMPOSITION PRODUCTS OF THE 
ACID, THE OXIDES OF NITROGEN (THE TYPE III ACIDS CONTAIN OXIDES OF NITROGEN IN SOLU-
TION).
NITRIC ACID IS AN EXTREMELY CORROSIVE LIQUID WHICH WILL SEVERELY BURN TISSUE ON CON-
TACT. THE EYES ARE ESPECIALLY VULNERABLE TO IMMEDIATE DAMAGE FOLLOWING CONTACT 
WITH THE LIQUID OR THE CONCENTRATED VAPOR. SUCH CONTACT MAY RESULT IN PERMANENT 
EYE DAMAGE WITH SUBSEQUENT IMPAIRMENT OF VISION.
THE GREATEST DANGER FROM INHALATION OF THE HIGHLY TOXIC OXIDES OF NITROGEN, PARTICU-
LARY NITROGEN DIOXIDE, IS THE DELAYED DEVELOPMENT OF PULMONARY EDEMA. NITROGEN 
DIOXIDE IS A REDDISH-BROWN GAS WHICH EXISTS IN EQUILIBRIUM WITH ITS COLORLESS DIMER, 
NITROGEN TETROXIDE AT BODY TEMPERATURE THE EQUILIBRIUM MIXTURE IS DARK BROWN, AND 
AT 140' FT IS BLACK, BUT THE INTENSITY OF COLOR DOES NOT INDICATE THE DEGREE OF DANGER. 
OXIDES OF NITROGEN ARE FORMED WHENEVER NITRIC ACID COMES IN CONTACT WITH CERTAIN 
HEAVY METALS SUCH AS COPPER, BRASS, OR ZINC, OR WITH ANY ORGANIC MATERIAL SUCH AS 
WOOD, CLOTH, OR PAPER.
THE APPEARANCE OF SYMPTOMS FOLLOWING INHALATION OF TOXIC NITROGEN OXIDES MAY BE 
DELAYED FROM 4 TO 30 HOURS. DURING THIS TIME, THE VICTIM MAY FEEL EXTREMELY FATIGUED  
AND SHOW SIGNS OF ABNORMALLY LOW BLOOD PRESSURE. FOLLOWING THE 4 TO 30 HOUR 
LATENT PERIOD, THE SYMPTOMS, WHICH MAY BE PRECIPITATED BY EXERTION, APPEAR. THESE 
SYMPTOMS INCLUDE HEADACHE, DIZZINESS, LASSITUDE, NAUSEA, VOMITTING, CYANOSIS (A BLUE  
TINGE TO THE MUCOUS MEM BRANES OF THE MOUTH AND EYELIDS AND THE LIPS AND FINGERNAIL 
BEDS), ANXIETY, DIFFICULT BREATHIRLG, CHOKING AND SUFFOCATION.
7. THE FORGOING SYMPTOMS OF RFNA EXPOSURE ARE IN GOOD
AGREEMENT WITH SOME TESTIMONIES GIVEN TO SENATE STAFF BY VETERANS
WHO HAD BEEN IN THE VICINITY OF IMPACTING SCUDS AND SCUD DEBRIS.
FOR EXAMPLE, CONSIDER MS. PATRICIA BROWNING'S ACCOUNT OF A
CONFIRMED SCUD MISSILE ATTACK ON DAHRAN. MS. BROWNING SAID THAT
HER EYES BEGAN TO BURN, AND SHE SMELLED A STRONG ODOR THAT
REMINDED HER OF AMMONIA. SHORTLY AFTERWARDS SHE BROKE OUT IN A
RASH AND BEGAN EXPERIENCING HEADACHES, NAUSEA, VOMITING, AND
SENSITIVITY TO BRIGHT LIGHTS. MR. RANDALL VALLEE WAS ALSO NEARBY
AND DESCRIBED A SIMILAR EXPERIENCE. HE RECALLED BECOMING
NAUSEOUS, WEAK, DIZZY, SWEATING PROFUSELY, AND HIS VISION BECAME
BLURRY. HE CLAIMS THAT WHEN HE WENT OUTSIDE, AFTER THE ALL CLEAR
WAS GIVEN, HE IMMEDIATELY NOTICED A 'VERY SUFFOCATING SMELL, AS
THOUGH THERE WASN'T ENOUGH AIR TO BI7EATH,,,,KIND OF LIKE AMMONIA,
BUT VERY STRONG.,,
8. MANY OF THE SCUD ATTACKS WERE AT NIGHT WHEN IT WOULD BE
IMPOSSIBLE TO SEE REDDISH-BROWN RFNA VAPORS. MR. RICHARD VOSS
WITNESSED A CONFIRMED DAYTIME SCUD ATTACK, WHERE THE MISSILE
IMPACTED TO THE EAST OF HAFFA AL BATIN, ABOUT ONE MILE AWAY FROM
HIS VEHICLE. HE CLAIMS TO HAVE SEEN A LARGE DARK BROWN CLOUD
RISE UP, WHICH WE BELIEVE COULD HAVE BEEN RFNA VAPORS.
MR. MICHAEL KINGSBURY ALSO REPORTED SEEING A RAINBOW IN THE SKY
AFTER A SCUD ATTACK ON RIYAD. THIS COULD HAVE BEEN CAUSED BY
KEROSENE OR LIQUID RFNA DROPLETS FROM A SCUD AFTER IT EITHER
BROKE UP OR WAS INTERCEPTED BY PATRIOT.
SUBJECT: GULF WAR SYNDROME
9. THE FACT THAT SOME VETERANS WERE PROBABLY EXPOSED TO
NOTICEABLE LEVELS OF RFNA, AND THAT THIS AGREES WITH SOME OF
THEIR ACCOUNTS, LEADS US TO BELIEVE THAT THIS MAY EXPLAIN A PART
OF GULF WAR SYNDROME -- BUT NOT ALL. SOME ACCOUNTS CITE SCUD
MISSILES AT A TIME AND PLACE WHERE THERE WERE NONE. SOME
ACCOUNTS DO NOT AGREE WITH WHAT WOULD BE EXPECTED FOR RFNA
EXPOSURE. ADDITIONAL CONFUSION OCCURS WHEN INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS
DO NOT INCLUDE EXACT DATES, PLACES, AND TIMES. THERE ARE ALSO
CHEMICAL HAZARDS OTHER THAN SCUDS.
10. A PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS IS NEEDED (PROBABLY ON
AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS) TO DETERMINE WHICH VETERANS WHERE EXPOSED TO
RFNA, WHAT, IF ANY, OF THEIR CURRENT AILMENTS ARE A RESULT OF
THI EXPOSURE, AND IF RFNA EXPOSURE COULD, IN ANY WAY, BE
COMMUNICABLE. AS A POSSIBLE AID, WE HAVE ATTACHED A@TOP SHOWING
THE MOST LIKELY REGIONS FOR INDIVIDUAL EXPOSURE TO RFNA FROM
SCUDS. A DETAILED STUDY OF SPECIFIC MISSILE ATTACKS COULD BE
PERFORMED IF NECESSARY.
SUBJECT: GULF WAR SYNDROME
OSWR          (19 JULY 95)
First Page |Prev Page |Next Page |Src Image




NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list