What is sarin gas?

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If you’ve been following the news, you would know that on Monday, President Obama warned Syria’s dictator, Bashar Assad that using chemical weapons against the Syrian rebel forces is “totally acceptable” and that he will face consequences if he does so. Despite this warning, the Syrian government has already begun loading components of sarin gas into bombs near airfields. Sarin is a highly toxic man-made nerve agent, and as a gas, can pose risks to a great amount of people. According to the CDC, even a small drop of liquid sarin on the skin will cause sweating and muscle twitching on contact. It is extremely dangerous to anyone that comes into contact with it.

“Within a few seconds of sarin gas exposure, victims will start to experience eye pain, drooling, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea and irregular heart rates.” – TIME Health & Family

“If exposed to a large amount of sarin in either gas or liquid form, victims can experience more severe and painful symptoms such as convulsions, paralysis, loss of respiratory functions and even death.” – TIME Health & Family

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If Assad should decide that he will use these weapons against the Syrian rebel forces, there is no doubt that the U.S. will intervene and make him pay for the destruction and loss of lives that these chemical weapons are expected to cause.

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Carbon monoxide exposure hospitalizes 43 elementary schoolers

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Carbon monoxide (CO) is also known as the silent killer because you cannot see or smell it. According to the CDC,“carbon monoxide, or CO, an odorless, colorless gas can cause sudden illness and death. CO is produced any time a fossil fuel is burned in a furnace, vehicle, generator, grill, or elsewhere. CO from these sources can build up in enclosed or semi-enclosed spaces and poison the people and animals in them.” In other words, it is extremely bad for you.

This passed Monday on December 3, 2012, 43 students and 6 staff members of an elementary school in southwest Atlanta, Georgia were hospitalized after they were exposed to deadly carbon monoxide fumes. It turns out that like most schools, the school did not have carbon monoxide detectors.Surprisingly, they are not required by state or local laws and currently only Connecticut and Maryland have laws that require CO alarms in schools.

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Any establishment that has appliances, for example that burn fuel, may be at risk for a carbon monoxide leak. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website features a webpage on carbon monoxide and any questions that you may have about what it is, how to detect leaks and symptoms of poisoning as well as poisoning prevention. If you do not have a carbon monoxide detector in your home, you should strongly consider getting one. Once it hits the air, it can be deadly.