Nerve Gas Scientist: 100s Of Britons At Risk, More Could Be Affected For Years
Spy poisoning could be a lot worse than first thought
According to a Russian 'chemical weapons' scientist, the deadly nerve gas agent which was used to poison Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, UK, last week could endanger Britons to developing symptoms in years to come.
Dr. Vil Mirzayanov, who ran the technical counter-intelligence department as part of Russia's chemical weapons institute, had been involved in developing "novichok" - the class of nerve agent allegedly sued to poison the spy and his daughter.
Mirzayanov became so "concerned' about 'novichok' that he blew the whistle and fled to America, before launching a campaign to ban all chemical weapons.
Speaking from his home in New Jersey: "It's the same as nerve gas but 10 times, at least 10 times, more powerful."
The scientist then described how Novichok can cause "irreparable" to the human body, emphasizing that those exposed to significant does would tun them into "invalids" and would need medical assistance for the rest of their lives.
Mirzayanov said "hundreds could be at risk for years."
"That's it," he said. "No Cure."
SkyNews Reports: But Dr. Mirzayanov also talked about the risk of trace contamination to hundreds of members of the British public who may have been in the vicinity of the attack around the time it happened.
He said that even minuscule amounts of novichok could affect victims and that symptoms could develop "in years".
Novichok nerve agent: What exactly is it?
He described "headaches, difficulty thinking, and also co-ordination (issues), a lot of problems".
When asked about the advice given by Public Health England, including washing clothes and wiping down belongings, he said: "Sure it's useful, but not enough, absolutely not."
I agree with Theresa May's analysis (if the suspected nerve agent is indeed a Novichok). There is a third possibility although of lower probability:— Julian Assange ⌛ (@JulianAssange) March 12, 2018
3) Cloning by or earlier sale to another state or group.https://t.co/ukdpfsMsGAhttps://t.co/PZnDSfOTT9
He said that anyone who may have been exposed should be offered "permanent medical surveillance."
Dr. Jenny Harries, Deputy Medical Director at Public Health England, said: "PHE has been working very closely with the police and national experts on chemical weapons since the start of the incident and our risk assessment is based on knowledge of the chemical used.
"Our advice remains that the risk to the general public is low."
Dr. Mirzayanov said that novichok, which means "newcomer", can be made from two separate compounds similar to chemicals used in agriculture, and which crucially are not on the chemical weapons convention banned list.
In that way, he said, novichok could be transported to the site of an attack in its constituent parts without detection, and once assembled the tiny microparticles could easily be deployed using an aerosol, spray, liquid or wipe.
He thinks it is likely that the attack was carried out using a spray, which maximizes the chances of a victim getting the nerve agent on their skin and also inhaling it.
:: Russia 'highly likely' to be behind Salisbury attack
Dr Mirzayanov described the secret development of the powerful nerve agent as "a plot against the world" designed to maintain chemical weapons capability without having to declare it to the international community.