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N) I. II


SCIENCE JOTTINGS. I J l hII i ll I t A! lJ I1 III ‘” !l II” “· ltl ri·- ,·- ,’l 1 illlll 1ll 1h


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‘F HOW THE GERMAN. USE CHLORINE GAS ON THE BATTLEFIELD ACCORDING TO THE ” SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN” POISON-GAS CYLINDERS IN ACTION, AND MEN WEARING RESPIRATORS AND RESPIRATOR-HELMETS. A writer t the ” Scientific American,” assuming that the poison gas used by the Germans is chlorine, ays : ” To produce death apidly it is necessary that the air breathed shall contain ta root one part of chlorine in 1000 of air … It is of som interest to Snow how uchS chlorine is oeeded 10 he efrective. On the suppositon that there is a breeze of four miles per hour, and that it lakes two minutle to empty the containers holding the chlorine, the drift of air during that tlime would be about 700 fee. and to rharge the lower three feet of shlo air-current with chlorine to a concentration of t to 1000 would require about six cubic feet, or one pound for each yard, or something like one ton per mile of battle-front. Chlorine can be obtained commercially compressed into liquid form in cylinders for five to eight cents a pound, and as a by-product in the electrolytic manufacture of hydrogen for balloons t may well be of leas value. . . . Undoubtedly effective preventive or antidotal measures can be used. A sponge or towel wet with water or, better, with some basic substance like cooking soda or borax, kept ready to put over the face, might hold off the danger, and more special respirators charged with basic substances, or with reducing agents like oxalates or sodium hyposulphite might enable the attacked force to tide over the worst of the attack.”- Bly Cour’esy of the ” Screntdric Ar eca..”]


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vertical position. This corresponds with inlformation that reaches us from a Swiss source that Zeppehns hase been experi menting oni the Lake of ConiStance with what they call ” fog lillob, ” ulhich spr-iad a layer of black sllioke u!!!n, the machine, and thereby hinder it, being attacked by gun-fire from the earth. Actual prac-


tice can alone show how far this is possible, but it is plain that if such a cloud could hbe produced it might be easy for an air -ship which has got its bearings to drop not only incendiary bombs, but shells filled wish chlorine or other irritant gases, and thus make it mnore difficult for their victims to extinguish the fires which they have caused. Nothing that we know of the (;ermans would lead us to hope that they would hesitate to use such a means of increainllg the frightfulness of their proceedings, except the fear of reprisals. IFortunately, it wouldd be far easier for us to drop chlorine from aero- planes than to set up the elaborate machinery neces- sary for pumping it into the enemy’s trenches, and it may he that this consideration may yet give them pause. Otherwise, some such scheme may well be at the back of the repeated threats of the Germans about ” laying Lotndon in flamtes.” The effective frustration of such a scheme must, of course, be left to the miih- tary authorities. Anti – air- craft guns have yet to pr-ove their value, and might, of course, still be used before the air-ship reaches its point of attack. Of swift-tlying aeroplanes the air-ship has always shown itself ex tremely afraid, and their mere presence in the air has hitherto always caused it to turn and flee. Biut the civilian will also do well to hold himself in readiness to extinguish fires caused by aerial attack, for which pur- pose nothing is more clearly indicated than liquefied car- bonic acid contained either in the fire-grenades to be found in most hotels and clubs or in the more elab- orate pumps familiar to all travellers by the Tube. Against chlorine or bromine gas, a proper respirator or mask is the best protection. One can be easily improvised by tying over the mouth and nose with a handker- chief a pad of cotton-wool soaked in a strong solution of washing soda or of liquid ammonia. F. L.



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Issue 3972. - Vol CXLVI

Jun, 05 1915

Illustrated London News