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Open AccessReview

Novichoks: The Dangerous Fourth Generation of Chemical Weapons

1
Laboratory of Molecular Modeling Applied to the Chemical and Biological Defense (LMCBD), Military Institute of Engineering, Rio de Janeiro 22290-270, RJ, Brazil
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Center for Basic and Applied Research, Faculty of Informatics and Management, University of Hradec Kralove, Rokitanskeho 62, 50003 Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic
3
Brazilian Army CBRN Defense Institute (IDQBRN), Brazilian Army Technological Center (CTEx), Rio de Janeiro 23020-470, Brazil
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Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Hradec Kralove, Rokitanskeho 62, 50003 Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic
5
Philosophical Faculty, University of Hradec Kralove, Rokitanskeho 62, 50003 Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(5), 1222; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20051222
Received: 24 February 2019 / Accepted: 6 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
“Novichoks” is the name given to the controversial chemical weapons supposedly developed in the former Soviet Union between the 1970s and the 1990s. Designed to be undetectable and untreatable, these chemicals became the most toxic of the nerve agents, being very attractive for both terrorist and chemical warfare purposes. However, very little information is available in the literature, and the Russian government did not acknowledge their development. The intent of this review is to provide the IJMS readers with a general overview on what is known about novichoks today. We briefly tell the story of the secret development of these agents, and discuss their synthesis, toxicity, physical-chemical properties, and possible ways of treatment and neutralization. In addition, we also wish to call the attention of the scientific community to the great risks still represented by nerve agents worldwide, and the need to keep constant investments in the development of antidotes and ways to protect against such deadly compounds. View Full-Text
Keywords: Novichoks; binary weapon; nerve agents; chemical warfare Novichoks; binary weapon; nerve agents; chemical warfare
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Franca, T.C.C.; Kitagawa, D.A.S.; Cavalcante, S.F.A.; da Silva, J.A.V.; Nepovimova, E.; Kuca, K. Novichoks: The Dangerous Fourth Generation of Chemical Weapons. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 1222.

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