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Unexpected Reaction Pathways Leading to Thiodiglycol During the Degradation of Long-Chain Sulfur Mustards

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journal contribution
posted on 19.09.2018 by Esther Gómez-Caballero, Roberto Martínez-Álvarez, Miguel A. Sierra
Degradation of long-chain sulfur mustards with various commercial decontaminants unexpectedly forms thiodiglycol (TDG) through unreported reaction pathways. Chemical warfare agents (CWAs) degradation products have to be unambiguously related to their reference compounds in order to fulfill international verification protocols. Thus, the formation of TDG using water-based decontaminants introduces an uncertainty in the origin of this chemical that has been systematically used to unambiguously demonstrate the presence of yperite in environmental and biomedical samples. Therefore, these novel and unprecedented degradation pathways will result either in modifications of the international verification protocols for forensic purposes or in the exclusion of TDG as an exclusive marker of yperite.