Mustard (H, HD, HS, HT)

Other Names

H, HS, Levinstein mustard, Distilled mustard, Sulfur mustard, Senfgas, S-lost, Iprit, Kampstoff Lost, S-yperite, Lost, Yellow Cross, Yperite, THD, Masutado, Iperito


Levinstein mustard (H) is the original mustard (gas) or WWI vintage and is, in reality, a dark colored liquid. A WWII era abbreviation of H which was also used was HS (signifying sulfur mustard), as opposed to HN (or nitrogen mustard) which had been stockpiled by Germany. It contains about 30 percent sulfur impurities, which give it a pronounced odor similar to garlic or horseradish. The impurities lessen the effectiveness of H and lower its freezing point 2 to 5°F. Other properties of H are essentially the same as those for distilled mustard, which is discussed in the following paragraph.

Distilled mustard (HD) is a purified form of H (about 10 percent sulfur impurities) and is a colorless to amber-colored liquid with a garlic-like odor. The effects of HD are usually delayed 4 to 6 hours, but latent periods have been observed for up to 24 hours. The higher the concentration, the shorter the interval of time from exposure to the first symptoms. Mustard acts first as a cell irritant and finally as a cell poison on all tissue surfaces contacted. Early symptoms include inflammation of the eyes; inflammation of the nose, throat, trachea, bronchi, and lung tissue; and redness of the skin; blistering or ulceration may follow. Effects may include a more "at ease" attitude, vomiting, and fever, beginning about the same time as the skin reddening.

Mustard (HT) is a mixture of 60% bis(2-chloroethyl) sulfide (H) and 40% bis(2-chloroethy! thioethyl) ether (T). HT is a strong blistering agent. It has a longer duration of effects, is more stable, and has a lower freezing point that H.


Old Chemical Weapons Reference Guide (1998)

Chemical Agent Identification Sets (CAIS) Information Package (1995)

TM 9-1904, Ammunition Inspection Guide (1944)