Mustard gas leak found at Pueblo Chemical Depot

Officials with the U.S. Army’s Chemical Material Agency reported that a low level mustard of agent was detected recently inside a storage igloo holding 105 mm projectiles at the Army’s Pueblo Chemical Depot.

A Chemical Materials Agency spokesman told the Denver Post that the agent vapor was detected during weekly chemical monitoring operations.

The spokesman told the Denver Post that the vapor was detected by a mobile laboratory monitoring device designed to analyze air inside the storage facilities. Army technicians are now in the process of attaching a charcoal filter to the igloo’s air vent. The spokesman said this will clean any contaminated air by forcing the air through carbon filters.

A hazardous materials team is also slated to enter the igloo to conduct a visual inspection of the projectiles to make sure none are leaking.

The army spokesman told the Denver Post that both county and state officials have been notified of the leak.

The sulfur mustards, of which mustard gas is a member, are a class of related cytotoxic, vesicant chemical warfare agents with the ability to form large blisters on exposed skin.

Pure sulfur mustards are colorless, viscous liquids at room temperature. When used in impure form, such as warfare agents, they are usually yellow-brown in color and have an odor resembling mustard plants, garlic or horseradish.