This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
Initial program in The Role of Science in War, part of the City College defense series. This program appeared on Saturdays at 10:45 AM.
Professor Reston Stevenson of the City College Chemistry Department speaks on "The Poison Gas Problem." Stevenson describes types of poison gases and its effects. The rule for the civilian is "presence of mind and absence of body." Many poison gases are only irritating and not lethal. All poison gases are held back by a gas mask. However, only a few breaths of some gases could cause a collapsed lung. Other gases might cause painful blisters which take months to heal. Despite no civilians attacks during WWI, Stevenson warns that there is evidence that the Axis powers have gas and may use it on civilians, in New York City, perhaps.
He discusses some other types of gases, which are not volatile and may persist for long times. He also discusses treatments - wipe off exposed areas with rags coated in gasoline or alcohol, wash face and hands with soap and water, change underclothes and air out all clothes.
He reminds listeners that civilian defense is always passive and that retreat is always the best option for civilians.
Audio courtesy of the City University of New York
WNYC archives id: 71435