This webpage is maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The webpage provides information and resources on blister agents/vesicants. Sections of the webpage include: "Specific Chemical Agents" and "Info for Clinicians". "Vesicants, also referred to as 'blister agents,' were the most commonly used chemical warfare agents during World War I. The most likely routes of exposure are inhalation, dermal contact, and ocular contact. Vesicants are highly reactive chemicals that combine with proteins, DNA, and other cellular components to result in cellular changes immediately after exposure. Depending on the vesicant, clinical effects may occur immediately (as with phosgene oxime or lewisite) or may be delayed for 2 to 24 hours (as with mustards). Following exposure, the most commonly encountered clinical effects include dermal (skin erythema and blistering), respiratory (pharyngitis, cough, dyspnea), ocular (conjunctivitis and burns), and gastrointestinal (nausea and vomiting). The amount and route of exposure to the vesicant, the type of vesicant, and the premorbid condition of the person exposed will contribute to the time of onset and the severity of illness. For example, ingestion of a vesicant leads to gastrointestinal symptoms more prominent than those that would result from inhalation exposure to the same dose and type of vesicant."
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/