Osmium tetroxide: A new kind of weapon

Igor Makarovsky, Gal Markel, Azik Hoffman, Ophir Schein, Arseny Finkelstien, Tal Brosh-Nissimov, Zeev Tashma, Tsvika Dushnitsky, Arik Eisenkraft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


OS04 is a powerful oxidizer. It affects mainly the skin and mucous membranes. Although unsuitable for a large-scale terrorist attack, mainly due to its scarcity, it could be used in small-scale attacks. The small quantity contained in a vial would cause irritation to the eyes, nose, throat and skin. Combining the agent with an explosive material will probably destroy most of it, chemically. Thus, releasing the chemical without using explosives may be considerably more dangerous. Medical management is mainly symptomatic. As soon as the chemical enters the body, it rapidly reacts with the tissues in contact. Medical personnel should be aware of its poisonous effects and be equally familiar with the necessary self-protection measures and the treatment protocols.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)750-752
Number of pages3
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Exposure
  • Health effects
  • Osmium tetroxide
  • Terror


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