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British Anti-Lewisite (BAL)


IN the first fortnight of the War (1939) fundamental research was initiated in the Oxford Department of Biochemistry by Peters and carried out under his direction by a group of workers as an extra-mural research with the support of and for the Chemical Defence Research Department, Ministry of Supply; the object was to find antidotes for vesicants, both arsenical such as lewisite (CH.Cl: CH.As.Cl2) and also those of the mustard gas type. In this brief review, the main facts are given about the discovery of the antidote to lewisite known as BAL, owing to its medical importance; more detailed papers based upon the original reports are being prepared. An attempt is made to include the more relevant work from elsewhere and also to focus the main stages in this discovery, as this may prove useful in planning future work of this type.

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  50. Note.-Reference to U.S. authors have been deleted by request of U.S. authorities.

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PETERS, R., STOCKEN, L. & THOMPSON, R. British Anti-Lewisite (BAL). Nature 156, 616–619 (1945).

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