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Hydrogen sulfide gas suicides raise specter of terrorist attacks


Suicides using hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S) have been reported almost daily nationwide in Japan recently. These cases (60 in April alone) have not only alarmed the public -- because in many cases, buildings have had to be evacuated -- but crisis management professionals are worried as well. This is because the spate of gas suicide cases brings back memories of the sarin gas attacks on the Tokyo subway system by Aum Shinrikyo in 1995.

The production of hydrogen sulfide gas is easy because the necessary materials are available at supermarkets and other stores. After a college student committed suicide this way in Kagawa Prefecture in 2007, a "how-to" manual started circulating on the Internet, which authorities partly blame for a chain reaction of similar suicides.

“According to the manual, if you breathe just 0.05% of hydrogen sulfide in the air, it will cause severe vomiting, followed by difficult in breathing. Next, the victim becomes disoriented and finally loses consciousness. Death comes in 30-60 minutes. This is definitely not an easy way to die," said Sueshige Seta, former vice president of the National Research Institute of Forensic Science.

An official at the National Police Agency said the NPA is worried about possible terrorist uses of the gas like the sarin attacks. He says, “Unlike sarin gas which needs large scale production plans, hydrogen sulfide gas doesn't. Police officials are very much concerned about it actually.”

What if hydrogen sulfide gas were used in trains during the morning rush hour? “It is easy to bring the necessary substances onto a crowded train and then mix them inside a bag," said Seta. "Nobody in the car would escape. The closer you were to the person with the gas, the worse you would suffer."

What if the gas were introduced into buildings through air conditioners? Seta said police are concerned about such an attack, especially with the G-8 summit coming up in Hokkaido in July. “I don't think anybody would be killed that way, but if terrorists spread the gas directly into closed rooms, the occupants would possibly suffer severe injuries.”

Koichi Oizumi, a crisis management professor at Aomori Chuo Gakuin University, said, “Authorities in Japan are very lax when it comes to controls of toxic substances. I don't think we have learned anything at all from our experience in the 1997 sarin attacks. As long as daily materials are used for producing toxic gases and possibly for terrorist attacks, authorities should regulate the use of these substances as well as ensure safe sales routes. During the G-8 summit, not only ministers from foreign countries but also a lot of other people will gather. We need to take action to avoid any risk of terrorist attacks at the venues.” (Translated by Taro Fujimoto)

© Japan Today

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yes, look closer to home for your terrorists

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Y'know, when I woke up this morning, I thought "I need another reason to worry."

Good thing this came along.

Oh yes, almost forgot...AAAAAAAHHHH! TERRORISTS!!!!!

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The stuff absolutely stinks. It's the smell component of rotten eggs. You breathe it in everytime you go to an onsen or visit a volcano/vent/fumerole. This is Japan, the land of H2S. But yes it is more dangerous than Hydrogen cyanide.

So if you're worried about H2S, here's a few things you should know:

H20 is more deadly if you breathe it in than H2S

If does a H2S attack on the train, YOU WILL KNOW ABOUT IT

If you are reaching a particularly dangerous exposure to H2S your sense of smell will become anaethatised. That is, it will stink, then the smell will just go away. If that happens you should find some fresh air... quickly.
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Wonderful; now they are giving ideas to the local crazies. Thankfully I don't spend long hours in a place with central air conditioning systems.

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why would i want to take others lives away with me if i commit a suicide,unless i am sick or sth and think i am the angel of azrael and wanna take others lives away.for terrorists i thought we should we scared them coming from above, and now they are sub-ground, even can reach to my room with doors locked via air ducts.dude thanks to the othorothies my life can be filmed instead of white house being attacked by profesional terrorists to harm the president.

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The crazies are already here.. Only terrorist attacks in Japan have been by Japanese.. perhaps they should start there!

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there's many 'easy' products to be used as bombs or poisoning gases...fertilizer ((NH4)2SO4), a little gasoline, a little aluminum, a little coal, and boom. However, you also need a terrorist to do the job...plenty of them in Japan, I guess...

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Thanks guys, for the insider information. I've now got some new recipes in my notebook. Any more?

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I wonder when they finally stop treating the "symptoms", and get down to the roots of things. I mean... show me another country, where people read a manual for suicide methods on the internet, and start mass-suicide...

Getting components of bombs and gases can't be stopped. Try to maky the people think a healthier way... not to dive into any suicide-manual or murder-handbook they find...

And... the sign of absolute stupidity: 1: We are afraid of somebody using these materials in crowded places, although nobody did it so far --> 2: we publish a report/ an article in the media, HOW TO do what we are afraid of, when already mentioned, the main source of our fear are ideas spreading on the internet...


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Brilliant. Why don't you buy supplies for the nut cases while you are at it? There are plenty of people eager to get some bit of fame or try out something wrong. So you print a great idea for them. Sheer genius.

That said, I know some day I will die. Can't choose how since I don't believe in suicide and enjoy living. So no matter what I do, some day, something will take me out of this life. Maybe one of those things is being too stressed out worrying about what that thing will be. So I can't be bothered to worry about terrorists any more. If it happens, it happens.

Why don't we start doing something positive instead. Let's make cleaners and such that don't require highly toxic ingredients that can be used to kill people? Stop selling the environmentally evil stuff and replace it with organic stuff that doesn't kill and can't be made to kill. Problem solved. At least they'll have to work harder at harming anyone.

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