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如何應對化學武器攻擊 中毒是什么感覺?

更新時間:2019/9/26 22:38:43 來源:紐約時報中文網 作者:佚名

What is it like to be caught up in a chemical attack?
如何應對化學武器攻擊 中毒是什么感覺?

The battered white van looks like it has been abandoned – its front bumper is missing and one of the rear tyres is partially deflated. A few people mill around nearby, talking and laughing in the otherwise quiet square. They don't notice the wisp of smoke curling out from beneath the vehicle.

這輛白色的面包車太破舊了,看起來像是無主車——前保險杠不見了,一個后輪癟了一半。有幾個人在附近轉悠,在安靜的廣場上說說笑笑。他們沒有注意到車底有一縷煙冒了出來。

Within a couple of minutes, it has turned into a torrent, pouring around the doors and from an exhaust pipe protruding below the van. Those standing nearby are almost completely obscured by the white cloud and a woman lets out a small scream as a sudden shift in the wind sends the plume billowing in my direction.

幾分鐘后,煙勢加大,從車門和面包車下面的排氣管中噴涌而出。站在附近的人幾乎消失在白色的煙霧里,一個女人發出了一聲尖叫。因為風向突變,煙霧沖著我的方向滾滾而來。

As it spills around me I get the faint taste of old chewing gum. I can hear people coughing and shapes nearby drop to the ground. Some splutter and cry out for help. Others lie very still. It takes 20 minutes before hazy blue flashing lights emerge around the corner, indicating help is on its way. Firefighters climb into cumbersome protection suits with full breathing apparatus. They move from victim to victim, checking who can be saved and who is beyond help.

當它飄到我身邊時,我隱隱聞到了口香糖的那種味道。我能聽到人們在咳嗽,附近有人影倒在地上。有人在大聲呼救。還有人一動不動地躺著。20分鐘后,街頭拐角處隱約有藍色的閃光出現,表明救援正在路上。消防員穿著配備全套呼吸裝置笨重的防護服。他們在受害者當中移動,查找可救助人員和確認已沒生還希望的人員。

Fortunately for me and the others in the small southern Finnish town of Mikkeli, this is just a rehearsal – preparation for an exercise the following day that will simulate a chemical attack. The scenario – a terrorist cell has released a toxic nerve agent into a market square amid the lunchtime bustle – is designed to test pioneering new technology that could transform how emergency services respond to chemical releases.

幸運的是,對我和其他在芬蘭南部小城米凱利(Mikkeli)的人來說,這只是一次預演,為第二天的化學攻擊演習做準備。我剛才經歷的這一幕,是預演一個恐怖分子團伙于午餐的繁忙時間,在市場廣場釋放了一種有毒的神經毒劑,旨在測試一項開創性的新技術,這項技術可能改變應急服務部門對有毒化學物質釋放的反應。

But what do we know about the reality of events during a chemical attack? How do people respond, and can anything really be done to prevent a serious loss of life?

但是,我們對化學武器襲擊事件的真相了解多少呢?人們該如何應對?為了防止出現慘重的生命傷亡,我們應該做些什么?

In Finland, the victims were all played by volunteers who were acting, but the scenario is based on very real and horrifying events.

在芬蘭,受害者都是由志愿者扮演的,但這一幕是基于現實中的恐怖事件。

In 1995, the Aum Shinrikyo cult released sarin on busy trains during rush hour in five coordinated attacks that killed 13 people and injured thousands more. A year earlier, a sarin attack by the same group killed eight and left 600 people injured.

1995年,奧姆真理教(Aum Shinrikyo)于交通高峰期在繁忙的地鐵上釋放了沙林毒氣,在5起協同襲擊中,造成13人死亡,數千人受傷。一年前,同一組織發起的沙林毒氣襲擊造成8人死亡,600多人受到傷害。

“It was the starting point for our project,” explains Paul Thomas, an analytical chemist at Loughborough University in the UK who is leading the Toxi-Triage project that is behind the exercise in Mikkeli.

英國拉夫堡大學(Loughborough University)分析化學家托馬斯(Paul Thomas)解釋說:“我們這個項目的源起,就是那起事件。”他是米凱利演習背后Toxi-Triage項目的負責人。

One of the people who survived the 1995 attack was Atsushi Sakahara, a former advertising executive now living in Kyoto, Japan. He stood just yards from one of the packages of volatile liquid containing sarin. “At first I didn’t think much of it,” he recalls. “My eyes felt dry, a bit like I had strained them. But I had an important presentation to give to a client that morning so I went to the office.” It would turn out to be an event that would affect him for the rest of his life.

現居住在日本京都的前廣告主管坂原淳(Atsushi Sakahara),是1995年沙林毒氣襲擊的幸存者之一。他當時就站在距離一包含有沙林的揮發性液體幾尺遠的地方。他回憶說:“一開始我并沒有想太多。接著我感覺眼睛很干,有種用眼過度的感覺。但是那天早上我要給客戶做一個重要的演示,所以之后我就去辦公室上班了。”結果證明,這件事影響了他后來的人生。

Sakahara’s day had started as normal, snoozing his radio alarm for a few minutes before getting up and making the short uphill walk to the train station where he bought a newspaper and boarded the Hibiya Line train at Roppongi station to start his daily 15-minute commute towards Tsukiji station.

那一天,坂原淳像往常一樣。早上收音機鬧鐘響過之后,他小睡了幾分鐘,然后起床。走一小段上坡路到達六本木車站,他在那里買了份報紙,坐上了日比谷線列車,開始每天15分鐘的筑地站通勤之旅。

“When the train arrived I was reading an article in the newspaper about the sarin attack in Matsumoto about nine months earlier,” recalls Sakahara. “The third door of the first train car was less crowded so I got on there. On the left side there was a plastic bag. I nearly sat down beside it, but changed my mind.”

坂原淳回憶說:“列車到達時,我正在讀報上一篇關于9個月前松本市沙林毒氣襲擊的文章。我看第一節車廂的第三個門沒那么擁擠,所以我就從那個門上了車。左邊有一個塑料袋。我差點坐到它旁邊,但后來改變了想法。”

His instinct was correct. The plastic bags, which had been wrapped in newspaper, contained a solution that consisted of 30% sarin. Two stops before Sakahara boarded the train, a member of Aum Shinrikyo set the package on the floor and punctured it with the sharpened tip of an umbrella, allowing the contents to evaporate into the carriage.

坂原淳的直覺是正確的。那個用報紙包著的塑料袋里,是含有30%的沙林溶液。在坂原淳上車前兩站,奧姆真理教的一名成員把包裹放在地板上,然后用尖銳的雨傘尖刺穿包裹,讓里面的溶液揮發到車廂里。

“There was a guy sitting next to the bag who didn’t look very well – he was kind of slumped and sweating,” says Sakahara. “I just felt like I shouldn’t be there. Maybe I should have yelled, to tell everyone else to get out too, but I didn’t. I wish I had.”

坂原淳說:“坐在那個塑料袋旁邊的人看起來不大舒服,耷拉著腦袋,一直在冒汗。我只是覺得自己應該換一個地方。其實我應該大聲呼喊讓大家都離開,但我沒有。我是希望我能這么做。”

Instead Sakahara moved to the front of the second carriage, along with a couple of other passengers who slammed the dividing door behind them. When he looked back, Sakahara says he saw a pregnant woman in the carriage he had just left. It is a memory that has stuck with him as he watched the terrible effects of the sarin take effect.

相反,坂原淳走到了第二節車廂的前部,一起的還有另外幾個乘客,他們關上了身后的車門。當他回頭時,看到剛離開的車輛里還有一個孕婦。后來在目睹沙林毒氣的可怕之處時,這段記憶一直揮之不去。

“I was told she was OK, but I don’t know what happened to her,” he said. As the train set off again, the man he had seen earlier keeled over. “Someone said he had fainted. When we arrived at the next stop, Kamiyachō station, he was carried out and the station staff rushed over.”

他說:“后來我得知她沒事,但我不知道她究竟經歷了什么。”當列車再次啟動時,他之前看到的那個人跪倒在地。“有人說他暈倒了。我們到達下一站神谷町站時,車站工作人員沖了過來,把他抬下了車。”

Sarin can take effect within seconds of being inhaled and symptoms can appear within a minute of exposure. It can be lethal in around 5-10 minutes. As a vapour, however, it is heavier than air and so will have taken some time to fill the carriage. Passengers were also reported to have opened windows on the train as they began to feel unwell. It was a step that could have saved many lives in the carriage – only one person lost their life on the train Sakahara was on.

沙林毒氣在吸入幾秒鐘后開始發揮作用,接觸一分鐘內出現癥狀。它可以在大約5-10分鐘內致命。不過,作為一種水氣,它比空氣重,因此需要一些時間才能填滿整個車廂。據報道,乘客們在開始感到不舒服的時候,有人打開了車窗。這個做法救了車廂里的許多人,坂原淳乘坐的那列地鐵僅一人喪生。

In the minutes that followed, the front carriage of the train was evacuated and an announcement said there had been an explosion at Tsukiji station. In truth there was no explosion – another train targeted in the attack had pulled onto the platform and passengers had staggered out and collapsed. The quickly unfolding events led to confusion.

在隨后的幾分鐘,前面那節車廂的乘客被疏散,廣播通知稱筑地站發生爆炸。事實上,并沒有發生爆炸,而是另一列遭到毒劑攻擊的地鐵列車靠站停車,乘客們踉踉蹌蹌地走了出來,癱倒在地。事情發生得太快,一時間導致了混亂。

“Tsukiji was my destination,” says Sakahara. “So, I decided to get off the train and left the station.” He took a cab to his gym, tried to do a short work-out but then decided to have a shower before his meeting with clients.

坂原淳說:“我本來是要在筑地站下車的。既然這樣,我決定下車出站。”叫輛出租車去健身房,想稍微鍛煉一下,但后來決定在見客戶之前還是沖個澡。

“I was starting to feel horrible but the shower helped me,” he says. Without realising it, Sakahara had followed three of the key steps recommended by the US Department of Homeland Security in the event of a chemical attack – getting into clean air, removing his clothes and washing with soap and water.

他說:“我開始感到很難受,但淋浴幫了我。”在毫不知情的情況下,坂原淳遵循了美國國土安全部建議的發生化學武器襲擊時的三個關鍵步驟:置身于干凈的空氣里、脫下衣服、用肥皂和水清洗。

“When I went back outside, though, it was like I was looking out through very strong dark glasses,” he adds. Darkened vision is a typical symptom of sarin exposure along with eye pain, pupil constriction, nausea and nose bleeds. It was only when Sakahara met a colleague in the office lift, who commented on his bloodshot eyes, did he realise what might be happening.

他補充道:“不過,當我走到外面的時候,感覺自己像戴了一副深色墨鏡,”視力變暗是沙林毒氣接觸的典型癥狀,并伴有眼睛疼痛、瞳孔收縮、惡心和流鼻血。坂原淳在辦公室的電梯里遇到一位同事,說他眼睛充血,他這才意識到可能出了問題。

“He told me I should go to a hospital,” says Sakahara. “When I got to the hospital there were so many victims there already. I had a headache by then and my eyes were painful. I was covered in a sticky sweat. A doctor came to see me and I asked him what it might be. He said ‘no idea’.”

坂原淳說:“同事告訴我應該去醫院。到了醫院,那里已經有很多受害者了。那會兒我頭痛,眼睛也痛。身上黏糊糊的都是汗。我問接診的醫生這是什么病,他說‘不知道’。”

It would be several hours before the Japanese authorities were able to determine that sarin was responsible. While lethal doses of nerve agents can act within seconds to minutes, the immediate signs of mild or fleeting exposure can also be frustratingly nondescript – irritated eyes, dizziness, headaches, excessive mucus and difficulty breathing. The could be mistaken for a heavy cold if they didn't come on so quickly.

幾個小時后,政府才明確告知是沙林毒劑導致的。雖然致命劑量的神經毒劑幾秒鐘到幾分鐘就能置人于死地,但輕微或者短暫的接觸,癥狀可能是難以形容的,如眼睛發炎、頭暈腦脹、頭痛、流鼻涕、呼吸不暢。這些癥狀如果不是突然出現,就很容易被誤以為是重感冒。

The packages that contained the poison had been picked up and disposed of by station staff, who would too become victims of the attack. Many of those who had been on the affected trains and in the stations had, like Sakahara, wandered off as the emergency services struggled to get a grip on the situation. They later turned up at hospital under their own steam, adding to the chaos.

裝有毒物的包裹被車站工作人員撿起并處理掉了,他們也成為這次襲擊的受害者。許多跟坂原淳一樣搭乘受影響列車和出現在站臺上的人,在緊急救援人員控制局勢的時候,都離開了。后來,他們是自行前往醫院,從而加劇了混亂。

Another problem following the chemical attack was panic. “In Tokyo, the hospitals were overwhelmed by thousands of people seeking medical help and reassurance after the sarin attacks,” says Thomas. “The vast majority – about 80% of those – did not need hospital care. You can imagine what impact that has on a busy hospital when you have hundreds of people turning up like that. If your grandmother happens to have a stroke on that day, she is not going to get the care she needs. The lethality of that is too awful to bear. As many people or more will be harmed as a result of that congestion as would be hurt by the event.”

化學襲擊后帶來的另一個問題是恐慌。托馬斯說:“在東京的沙林毒氣襲擊之后,成千上萬的人涌向醫院尋求醫療救助和安慰,令醫院不堪重負。絕大多數——大約80%的人,是不需要住院治療的。可以想象一下,當數百人同時出現在醫院時,對繁忙的醫院會造成什么影響。如果有老人當天碰巧中風,她可能就得不到需要的照顧。這太要命了。因擁堵造成更多人的間接傷害,也不比毒氣事件本身造成的傷害少。”

This is where Thomas believes new technology could help – by allowing rapid diagnosis following future attacks. For example, researchers at German electronics firm Gesellschaft für Analytische Sensorsysteme, or Gas for short, have developed a breath analyser that can detect low levels of biochemicals known as metabolites, which are produced by the human body as it reacts to harmful chemicals. In Mikkeli the smoke has been laced with peppermint and the volunteers were given peppermint oil capsules as a substitute for sarin that produces metabolites the instruments can detect.

托馬斯相信,新技術可以提供幫助——在未來發生化學攻擊后,進行快速診斷。例如,德國電子公司Gesellschaft für Analytische Sensorsysteme(簡稱Gas)的研究人員開發了一種呼吸分析儀,可以檢測出人體對有害化學物質做出反應時,所產生的低水平的生化物質——代謝物。在米凱利的煙霧中加入了薄荷,志愿者給予薄荷油膠囊作為沙林的替代品,分析儀器可檢測代謝物。

By simply blowing into a plastic tube that has a syringe plunger attached, the breath of hundreds of potential victims can be analysed quickly. “It can give us an answer in about 40 seconds,” says Emma Brodrick, a systems application manager at Gas who helped develop the BreathSpec device.

只需將氣吹入一個帶有注射器柱塞的塑料管,就可以對數百名潛在受害者的呼吸進行快速分析。參與研發這個名叫BreathSpec裝置的布羅德里克(Emma Brodrick)說:“它可以在大約40秒內給我們答案。”

Back in Mikkeli, Finland, I watch another type of sensor technology supporting the emergency services during the rehearsal. There is a faint buzzing as through the smoke – coloured white so it can be seen in this exercise – a small drone emerges. On board it is carrying highly sensitive, miniaturised instruments that sample the gas and wirelessly beam back the results to emergency crews.

回到芬蘭的米凱利,我在演習期間看到了另一種支持應急服務的傳感器技術。煙霧中傳來微弱的嗡嗡聲——煙霧是白色,方便在演習中看到——一架小型無人機出現了。機上配備了高靈敏度的微型儀器,可以對氣體進行采樣,并用無線方式將結果傳給緊急救援人員。

“The drone lets us get samples from close to the source without putting personnel at risk,” explains George Pallis, an engineer and managing director of T4i, the company behind the technology. “It can also take samples over a wide area very quickly so we can get an idea of spread too.”

研發該技術的T4i公司的工程師兼總經理帕利斯(George Pallis)解釋道:“無人機可以從接近源頭的地方獲取樣本。也可以快速地在大范圍內采集樣本,我們可以通過它來了解有毒化學物質的擴散情況。”

The Toxi-Triage consortium have also been developing technology that can pick up the signatures of poisonous chemicals from greater distances. Using specialised cameras that pick-up visible, ultraviolet and infrared light – known as hyperspectral imaging – it is possible to detect characteristic patterns that betray the presence of a chemical agent.

Toxi-Triage項目也在研發一種技術,可以從更遠的地方采集有毒化學物質的特征。通過專用攝像機,它可以捕捉到可見光、紫外光和紅外光——即所謂的高光譜成像,從而檢測出泄露化學物質存在的特征模式。

While at a much earlier stage than the drone-based technology, these hyperspectral detection systems could be used in handheld devices or mounted on aircraft that can fly overhead. Looking further ahead, the team behind it hope such technology could also be mounted on satellites with high-resolution optics, allowing authorities to monitor for the use of chemical weapons in war zones.

雖然與無人機技術相比,它還處于更早期階段,但這些高光譜檢測系統可用于手持設備或安裝在空中飛行的飛機上。研制該技術的團隊,希望未來它能安裝在具有高分辨率光學系統的衛星上,讓政府可以監測戰區的化學武器使用情況。

In places like Syria, where reports of chemical weapons use have relied upon information provided by local teams on the ground and subsequent testing of victims often days after the alleged attack, it could transform the ability to pinpoint attacks and find those responsible.

在敘利亞等地,有關使用化學武器的報告,還需要依賴當地團隊提供的信息,以及隨后對受害者進行的測試,而這些測試往往是在襲擊發生數天后進行的。在這些地方,這個發明會提升查明襲擊目標、找到襲擊者的能力。

“It is informed vigilance that is key to effective prevention,” says Tatyana Novossiolova, a research fellow who studies the threats posed by chemical and biological weapons at the Center for the Study of Democracy in Sofia, Bulgaria. The responsibility for this vigilance is not just something for the authorities, but each and every one of us if we want to combat the threat posed by chemical weapons, she argues.

保加利亞索菲亞民主研究中心(Center for the Study of Democracy)的研究員、從事化學和生化武器威脅研究的諾沃索洛娃(Tatyana Novosolova)說:“保持合理的警惕是有效預防的關鍵。”她認為,如果我們要與化學武器構成的威脅作斗爭,保持警惕不僅僅是當局的責任,也是我們每個人的責任。

“This entails knowing whom to turn to, should one find themselves in a risky situation or emergency, such as being familiar with the relevant responsible authorities or services and knowing how best to reach them.”

“這就需要知道在遇到危險或緊急情況時向誰求助,比如熟悉有關部門或服務機構,并知道如何與他們取得聯系。”

For those authorities and emergency services responding to a chemical attack or an accidental release of harmful chemicals, knowing what substance is involved is crucial.

對于應對化學武器襲擊或有害化學物質意外泄露的有關負責部門和緊急服務機構來說,了解涉事物質至關重要。

In 2018, a mysterious chemical haze swept on shore from English Channel, causing widespread panic as members of the public reported breathing difficulties and eye problems. It took months of investigation before the most likely source was identified as a ship venting gas out in the channel, but emergency teams struggled to know how to respond at the time.

2018年,英吉利海峽飄來神秘的化學煙霧,引發了大范圍的恐慌,有公眾報告稱呼吸困難和視力出現問題。經過幾個月的調查,發現來源是一艘在海峽排放天然氣的船只,但當時應急小組不知道要如何應對。

“If they had our kit, they would have known, as soon as they arrived on scene, exactly what they were dealing with,” says Thomas. Understanding exactly what agent has been released is a crucial first step in any response, he explains.

托馬斯說:“如果他們有我們的設備,那么一到現場,就能知道要處理的是什么化學物質,”他解釋說,準確找出釋放出來的是何種物質,是做出反應的第一步。

The precautions and response can vary depending on the chemical responsible, while those exposed have to be treated in different ways. For example, with nerve agents and some pesticide poisonings it is common to give patients the drug atropine. But atropine should not be given to those exposed to the incapacitating agent 3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate, better known as BZ, as it can worsen its effects.

預防措施和反應會因化學物質的不同而有所不同,而那些接觸者必須采用不同的處理方式。例如,如果是神經毒劑和一些農藥中毒,給病人的常見藥物是阿托品。但阿托品不應該給那些接觸過失能劑二苯乙醇酸-3-喹嚀環酯(更廣為人所知的名字是BZ)的人服用,因為它會讓情況更嚴重。

Some nerve agents also have specific antidotes that if given quick enough can save lives.

一些神經毒劑也有特定的解毒劑,如果能及時用上,就能挽救生命。

Researchers like Janice Chambers and her team at Mississippi State University are also trying to develop better antidotes to nerve agents that can help to reduce the effects they can have on the brain.

像錢伯斯(Janice Chambers)和她在密西西比州立大學的團隊這樣的研究者,也在嘗試開發更好的解毒劑來對抗神經毒劑,以減少毒劑對大腦的影響。

“Our objective is not just survival, but survival with minimal or no damage to brain function,” says Chambers. But she warns it could still take many years before their new drugs – known as oximes – get approval from regulatory authorities.

錢伯斯說:“我們的目標不僅僅是保命,而是對大腦功能造成的損害最小或沒有損害的情況下生存。”但她警告稱,新藥物——被稱為肟類藥物,獲得監管機構的批準,還需要多年的時間。

Decontamination can also drastically reduce the lethality of chemical weapons as the longer a substance is left on skin and clothes the more of it can enter the bloodstream. Victims have their clothes stripped from their bodies before being vigorously washed and scrubbed in hastily erected decontamination tents by emergency personnel wearing protective gear. Tests have shown that decontaminating within 15 minutes of exposure even to highly lethal nerve agents like VX can dramatically improve a victim's chances.

去污染也可以大大降低化學武器的殺傷力,因為有毒物質留在皮膚和衣服上的時間越長,進入血液的數量就越多。受害者脫下衣服,然后由身穿防護裝備的緊急救援人員在匆忙搭建的洗消帳篷里進行強力洗刷。試驗表明,在接觸VX等強致命神經毒劑15分鐘內進行消毒,可以顯著提高受害者的存活幾率。

The volunteers in Mikkeli are surprisingly stoic throughout this doubtless embarrassing and rather abrasive part of the exercise they are taking part in. As they reach the end of the decontamination tent, a hand-held device that looks a little like an electric sander is run over their skin. This clever bit of kit – known as a Gas Detector Array X – can identify the presence of harmful chemicals on skin, clothing and other surfaces. It is a bit like a Geiger counter, but for chemical agents rather than radiation.

米凱利的志愿者們在這項令人尷尬、讓人不適的整個活動過程中,表現出了驚人的堅忍。當他們來到洗消帳篷的盡頭,一臺看起來有點像電動砂光機的手持設備在他們的皮膚上劃過。這個聰明的裝置,被稱為X陣列氣體探測器(Gas Detector Array X),可以識別皮膚、衣服和其他物體表面是否存在有害化學物質。它有點類似蓋革(Geiger)計數器,不過是用于化學試劑而非輻射。

Each “victim” is also wearing a coloured wrist band, snapped on by the firefighters as they examined them. Inside is a wireless “smart” chip rather like those in a contactless payment card that when scanned with a mobile phone can reveal who they are, where they were in the incident, changes in their condition and what treatment they have received. Breath, blood and urine samples taken from them can be similarly tagged. Together it helps the emergency services keep track of victims as they are then taken to hospital.

每名“受害者”都戴著一條彩色腕帶,是救援隊員在給他們做檢查的時戴上的。里面有一個無線“智能”芯片,類似非接觸式支付卡,用手機掃描,就可以顯示佩戴者的身份,他們在事故中所處的位置,病情的變化,以及接受的治療。從他們身上提取的呼吸、血液和尿液樣本也都可以做類似的標記。它幫助緊急服務機構在受害者送往醫院時對他們進行跟蹤。

A few are given black wristbands, an indication that they have “died”.

其中一些人戴的是黑色腕帶,這表明已經“死亡”。

The exercise in Mikkeli is over in a few hours and the battered van that was the source of the gas is towed away. But in a real incident it could be days or even weeks before an area subjected to a chemical attack is safe for people to use again. Some chemical weapons, such as sulfur mustard and VX, can persist in soil for more than a month. Large areas of land between Lille and Verdun in France remain “no-go” red zones where the public, farming and forestry are banned due to the millions of tonnes of toxic gases unleashed during World War One. Cleaning up the tonnes of unexploded munitions that are unearthed here each year is a time-consuming and difficult task.

米凱利的演習幾個小時就結束了,作為毒氣來源的那輛破面包車被拖走了。但在現實中,遭受過化學攻擊的區域可能需要數天甚至數周才能再次安全的供人們使用。一些化學武器,如硫芥子氣和VX,可以在土壤中存留一個多月。法國里爾(Lille)和凡爾登(Verdun)之間的大片土地仍然是“禁區”。由于第一次世界大戰期間這里釋放過數百萬噸有毒氣體,公眾、農業和林業都被禁止進入。這里每年清理出來的未爆炸彈數以噸計,這是一項既耗時又艱巨的任務。

But the US’s Defense Advanced Research Project Agency has been developing a portable “soil scrubber” to destroy chemical weapons by burning them and passing the gas through beds of carefully selected soil to turn the gases into harmless salts.

不過,美國的國防部高級研究項目局(Defense Advanced Research Project Agency)一直在研發一種便攜式“土壤凈化器”,它通過燒毀化學武器,讓氣體通過精心挑選的土壤床,將氣體轉化為無害的鹽,來達到銷毀目的。

Perhaps a longer lasting legacy is the impact that chemical weapons and accidents can have on their victims. Survivors of the Bhopal accident in India were found to be suffering from a wide range of serious long-term health problems more than 30 years after they were exposed to the toxic gas. Their children also bear the scars of the incident – their limbs twisted and brains damaged.

也許遺留更久的是化學武器襲擊事件對受害者的影響。印度博帕爾(Bhopal)事件的幸存者在接觸過有毒氣體30多年后,被發現患有一系列嚴重的疾病。他們的孩子也承受著事件留下的傷痕——四肢扭曲,大腦受損。

There are few studies on the long-term effects of chemical weapons, but reports from doctors and survivors of attacks suggest they too leave a legacy of disease and congenital birth defects. One recent study on Kurdish survivors of chemical attacks in Iraq in 1988 showed they suffered from deteriorating physical and psychological health, including breathing problems, sleep disorders, eyesight issues and anxiety. Many lived in constant fear of another attack.

很少有關于化學武器長期影響的研究,但來自醫生和襲擊幸存者的報告表明,受化學武器襲擊后會遺留下疾病和先天性缺陷等長期影響。最近一項關于1988年伊拉克化學襲擊中庫爾德幸存者的研究表明,他們的身體和心理健康狀況不斷惡化,包括呼吸問題、睡眠障礙、視力問題和焦慮。許多人生活在對另一場襲擊的恐懼之中。

Research on survivors from the 1995 sarin attacks in Tokyo also reveal heart problems, muscle defects, and breathing difficulties. The survivors also show memory impairments and carry deep psychological scars.

對東京1995年沙林毒氣襲擊案的幸存者所做的研究,也顯示出心臟問題、肌肉缺陷和呼吸困難的存在。幸存者還表現出記憶障礙,并留有很深的心理創傷。

Atsushi Sakahara is 52 years old now and still wrestling with the effects of his experience. Physically he says he coughs a lot; his eyes struggle to adjust to changes to light. He also suffers from severe fatigue and occasional paralysis in his arms and legs when stressed. Psychologically he struggles too.

現年52歲的坂原淳仍在努力克服這段經歷帶來的影響。他說自己經常咳嗽,眼睛很難適應光線的變化。他還患有嚴重的疲勞癥,遇到壓力時手臂和腿部偶爾會麻痹。心理上也存在一些問題。

“It’s hard, I feel insecure now when I go out,” he says. His regret at not shouting to warn others on the train about his concerns also still burns bright. “I have a lot of guilt about it.”

他說:“這很難,我現在外出時會感覺很不安全。”他很后悔當時在火車上感覺不對勁的時候,沒有大聲提醒列車上的其他人,這仍然折磨著他。“我對此非常內疚。”

But despite what he has endured, Sakahara has also shown it is possible to overcome adversity. He now works as a film director and won a Palm d’Or at Canne for a short film called Bean Cake in 2001. He is currently working on a documentary about the cult behind the attack he survived, Aum Shinrikyo.

不過,盡管經歷了這些,坂原淳也證明了克服逆境是可能的。他現在是一名電影導演,并在2001年憑借一部名為《豆餅》(Bean Cake)的短片在戛納電影節獲獎。他目前正在拍攝一部紀錄片,講述那次襲擊背后的邪教奧姆真理教。

“I want to help others to understand what happened,” he says. “It can never happen again.”

他說:“我想讓更多的人了解當時發生的事情。這種事不能再發生了。”

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