The scientist offered to aspire to invent poison gas mask
When the Germans launched their first gas attack in 1915 during World War I, the Allies were desperate to know what chemicals were used and how they could protect their troops in the line of fire.
The Ministry of War in the UK resorted to an academic at the University of Oxford and CPAP Sydney, a man who was willing to risk his own life to create the first gas mask.
Not many scientists today would be willing to inhale dangerous gases, just with the help of a teenager to revive in case of fainting.
But John Scott Haldane was unorthodox, according to Dr. Steve Sturdy, University of Edinburgh.
“Haldane was known by the evidence did himself. He thought that experiments on humans were better because they could communicate their experience.”
Lord Kitchener, the British Secretary of State for War, asked for help in person Haldane when the Germans released clouds of chlorine gas or dichloro In the Line of Fire around the Belgian town of Ypres, on April 22, 1915 .
Urine soaked stockings
In recordings that preserves the Imperial War Museum UK, Bert Newman, the British army medical corps, recounts the effects that a second gas attack had on Canadian troops.
The soldiers were instructed to improvise primitive protection mechanisms, including stockings soaked with his own urine and colocárselas in the face.
“You could see all these poor guys lying on the street choking for breath,” said Dr. Newman.
“And the issue is that there was no gas mask and all these soldiers then had to dip their handkerchiefs and putting them on the mouth or do anything else”.
Haldane already had extensive experience experimenting with gases in research he had done in the mining industry.
“He had visited coal mines to evaluate the cause of death of miners after explosions and in most cases they were the result of gas poisoning,” according to Professor Sturdy.
“He had also managed respiratory equipment that were used in the mines after explosions.”
After the attack of Ypres, Haldane and a colleague were sent to Belgium to investigate which gases were using the Germans.
They found that it was by the way dichloro had faded metal buttons uniforms of soldiers.
The daughter was on duty
In his lab, at home, Haldane set out to find a way that would allow soldiers to counter the gases, without thinking about the effects that the investigation could have on himself.
“He always subjected himself to experiments and the urgency of the war ended exposing himself at doses much higher than what would have occurred in peacetime gas,” he said Sturdy.
“Naomi (her 18 year old daughter) stood guard outside, next to the laboratory door, which had a window. She was instructed to get in and out immediately if he fainted as a result of the gases”.
The initial result of the tests was not far from urine-soaked handkerchiefs worn by soldiers.
“They were called respiratory veils and consisted mainly of pads made of cotton and gauze covers were soaked in a solution of sodium tiusolfato, which neutralized the effects of dichloro” said Dr. Sturdy.
“They could be placed over the entire face, nose or mouth, but he acknowledged that this solution would not go very far.
William Collins, one of the orderlies, has another recording that he was one of the first to use the respiratory veil.
“Calls gas masks had two and a half inches and consisted pads wool gauze covered and held with an elastic band around,” Collins said.
“After two minutes one could not breathe with these masks and ended moving them to the front and absorbing gases. It was not a practical solution,” he added.
Haldane then went on to assist in the development of respiratory called boxes, which were more effective and were subsequently used for the duration of the war.
However, the academic, born in Edinburgh, could have found reasons not to help British forces.
His brother Richard, who was Minister of War, and later Finance was the victim of the wave of condemnation of the Germans that gripped the country at the beginning of the First World War.
“Many newspapers orchestrated a campaign against him because he studied in Germany, spoke German very well, and had close ties with many academics in this country.” He said Sturdy.
“Richard was harassed and lost his job for this, and I think John Haldane also suffered from this.”
But Haldane continued to collaborate with the government during the war and continued to do experiments involving tests itself.
Also use your child more than 20 years in their experiments. It seems that this did not hurt the latter, nor dissuaded the world of science, and then became professor of genetics.