It appears Kim Jong-nam, the half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, has been killed in Malaysia by a highly toxic nerve agent called VX.
The VX nerve agent is the most potent of the known chemical warfare agents. It is a clear, amber-colored, oily liquid which is tasteless and odorless.
The agent works by penetrating the skin and disrupting the transmission of nerve impulses – a drop on the skin can kill in minutes. Lower doses can cause eye pain, blurred vision, drowsiness and vomiting.
VX can be disseminated in a spray or vapor when used as a chemical weapon, or used to contaminate water, food, and agricultural products.
It can be absorbed into the body by inhalation, ingestion, skin contact, or eye contact.
Clothing can carry VX for about 30 minutes after contact with the vapor, which can expose other people.
VX was banned by the 1993 UN’s Chemical Weapons Convention.