NEW YORK (CNN) - As President Obama weighs his response to Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons, pictures are pouring in of victims of the apparent attack.
Chemical weapons can be lethal but you may not realize how damaging they really are.
WARNING: Some of the images in the video above are graphic.
Describing this video as 'disturbing' doesn't do it justice, but some attach a different word: proof.
"I have absolutely no doubt this was a chemical weapons attack." Amy Smithson has been studying the use and effects of chemical weapons for 20 years, and says it was the child in this video that erased all doubt.
"Maybe 5 years old and the twitching of the eyes, and the mouth, and the arms, were all going in different directions at different times. That simply cannot be coached in a child of that age," said Amy.
And here's another, with white foam pouring out of his nose.
Reporter: "What is that, and what does it mean?"
Amy: "Well it's one of the hallmark symptoms of exposure to a nerve agent. It could have been a cocktail of chemicals, not just classic warfare agents like Sarin or VX or..."
Victims can die within 10 minutes of breathing Sarin gas. In liquid form, a fraction of an ounce can be fatal. Even contaminated clothes can hurt you.
Iraq used Sarin against the Kurdish people in the 1980s, killing thousands. The Japanese Cult Aum Shinrikyo used Sarin in terrorist attacks in the mid 90s.
Reporter: "The people treating these victims don't have any sort of respirators or protection on. Why aren't they getting infected as well?"
Amy: "Well there's been an attempt to wet these people down to decontaminate them. That's what decontamination in a rush is all about, just making sure they are at least doused with water, if not soapy water, and the clothes are taken off."
Nerve agents like Sarin blind victims, causing them to choke and spasm. "Like this, see the twitching in the body?"
And these images of the dead show no signs of a conventional bomb blast. "There you see bloody bodies, broken bones, and gaping wounds."
Obviously, we did not see this in this attack in Syria.
Now, some people do survive these kinds of attacks. There are certain drugs that can help counteract the effects, but they have to be given so quickly that most times people do not get the help that they need.