Hi, Dan here. I have a BS in Geology and am working on my MS in environmental science. In between those two was 26 years in the US Army Chemical Corps. I specialized in biodetection, dispersion modeling and consequence management for the most part. I discovered the SGU somehow and look forward to Sunday when it downloads onto my iPhone.
I joined the Chemical Corps because it sounded the most "sciency" of all the branches in the Army. I thought that "chemical officer" was about as close to "science officer" that I was going to get. Consequently, Leonard Nimoy's recent death really affected me 8-( So if anyone wants to know about CBRNe (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high order explosives), I'm your source. I may not know the answer, but as we use to say in the Army, "I'll find out and get back with you."
My friend was our NBC specialist when I was in the Marine Corps. One of his jobs was to recertify everyone in the gas chamber. He could walk in and talk to people and check their gas mask seals and generally give two shits about the CS gas. I hated that bastard so much. What was his secret? Was he just used to that level of gas from exposure, or was he immune to its effects? Obviously he was a reptile...right?
When I was in the Navy some hundred years ago, we went through the gas chamber. While many other people in my company were gagging, vomiting and generally choking on the gas, I remained somewhat unfazed. My CC noticed this and kept my group in there until last. We exited the bunker and most everyone began rolling on the ground holding their stomachs and groaning. I lit up a smoke and leaned against the wall.
I guess the reality is that the gas affects certain people harder than it does others. As for myself, I really don't know. I couldn't figure out why everyone gagged so much. To me, it just smelled funny.
My assumption with your NBC specialist was that he was simply used to it.
"I spent the last few years building up an immunity to iocane powder
," ~ Westley - The Princess Bride