France Authorizes Use of Nerve Gas Antidote Ahead of Paris Climate Talks

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French officials have authorized the use of a nerve gas antidote ahead of the Paris climate talks that will see heads of government and tens of thousands of delegates arrive in the city later this month. People mourn outside Le Petit Cambodge and Le Carillon, two restaurants targeted in the series of deadly attacks that killed 129 people in Paris on November 13. Benoit Tessier/Reuters

France has authorized the use of a nerve gas antidote in the wake of the attacks that killed 129 people and injured hundreds in Paris last week.

According to a decree published in the French Official Gazette on Sunday, the Ministry of Social Affairs authorized the use of injectable atropine sulfate in the event that a "large number of victims" are exposed. The decision is directly linked to the upcoming Paris climate talks, which will see dozens of world leaders and heads of state and tens of thousands of delegates visit Paris from November 30 to December 11.

"The risk of terrorist attacks and the risk of exposure to neurotoxic organophosphates constitute serious health threats that require emergency measures," according to the decree, which was signed by Benoît Vallet, the minister of social affairs, on November 14, one day after the attacks. The drug will come from military stockpiles and can be stored in and given out by hospitals and other emergency health services.

Atropine sulphate, which is used in Syria to counter the effect of chemical weapons attacks, is the "simplest treatment" for nerve gas attacks, according to a 2013 article by Smithsonian Magazine. Atropine is also included on the World Health Organization's list of essential medicines.

The international manhunt continues for two men involved in the attacks last Friday, which saw shootings and suicide bombings across six locations in the French capital. France has deployed 115,000 soldiers and police to secure the country, as Paris residents return to work and try to regain a sense of normalcy. Coalition airstrikes continue to pound Islamic State targets in Raqqa, Syria, the militant group's de facto capital. ISIS took responsibility for the attacks shortly after they occurred.