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Tag: Cyanide

Cyanide – the facts

Cyanide – the facts

DQ4C0132pcCyanide is a rapidly acting, potentially deadly chemical. It exists in various forms such as hydrogen cyanide (HCN) which is a colourless gas, or as crystals such as sodium cyanide (NaCN) or potassium cyanide (KCN). Cyanide is sometimes described as having a “bitter almond” smell when mixed with liquid, although not everyone can detect this odour.

Cyanide is readily absorbed by inhalation, ingestion or skin contact. The cyanide compound used to poison elephants is sodium cyanide, a powder that is relatively easy to obtain as it is used extensively in the mining industry. It is transported as dry pellets.

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