Hydrogen Cyanide

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Hydrogen Cyanide

Other Names

Hydrocyanic acid; Formonitrile; Prussic Acid

Chemical Formula

HCN

CAS Number

74-90-8

Industry Uses

Chemistry Laboratories; Fumigation

Health Risks

Irritation of eyes, skin, and respiratory system; Organ Failure; Death

Vapor Pressure

630 mmHg

Water Solubility

Soluble

Flammability

Very Flammable

Odor

Faint, bitter almonds

Hydrogen Chloride MSDS

What is Hydrogen Cyanide?

Hydrogen Chloride is a toxic colorless or pale blue liquid or gas. It is found in the smoke of various tobacco products and car exhaust and is released by the combustion of nitrogen-containing organic materials. Hydrogen cyanide ionizes in water to produce the cyanide anion. Hydrogen Cyanide may form explosive mixtures in the air. Exposure to heat or flame will cause a container of hydrogen cyanide to explode. It is very flammable, and flame can flash back to the source of a gas leak very easily. Runoff from fire control or dilution water may be corrosive and/or toxic, causing pollution. Hydrogen cyanide is very toxic to aquatic life leaving long-lasting negative effects.

Hydrogen Cyanide Exposure and Health Risks

Hydrogen cyanide is extremely toxic by inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact. Even a small concentration or short exposure can be lethal. Long term inhalation results in damage to the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and respiratory system, and can lead to death. Cyanide can also cause an enlarged thyroid and irritation to the eyes, skin, and respiratory system. Animal studies have shown that cyanide may be associated with malformations of fetuses and low fetal body weight. Hydrogen cyanide is not normally considered corrosive. Skin contact with hydrogen cyanide will cause severe burns.

Regulations

The table below summarizes the most-recent exposure limits.

Limit/Level

Type

Organization

1.0 ppm

AEGL-1 (8 hrs)

EPA

2.5 ppm

AEGL-2 (8 hrs)

EPA

6.6 ppm

AEGL-3 (8 hrs)

EPA

10 ppm

TWA (8 hrs)

OSHA

4.7 ppm

ST

NIOSH

Sources: NIOSH, OSHA, EPA

Measuring Hydrogen Cyanide

Hydrogen cyanide concentration in the air can be measured in units of parts per million (ppm). Many of our products have digital communication capabilities for easy monitoring and control. We carry portable and fixed hydrogen cyanide monitors and kits. All of our hydrogen cyanide products can be viewed HERE.

Contact us for help choosing the right monitor for your application