Cyanide: effect on people
Characteristics of potassium cyanide
Cyanide is a chemical compound that has found application in medicine, used in various industries. For centuries, the substance has become a means to eliminate enemies. Modern diagnostic methods completely exclude the possibility of poisoning because of the rapid detection of poison in the tissues and organs. Also synthesized an effective antidote for immediate assistance in case of accidental intoxication. To buy potassium cyanide at the pharmacy fail – pharmacists and pharmacists have long ceased to use it in tinctures and ointments.
Many people know what potassium cyanide, only after reading the action-Packed detective stories or watching historical series. For scientists is a compound formed during chemical reaction between hydrocyanic acid and potash soluble salts. After dilution of cyanide in water forms a clear solution with no odor.
The widely held view that salt of hydrocyanic acid smells like almonds, just a myth. The fallacy of the judgment based on the presence of potassium cyanide in the seeds of fruit trees. If the poison is extracted in this way, it would require a huge amount of plant material to have the ability to smell cyanide.
Externally cyanide resembles ordinary sugar, looks like a crystalline powder. With increasing moisture content in the surrounding space a substance loses its stability and is decomposed into neutral ingredients. But the air can accumulate toxic fumes that will cause human toxicity. Hydrocyanic acid is a weak connection, so easily replaced in a dilution of salts formed more strong and stable acids.
Sinergisty potassium inorganic compound of hydrocyanic acid with a simple chemical composition. It dissolves quickly in liquids into cations and anions, and for joining reaction does not require the creation of any environment. At a dilution of cyanide of potassium in solutions of glucose, it is an instant oxidation. Therefore, during detoxification therapy glucose can be used as an antidote that neutralizes the effects of poison.
Currently, rarely occurs in poisoning toxic compound. Usually causes intoxication becomes:
- improper storage of substances in the home;
- the occurrence of accidents at factories. Despite the availability of modern sewage treatment plants, toxic fumes quickly spread in the room, penetrate into the human body.
The use of potassium cyanide at certain stages of technological processes as an ingredient or catalyst does not allow to exclude the possibility of poisoning with vapors or gases. The poison gets into the respiratory tract and then into the bloodstream. Already after a short time he accumulates a sufficient concentration of the chemical to death.
Intoxication can develop after contact with cyanide on skin and mucous membranes. The presence of microcracks, open wounds or scratches the poison enters the bloodstream, and the place of its penetration develops inflammation appear redness and rashes. Cyanide is able to bind with red blood cells, reducing their functional activity for the delivery of molecular oxygen to tissues.
Toxic effects on the human body
Intoxication with potassium cyanide (KCN) in high concentrations is fatal by respiratory arrest. There is a chemical interaction between the compound and the cytochrome oxidase, one of the cellular enzymes. Is bound trivalent iron, which makes impossible the transfer of electrons. Violation of transportation leads to the cessation of synthesis of adenosine triphosphate. This organic matter is a universal energy storage in biological systems.
There is a paradoxical situation – in the organs and tissues of a deficit of molecular oxygen and in the bloodstream detected by its excess concentration, but it is very strongly associated with red blood cells. Therefore, when the autopsy of people who died from poisoning with potassium cyanide, it is possible to immediately determine the cause of death: the color of blood in all the veins becomes bright red as a result of increase in hemoglobin.
Neutralization of red blood cells leads to oxygen starvation of tissues, decrease in functional activity of all vital systems. Is a slowdown in the metabolism of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and they begin to accumulate in the body. The absence of molecular oxygen affects brain cells – the neurons. Breaks down the process of impulse transmission in Central and autonomic nervous system. The lack of innervation triggers the next action of potassium cyanide on the person:
- respiratory failure;
- disorder of cardiovascular system;
- violation of blood filtration and excretion of urine from the body.
Cyanide blood flow is transferred to the liver cells, damaging them, which leads to a distortion of metabolic processes.
The lethal dose for humans toxic compounds is 1.6 mg/kg But it may vary depending on:
- the age of the victim;
- ways of penetration of toxic compounds into the body.
The properties of this poisonous salt of hydrocyanic acid has allowed it to rank as highly potent poisons. Cyanide is subject-quantitative accounting in industrial production to prevent severe intoxication.
Warning to poisoning measures include strict control of compliance with safety regulations when working with highly toxic substances. But the ability of the venom to quickly undergo hydrolysis and evaporate into the surrounding space sometimes leads to penetration into an organism of a small amount of a chemical compound. Toxicologists advise employees to always carry a pressed sugar. Its use slows the absorption into the bloodstream of potassium cyanide.
Signs of poisoning will occur faster if the stomach no food. Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are able to partially linked toxic compound to prevent its absorption by the mucous membrane of the stomach.
A minor amount of potassium cyanide can always be found in cells and tissues. Chemical compound involved in the metabolism of biologically active substances, water — and fat-soluble vitamins, enzymes. In the body of the smoker contains a lot of salts of hydrocyanic acid, which penetrate into the bloodstream from tobacco.
Useful properties of chemical compounds
Potassium cyanide is not resistant. The cyano is being rapidly displaced by salts, which formed more strong acids, whereby the compound loses its toxic properties. This quality is widely used at certain stages of technological processes in various industries.
What is potassium cyanide – a compound used as an ingredient and a catalyst that accelerates the rate of chemical reactions. Mining and processing plants and in galvanic production with it, oxidize noble metals (gold, platinum). Toxic substance included in the composition of the reagents for the manifestation of film and cleanse the plaque from the surface of the jewelry. Entomologists use cyanide for killing butterflies and dragonflies. People who are fond of painting, faced with a salt of hydrocyanic acid, when diluted paint:
- «Prussian blue»;
- «Prussian blue».
These types of gouache and watercolor paint on canvas in a bright blue color. The term «cyanide» refers to the ability of acid to give the items blue and intense blue color in the presence of iron cations.
Acute and chronic intoxication with poison can be diagnosed in people who are not involved in the production of precious metals. About ten years ago for mining and processing plants in Eastern Europe occurred in the emission of toxic waste into the Danube. Local people used the water for domestic and economic needs, people consume fish caught in the pond. A few months considerably increased the number of patients with symptoms of chronic intoxication.
With concentrated potassium cyanide does not occur in nature. But the seeds of fruit trees of the family Rosaceae contains a small amount of amygdalin, a substance which includes the cyano. Most of the poison is in the kernels:
Young leaves and shoots of elderberry contain a lot of potassium cyanide, which can cause poisoning in Pets. The amygdalin in the human body hydrolyses to hydrocyanic acid, which has similar properties with their salts. Death from potassium cyanide comes in the use of 90-110 g of kernels from the kernels of apricots. The most toxic fresh product, as in the heat treatment process or zastivanje amygdalin loses its toxic properties.
Potassium cyanide is used in some insecticides. In agriculture it is used for the destruction of rodents, which penetrate into the grain stores. High probability of poisoning failure to comply with safety regulations when working with poisons, as well as their improper storage in places where it is easy to get containers with powder.
To spend adequate detoxication therapy, physicians need to know what concentration of the poison circulating in the body of the victim. Typical signs of poisoning by cyanide occur when injected into the blood of any amount of poison, but their severity will vary. In addition to the dose of toxic compounds symptoms is directly dependent on a person’s age and the presence of diseases in history. Treatment of poisoning by salt of hydrocyanic acid is different at certain stages of the pathological process.
Easy degree of a poisoning
Any treatment at this stage of intoxication of cyanide is not required. In the body of the victim entered a small amount of poison, not able to influence health. Man should withdraw from the room into the fresh air and all symptoms will disappear quickly. These include:
- dryness in the throat, desire to cough;
- a metallic taste in the mouth, numbness of the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract;
- disorder of the digestive tract: nausea, sour belching, urge to defecate;
- feeling short of breath, slight dizziness;
- excess secretion of saliva;
- palpitations, hypertension.
These same symptoms can occur with chronic poisoning with potassium cyanide. The lack of treatment is because people generally did not attach much importance to the negative signs of intoxication, blaming them on fatigue or temporary discomfort.
The average degree of poisoning
When the concentration of cyanide in the bloodstream develop signs of disruption of the Central nervous system. The situation is complicated by the fact that the victim often does not realize the seriousness of what is happening because of the emergence of emotional instability. For this stage of poisoning is characterized by such symptoms:
- increased anxiety or anxiety, abruptly alternating with lethargy, apathy, sleepiness;
- loss of coordination in space, unsteadiness of gait, dizziness;
- fever, cold sweats, chills;
- respiratory disorders, shortness of breath;
- a rush of blood to the face and upper body;
- dryness of all mucous membranes;
- trembling of the hands and feet.
Characteristic symptoms at this stage of intoxication – severe bulging of the eyes. In conjunction with redness of the mucous symptom refers to the main diagnostic symptoms of poisoning with potassium cyanide.
Emotional instability is expressed in the emergence in humans of strong fear. He wants to run somewhere, to take any action, often completely meaningless. In this state the victim can hurt yourself and the people around him.
At this stage of intoxication of cyanide the person needs immediate hospitalization and conduct of detoxification treatment, including the use of an antidote. The severity of symptoms increases, causing a decrease in functional activity of all vital systems. What are the signs of intoxication arises at this stage:
- tremor of the upper and lower extremities;
- loss of consciousness;
- decrease in tactile, muscular, tendon reflexes;
- violation of the gastrointestinal tract: vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, feeling of fullness in the epigastric region;
- thready pulse, hypotension;
- the increase in temperature.
For this degree of poisoning with potassium cyanide characterized by the disorder of the urinary tract. Broken blood filtration by the kidneys in the body remain toxic compounds and products of metabolism substances. The emptying of the bladder stands a small quantity of turbid urine. The victim may involuntarily be emptied bowel because of the reduction of smooth muscle tone his muscles.
Paralytic stage of intoxication
After penetration into the organism, the lethal dose of potassium cyanide is still a little time to neutralize the poison to enter the victim the antidote. This stage of poisoning often ends with the death of a person, if the 10-20 minutes wasn’t held detoxification therapy and resuscitation. At this stage, the victim experiences the following symptoms:
- breathing is shallow;
- the lack of pupil response to light;
- the lack of urination;
- low blood pressure.
Poisoning with salts of hydrocyanic acid characterized by the appearance of a bright blush and redness of the mucous membranes. Develops anoxia of brain cells. He is not able to carry out a complete regulation of vital systems. The result is pulmonary edema and cardiac arrest. Death is ascertained most often in the penetration of potassium cyanide in the stomach and by inhalation of toxic fumes.
First aid for poisoning
The toxic effect on the human body of potassium cyanide is evident rapidly, so you should immediately call the ambulance, call the doctor the cause of intoxication.
As a rule, all industrial plants that use compounds of prussic acid in medicine Cabinet is a vial of antidote. The antidote is introduced parenterally in accordance with the enclosed instructions.
While waiting for the doctor to provide first aid:
- lay person, to talk with him so he was conscious;
- when the heart is to do indirect heart massage and artificial respiration;
- to turn the victim on his side, as he may choke on vomit;
- to wash out the stomach with a pink solution of potassium permanganate until the discharge of clean fluid;
- to give any adsorbent or the treatment;
- to drink man of strong and very sweet tea to the binding of venom.
The victim will be hospitalized immediately for carrying out detoxication treatment with glucose and mineral salts. Poisoning with potassium cyanide will require a long rehabilitation period. If the body has got large number of toxic compounds, it can be dangerous consequences: urinary disorders, damage to liver cells, exacerbation of chronic diseases.