Sunday, December 20, 2009


Cyanides ( water soluble )- colourless crystals or powders which are soluble in water and react with acids to generate hydrogen cyanide. Cyanides and hydrogen cyanide are extremely poisonous. Both the cyanide solutions and the gas can be absorbed thorough the skin. Whatever the route of absorption, severe poisoning may result.


Handling of highly poisonous compounds, especially cyanides, calls for special regulatory control procedures. Use of such compounds in the laboratory control procedures. use of such compounds in the laboratory should be restricted and only selected group of qualified chemists/analysts should be allowed to handle the materials. Training to cover handling, storage and disposal of cyanides, and in the event of any accident familiarity with first aid procedure s considered essential.


2.1 Handle cyanides with caution.

2.2 Store cyanides in ‘Poison’ cupboard, securely locked. Ensure containers are well sealed, after each use, and then only placed in the cupboard.

2.3 Regulate issuance of the material. Maintain a separate register showing stock held, quantity used, balance stock; obtain signature of the approving person (dept. manager or his designate), date and time of withdrawal and date and time of the return of the container.

2.4 Work under fume-hood. DO NOT inhale cyanide fumes. Wear gloves and breathing apparatus (particularly when handling large quantities and emergencies).

2.5 Always use mechanical pipetting devices for cyanide solutions.

2.6 After using cyanides, wash the work place and contaminated glasswares with mild alkali solution followed by water.

2.7 Small quantity of cyanide soltion may be disposed of in the laboratory drain, followed by alkaline solution and flushing with plenty of water.

2.8 DO NOT POUR ACIDS in drains immediately following disposals of cyanide solution.

1.1 When cyanide solutions have been spilt, bleaching powder should be scattered liberally over the spillage, or an excess of sodium hypochlorite solution added. The treated spillage should be mopped up into a bucket and allowed to stand for 24 hours before running into waste, diluting greatly into running water. Solid cyanides should be swept up and placed in a large volume of water in which they can be rendered innocuous by adding an excess of sodium hypochlorite solution and allowing to stand for 24 hours before running to waste, diluting greatly into running water. Wear gloves while handling disposal of cyanide solution.

1.2 Keep cyanide antidotes and Amyl Nitrile capsules handy in the laboratory. Get familiar with the first aid procedure.

1.3 Wash any contacted skin area with soap and water at once.


2.1 Remove the victim from the exposure area and keep him warm. Break a capsule of Amyl Nitrile and allow victim to inhale forr 15 to 30 seconds.

Repeat inhalation of Amyl Nitrile every 2 – 3 minutes.

2.2 If breathing stops give artificial respiration.


2.3 If cyanide is swallowed, give antidote solution-

Solution A: 158 gms of ferrous sulphate crystals + 3 gms of citric acid crystals dissolved in a liter

of distilled water.(This solutioon must be periodically inspected and replaced).

Solution B: 60 gm of anhydrous sodium bicarbonate in a litre of distilled


Store solution A and solution B in separate glass bottles, properly labelled indicating that in the

event of cyanide poisoning mix 50 ml of solution A with 50 ml of solution B and administer the

mixture to the victim by oral route.

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