CAS ID #: 74-90-8, 143-33-9, 151-50-8, 592-01-8, 544-92-3
Affected Organ Systems: Dermal (Skin), Neurological (Nervous System), Reproductive (Producing Children)
Cancer Effects: None
Chemical Classification: Inorganic substances
Summary: Cyanide is usually found joined with other chemicals to form compounds. Examples of simple cyanide compounds are hydrogen cyanide, sodium cyanide and potassium cyanide. Certain bacteria, fungi, and algae can produce cyanide, and cyanide is found in a number of foods and plants. In certain plant foods, including almonds, millet sprouts, lima beans, soy, spinach, bamboo shoots, and cassava roots (which are a major source of food in tropical countries), cyanides occur naturally as part of sugars or other naturally-occurring compounds. However, the edible parts of plants that are eaten in the United States, including tapioca which is made from cassava roots, contain relatively low amounts of cyanide. Hydrogen cyanide is a colorless gas with a faint, bitter, almondlike odor. Sodium cyanide and potassium cyanide are both white solids with a bitter, almond-like odor in damp air. Cyanide and hydrogen cyanide are used in electroplating, metallurgy, organic chemicals production, photographic developing, manufacture of plastics, fumigation of ships, and some mining processes.
Publication intended to aid emergency department physicians and other emergency healthcare professionals who manage acute exposures resulting from chemical incidents.
Toxicological and Health Professionals
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The MRL is an estimate of the daily human exposure to a hazardous substance that is likely to be without appreciable risk of adverse, non-cancer health effects over a specified duration of exposure. The information in this MRL serves as a screening tool to help public health professionals decide where to look more closely to evaluate possible risk of adverse health effects from human exposure.
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- Page last reviewed: March 3, 2011
- Page last updated: March 3, 2011
- Content source: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry