Potassium Cyanide (KCN)

gunhan at stanford.edu gunhan at stanford.edu
Wed Nov 28 21:40:29 PST 2007


KCN is a very, very toxic material like the other cynanide salts.
Just wanted to make sure that you really know how strong its toxicity is.


Cyanide salts are among the most rapidly acting of all known poisons.
Cyanide is a potent inhibitor of cellular respiration, acting on
mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase and hence blocking oxidative
phosphorylation. This prevents the body from oxidising food to produce
useful energy. Lactic acidosis then occurs as a consequence of anaerobic
metabolism. Initially, acute cyanide poisoning causes a red or ruddy
complexion in the victim because the tissues are not able to use the oxygen
in the blood.

The effects of potassium cyanide are virtually identical to sodium cyanide.
Once more than 100-200 mg of potassium cyanide is absorbed, consciousness is
lost within one minute, sometimes within 10 seconds, depending on the person
involved and the amount of food present in the stomach. After a span of
about 45 minutes, the body goes into a state of coma or deep sleep and the
person may die within two hours if not treated medically. During this
period, convulsions may occur. Death occurs mainly by cardiac arrest."


-----Original Message-----
From: Jenny Hu [mailto:jennyhu at stanford.edu] 
Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2007 2:36 PM
To: labmembers at snf.stanford.edu
Subject: Potassium Cyanide (KCN)

Dear Labmembers,

Does anyone have some Potassium Cyanide (KCN) that I could use once or  
twice? I would like to try it out before purchasing my own.

Thank you in advance!


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