Hydrogen cyanide

CAS RN: 74-90-8

Health Effects

0.2.1 SUMMARY OF EXPOSURE
  • 0.2.1.1 ACUTE EXPOSURE
    • A) SOURCES: Hydrogen cyanide is a gas that may be liquified as hydrocyanic acid. It may be produced during petroleum refining, electroplating, metallurgy and photographic-developing operations. Occupational exposure to hydrogen cyanide may occur during the manufacture of resin monomers (eg, acrylates and methyl methacrylate), cyanide salts (such as sodium and potassium cyanides) and nitrile compounds (eg, acrylonitrile, adiponitrile).
    • B) USES: Hydrogen cyanide is used in the production of chemical intermediates in synthetic fiber, plastics, nitriles, dyes, chelates, rodenticides, pesticides, hexamethylenediamine and the manufacturing of cyanide salts, and is used to fumigate ships, railroad cars, buildings, orchards, tobacco and certain foods.
    • C) TOXICOLOGY: Hydrogen cyanide is a highly toxic substance. Systemic poisoning can occur following inhalation, dermal, and oral exposure. Hydrogen cyanide exposure may produce death within minutes. Cyanide is a general cellular poison resulting in impaired oxygen utilization and lactic acidosis. It interferes with oxidative phosphorylation by inhibiting cytochrome oxidase which prevents aerobic production of energy.
    • D) EPIDEMIOLOGY: Rare exposure that can result in significant morbidity and mortality.
    • E) WITH POISONING/EXPOSURE
      • 1) MILD TO MODERATE TOXICITY: Nausea, vomiting, headache, weakness, confusion, dizziness and shortness of breath.
      • 2) SEVERE TOXICITY: Coma, transient loss of consciousness with apnea ("knockdown"), hypotension, metabolic acidosis, seizures, and dysrhythmias.
0.2.20 REPRODUCTIVE HAZARDS
  • A) At the time of this review, no reproductive studies were found for hydrogen cyanide in humans.
  • B) In laboratory animals, related cyanide compounds did cause resorptions, malformations and teratogenic effects in offspring.
0.2.21 CARCINOGENICITY
  • 0.2.21.1 IARC CATEGORY
    • A) IARC Carcinogenicity Ratings for CAS74-90-8 (International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), 2016; International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2015; IARC Working Group on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, 2010; IARC Working Group on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, 2010a; IARC Working Group on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, 2008; IARC Working Group on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, 2007; IARC Working Group on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, 2006; IARC, 2004):
      • 1) Not Listed
  • 0.2.21.2 HUMAN OVERVIEW
    • A) At the time of this review, no studies were found on the potential carcinogenic activity of hydrogen cyanide in humans.
  • 0.2.21.3 ANIMAL OVERVIEW
    • A) At the time of this review, no studies were found on the potential carcinogenic activity of hydrogen cyanide in laboratory animals.
0.2.22 GENOTOXICITY
  • A) At the time of this review, no data were available to assess the mutagenic or genotoxic potential of this agent.
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