Metal and Alloys

How does the poison potassium cyanide kill a person?

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2012-06-16 07:39:11
2012-06-16 07:39:11
Answer:Cyanide blocks one of the enzymes involved in the electron transfer chain, this ceases cellular respiration thus you essentially die from suffocation. You would pass out fairly rapidly then die as your heart muscle has no energy to beat.

You know that inhalation of hydrogen cyanide, or ingestion of cyanides causes death. HCN, hydrogen cyanide is a highly volatile liquid and that hasten its lethal effect. The reason of this is the inhibition of the oxidative processes of the cells. Rapid death may be caused by swallowing as little as 300 milligrams of the cyanides or inhaling 100 milligrams of HCN.

The poisoning results from the following: the cyanide ion [ (CN) minus} is quite small and quickly makes its way into the body cells, where it binds to the iron in

the heme of one of the cytochromes. As an immediate result the respiratory chain shuts down by inhibiting electron transfer. Cell respiratory process then ceases and the period from ingestion to death is only a few minutes away.

Because the poison acts so fast, recovery from sublethal doses will depend from the promptness of antidotes administration, if you can call on the attention is such a short space of time.

Since cyanides are used in many industrial process always there are possibilities of fatalities from occupational poisoning. An emergency treatment includes amyl nitrite, sodium nitrite or a 25% solution of sodium thiosulfate.

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