If you are familiar with chemicals, then you have probably come across the terms potassium cyanide powder and pills. Potassium cyanide is an inorganic compound with the formula KCN. It is a colorless crystalline compound with similar appearance to sugar and it is highly soluble in water. Some of its uses are electroplating, gold mining, and organic synthesis. Smaller uses include jewelry for chemical buffing and gilding. Entomologist also use it as a killing agent in collecting jars since most insects will die in seconds.
Several prominent people committed suicide or were killed with the help of potassium cyanide including members of the Nazi Party. The potassium cyanide lethal dose is 200-300 mg.
It is worth noting that potassium cyanide is very toxic. The moist solid produces hydrogen cyanide because of hydrolysis that tastes like bitter almonds. However, not everyone has the ability to taste this.
Potassium cyanide production
Makers treat hydrogen cyanide with a 50% aqueous solution of Potassium hydroxide. They then evaporate the solution in a vacuum. According to reports, industries produce approximately 50,000 tons of potassium cyanide annually.
Cyanide is a potent cellular respiration inhibitor that acts on mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase thus blocking oxidative phosphorylation. This prevents the body from oxidizing food to form useful energy. Lactic acidosis then occurs because of anaerobic metabolism.
How does potassium cyanide work?
It releases hydrogen cyanide a gas, a severely toxic chemical asphyxiate that cuts the ability of your body to use oxygen. Exposure to this chemical can be very fatal. It has full-body effects, especially affecting those organ systems that are very sensitive to low oxygen levels such as the central nervous system and the pulmonary system. People use potassium cyanide for electroplating, fumigation, and mineral extraction. The gas that the chemical releases has a distinctive bitter almond taste but most people cannot detect it. People usually ship potassium cyanide as tablets, capsules, or pellets.
What are some of the routes of exposure?
Potassium cyanide can get to your body by inhalation, ingestion, eye contact, skin contact.
What are the uses of Potassium Cyanide Powder and Pills?
To most people, when they hear the word potassium cyanide, what comes to mind is suicide. The major reason why this chemical is popular is because it is fast and painless.
Potassium cyanide is a crucial chemical for heat treatment in ore floatation to extract silver, gold, steel, and electroplating. People also use this chemical as analytical chemical reagent and used in manufacture of organic acrylonitrile, nitriles, organic glass pharmacy, etching, photograph among others.
Once the chemical enters your body, it forms a permanent bond with cytochrome c oxidase that is an electron accepts and prevents the cells electron transport chain. This prevents your cells to use the oxygen in the blood, which means the cells cannot produce the energy that the body needs.
What are the effects of potassium cyanide in small doses?
- Trouble breathing
Effects of potassium cyanide in high doses
Someone exposed to high doses will likely go into a coma immediately. After the coma, the person might experience convulsions then death. One way to help counter such effects is taking huge amounts of glucose. Glucose binds to the cyanide fast thus disconnecting it to the bond with the cells. However, studies show that it’s not a guarantee that glucose will counter cyanide effects completely but it helps reduce the effects.
Effects/symptoms of potassium cyanide overdose/poisoning
Any time you notice pink or ruddy colored cheeks, red or dilated eyes, and a severe case of a bluish skin color, there is a chance you are suffering from potassium cyanide poisoning.
Side effects of potassium cyanide
By now, you know that potassium cyanide is a very poisonous and toxic chemical. If you happen to swallow it, it is a fast acting poison even in less doses. Exposing yourself in potassium cyanide powder is harmful as well. When you expose your skin to this chemical, you will experience tissue damage, a burning sensation, irritation and pain. On the other hand, you will feel redness, pain, tissue damage to the eye and severe burns if you expose potassium cyanide to the eye.
If ingested, potassium cyanide will cause vomiting, abdominal pain, nausea, irritation or corrosion of the stomach lining. The toxicity of ingested potassium cyanide depends on the stomach acidity since it must react with the acid to form hydrogen cyanide which is the deadly form of cyanide.
There are severe effects when you inhale the chemical as well. The mild-moderate effects include confusion, anxiety, nausea, headache, weakness, dizziness, short breath, palpitations, loss of consciousness, vomiting, among others. Some severe effects include coma, seizures, shock, dilated pupils, low blood pressure, and slow respirations, temporary blindness, fluid in your lungs, affected heart rhythms among others.
Note that your central nervous system is the most sensitive to potassium cyanide poisoning or overdose. Your cardiovascular system is less sensitive and you need a higher dose of potassium cyanide to achieve the same effects as the central nervous system. In extreme poisonings, the skin will be cold, clammy and diaphoretic.
The time course
Potassium cyanide side effects occur rapidly after potassium cyanide exposure. When you inhale the hydrogen cyanide gas from potassium cyanide, symptoms will occur in seconds while death might occur within minutes.
Potassium Cyanide Powder and Pills legal status
Since these drugs are very fatal, they are controlled substances in most nations. You need to have legal authority to obtain them or you risk going to jail.
Can you buy Potassium Cyanide Powder and Pills online?
Yes, it is possible to buy potassium cyanide online in all forms including pills and powder. However, you have to be very careful when purchasing this chemical online. Since it is a controlled product and very rare, you might be buying from a fraudster or low quality chemicals. Always cross check to ensure you are buying from a legitimate seller. Read many reviews as possible and consult with a specialist before making a purchase.