Hydrogen Cyanide Gas Detectors (HCN Detectors)

HCN

Hydrogen cyanide (HCN) is a chemical compound in liquid form below 78°F (25.6°C), or a colorless gas above 78°F (25.6°C), and is extremely toxic. It is used for fumigation, electroplating, mining, chemical synthesis, and the production of synthetic fibers, plastics, dyes, and pesticides. Hydrogen cyanide is also accidentally rejected during reactions between cyanide and an acid, or during a nitrile fire or combustion. Although hydrogen cyanide gas is extremely flammable, it is most often detected under its toxic form (expressed in ppm) with an HCN gas detector. Industrial Scientific provides the GasBadge™ Pro personal single-gas detector, the Ventis® Pro and MX6 iBrid® multi-gas detectors, and the Radius® BZ1 Area Monitor to accurately monitor unsafe levels of hydrogen cyanide.

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RELATED GAS DETECTORS - Hydrogen Cyanide

Hydrogen Cyanide - HCN

Hazard:

Flammable

Will explode, LEL 5.6%

Classification:

Health

Extremely toxic

Synonyms:

Formonitrile, Hydrocyanic acid, Prussic acid

Exposure limits:

(OSHA)

PEL\TWA: 10 ppm

 

(ACGIH)

STEL: N/A

 

(OSHA)

IDLH: 50 ppm / 30 min.

Industries:

Used in the leaching of precious metals, i.e. gold, chemical plants, insecticides

Hydrogen cyanide is a colorless to a pale blue liquid or gas. It has a distinct odor resembling bitter almonds. Hydrogen cyanide is particularly dangerous because of its toxic/asphyxiating effects on all life requiring oxygen to survive. HCN combines with the enzymes in tissue associated with cellular oxidation. What this means is they render oxygen unavailable to the tissues causing death by asphyxia. This suspension only lasts while the cyanide is present. Upon its removal, normal function is restored provided death has not occurred.

 

Effects of Various HCN Levels

Hydrogen Cyanide Level in PPM

Resulting Conditions on Humans

10

Permissible Exposure Limit (OSHA).

10-50

Headache, dizziness, unsteadiness.

0-100

Feeling of suffocation, nausea.

100-200

Death from exposure in 30 to 60 minutes.

Source: Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials (Sixth Edition) by N. Irving Sax

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