What is sodium cyanide?
Sodium cyanide is a white, water-soluble solid, that is highly toxic and exposure to eye, skin or ingestion can be fatal. The hazardous chemical takes the form of an odorless, dry powder, commonly called “dry salt”. When sodium cyanide is exposed to atmospheric moisture it produces a bitter almond-like odor.
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What are its uses?
Sodium cyanide is used in many different industries for a wide range of applications. The toxic chemical is heavily used in the metals industry for gold extraction. Sodium cyanide usage is considered the most efficient extraction method for precious metals and is used in the leaching process for many gold extraction operations. The deadly substance is also used in M-44 ejector devices on pastures and forest lands to control wild animal populations that contain communicable diseases or wild animals that are likely to prey upon endangered species and/or livestock.
Sodium Cyanide Storage Requirements
Sodium cyanide is commonly handled in secure laboratories. When storing sodium cyanide, proper mechanical ventilation systems are necessary; including fume hoods when working with sodium cyanide. Personal protection equipment should be worn at all times to prevent skin and eye contact. Obtain Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) before storing to educate personnel on the hazards involved with handling and/or storing procedures.
Sodium cyanide storage requirements are designed to increase safety to personnel and operations.
Sodium cyanide should be stored in a cool and dry chemical storage building located away from incompatible materials. Sodium cyanide decomposes on contact with water, moisture, carbon dioxide, acids and is incompatible with acids and strong oxidants.
Sodium cyanide can react violently and explode when exposed to nitrates, chlorates, peroxides, and nitric acid.
Climate controlled chemical storage buildings are necessary to maintain storage environments when storing hazardous chemicals. Learn more about our climate controlled storage solutions here for safe sodium cyanide storage.
Exposure by eye, skin, ingestion or inhalation can be rapidly fatal. Hazardous concentrations of sodium cyanide can develop quickly without proper ventilation systems. Symptoms of acute exposure to sodium cyanide include headache, weakness, dizziness, nausea, rapid breathing, and vomiting.
NFPA 704 Signal
- Health: 3
- Flammability: 0
- Reactivity: 0
- Special: —
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