Date: Mon, 6 Apr 2009 18:10:30 -0600
Reply-To: Alan Hall <ahalltoxic**At_Symbol_Here**MSN.COM>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Alan Hall <ahalltoxic**At_Symbol_Here**MSN.COM>
Subject: Re: Sodium Azide
Comments: To: carole.savoie**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To: <007401c9b705$52bd31a0$f83794e0$**At_Symbol_Here**savoie**At_Symbol_Here**>

As a Medical Toxicologist, I can't speak to the lab safety procedures or protocols, but from the toxiclogy standpoint, one of the problems is th at it is white to colorless, highly water-soluble, odorless, and tast eless, and has caused fatalities in labortory workers when an aqueous sod ium azide solution was mistakenly ingested assuming it was wa ter or normal saline, or used to make beverages such as coffee or tea.&nb sp; Delayed cardiomyopathy resulting infatality has occured from m istaken sodium azide ingestion.  It used to used in automobil e air bags to initate rapid inflation, resulting in caustic burns (none s ignificant).  Also, it has been used for deliberate suicidal purpo ses, mainly amongst laboratory workers.
While part of its toxic mechanism of action is similar to that of cy anide, none of the clinically available cyanide antidotes i n the US are efficacious in sodium azide poisoning.  For a a brief r eview of toxicity, please see:
Hall AH:  Cyanide and Related Compounds -- Sodium Azide, in:  ; Shannon MW, Borron SW, Burns MJ (eds), Haddad and Winchester's Cl inical Management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose, 4th ed.  Saunder s Elsevier, Philadelphia, 2007, pp. 1309-1315.
I'll leave it to others in the group to advise you on safety and handling i ssues.
Alan H. Hall, M.D.
Medical Toxicologist

Date: Mon, 6 Apr 2009 18:16:24 -0400
From: carole.savoie**At_Symbol_Here**POLYMTL.CA
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Sodium Azide
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU

Good day everyone,


One of our resear cher suddenly wants to use sodium azide in a chemical reaction.  I =92m aware of the risks associated with that chemical, but never used it as a chemist.  If you have any =93Thing to do or not do=94 experienc e or knowledge to share with us, we are very interested in reading them.< /SPAN>


I read in the MSD S that the evacuation equipment had to be explosion-proof.  I can un derstand why, but is it the case in your institutions?


Thanking you in a dvance for your responses!




Carole Savoie, Ph.D. Chemistry< /SPAN>

OHS Senior Consul tant

Radiation Safety Officer

OHS Sector

=C9cole Polytechnique

C.P. 6079, succ. Centre-vill e

Montr=E9al, Qu=E9bec< /P>

Canada, H3C 3A7

T=E9l: (514) 340-4711, poste 4547

Fax: (514) 340-4333

C arole.Savoie**At_Symbol_Here**



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