From: Alan Hall <ahalltoxic**At_Symbol_Here**MSN.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Medical Oxygen requirement for experiments with cyanides
Date: May 17, 2012 1:58:14 PM EDT
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <D35B78BF-97D6-47A1-AC4F-7EBF4279DCA9**At_Symbol_Here**mimectl>

Let's let an internationally recognized expert in cyanide poisoning chime in for 2 cents worth.
First off, cyanide in salt or solution form can be safely utilized in a laboratory or in fact in ton amounts as in gold or other percious metals extracts and only simple PPE will be reguired (not SCBA).
Second, when any cyanide salt is in contact with an acid, HCN gas will be evolved which is a major inhalation hazard and SCBA would be mandatory.  The issue of skin absorption of HCN will only be a concern if in a hot, humid environment and it is in the dissolved liquid firm of hydrocyanic acid (all NIOSH/ACGIH "Skin" notations to the contrary).
Oxygen, or indeed hybaric oxygen, might be of some benefit in addtion to specifiic cyanide antidotes.  There's reasonably good animal models and some anecdotal human case reports.  But  nomobaric oxygen is generally applied by all EMS services and is of no efficacy by itself.
So you could have either the old Lilly/Pasadena/Nithiodote(R) etc. cyanode antidote kit or the  much safer hydroxocobalamin cyanide antidote kit to send with the lab folks shoiuld an accident occur to the emergency department just in case as is too often that they don't stock one or the other because of cost.  Prehospital responders might be able to utilize hydroxocobalamin if your local EMS system has been alerted before anythiing happens and is properly trained and equipped.  Don't assume that thius will be the case.  Be proactive.
In other words, anticipate what might go wrong and be prepared to deal with it.  An O2 cylinder in the hall outside the lab will do nothing for cyanide-exposed folks.
Alan H. Hall, M.D.
Medical Toxicologist


Date: Thu, 17 May 2012 13:26:20 +0000
From: Paul.Dover**At_Symbol_Here**MONASH.EDU
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Medical Oxygen requirement for experiments with cyanides

Dear all,
Can I ask for a quick show of hands. We have a new OHS consultant who a bit hung up on the immediate  availablity of medical oxygen and training in administration of medical oxygen for  ANY experiments involving cyanide. To the extent that no work should commence until this is in place.
Is this what happens elsewhere? Does it seem a bit oveboard? Is it a 'control' as such, or just a nice thing to have. We are 5 mins away from a major hospital.
Thanks in advance, Paul



Paul Dover
Resources Manager (Medicinal Chemistry & Drug Action)

Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Monash University (Parkville Campus)
381 Royal Parade, Parkville
Victoria 3052, Australia


Tel:  Int + 61 3 9903 9551

Fax:  Int + 61 3 9903 9143

E-mail: paul.dover**At_Symbol_Here**


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