From: "Dube, Mike (JUS)" <Mike.J.Dube**At_Symbol_Here**ONTARIO.CA>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Medical Oxygen requirement for experiments with cyanides
Date: May 17, 2012 3:01:09 PM EDT
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <**At_Symbol_Here**>

Simpler way - because this is a form of cyanide and toxic at even low
levels, go with a respiratory protection program. Work with the
substance in a fume hood (a ventilated and sealed fume box is better)
but use breathing protection. It is an engineered control that reduces
the risk considerably and limits the possible consequences of human

Michael J. Dube
Program Specialist

Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit (EPRU)

Office of the Fire Marshal of Ontario (OFM)
Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS)
Office: (705)687-9696
Cell: (705) 715-4768
Pager: (705) 735-5935
Fax: (705) 687-8636

-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf
Of Michael Ng
Sent: May 17, 2012 10:32 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Medical Oxygen requirement for experiments with

Hi Paul,

Medical oxygen is not necessary when conducting experiments involving
cyanide salts (sodium cyanide, potassium cyanide, potassium
ferricyanide, sodium thioscyanide). If the cyanide salt powder is
inhaled, there is a possibility the salt may be metabolized to form
hydrogen cyanide in the body and inhibit respiration. The probability of
this happening is low. If for some reason an employee is careless when
working with the material, and the concentration of cyanide salt exceeds
4-5ppm, you may want to consider respiratory protection (respirator) and
medical surveillance program.

It is important to stress that cyanide salts are incompatible with
oxidizing agents and acids, as cyanide salts will readily decompose into
lethal hydrogen cyanide gas.

If you are referring about experiments involving hydrogen cyanide gas
(assuming if you able to purchase that), medical oxygen would not be the
solution. If these are the experiments you guys are working with, you
should really consider some serious chemical protection PPE such as a
self containing breathing apparatus (SCBA) and heavy duty chemical
resistant Level A or B Hazmat suits.

Michael Ng
Environmental Health and Safety Manager
Long Island University Brooklyn Campus
Buildings and Grounds
1 University Plaza M101
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Tel: (718)-488-1608
Fax: (718)-488-3337**At_Symbol_Here**

From: Paul Dover >
Reply-To: DCHAS-L
Date: Thu, 17 May 2012 13:26:20 +0000
To: >
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Medical Oxygen requirement for experiments with

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

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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