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Chemical Sampling Information (CSI)
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General Description

Synonyms: Calcium cyanide; CaCN; Potassium cyanide; KCN; Sodium cyanide; NaCN

OSHA IMIS Code Number: 0790

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 57-12-5

Other Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Numbers: 74-90-8; 592-01-8; 151-50-8; 143-33-9

Related Chemical: Hydrogen Cyanide

Exposure Limits

OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):

General Industry: 29 CFR 1910.1000 Z-1 Table -- 5 mg/m3 TWA; Skin

Construction Industry: 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A -- 5 mg/m3 TWA; Skin

Maritime: 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards -- 5 mg/m3 TWA

American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 4.7 ppm, 5 mg/m3 Ceiling; Skin (TLV listed under Hydrogen Cyanide) -- 5 mg/m3 Ceiling; Skin (TLV listed under Cyanide Salts)

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 4.7 ppm, 5 mg/m3 STEL; Skin (REL listed under Hydrogen Cyanide) -- 4.7 ppm, 5 mg/m3 Ceiling (10 Minutes) (REL listed under Other Cyanides (as CN) except Hydrogen Cyanide)

Health Factors

Carcinogenic Classification:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Group D, not classifiable as to human carcinogenicity

NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 25 mg/m3 (as CN)

Potential Symptoms: Asphyxia and death can occur, preceded by seizures, coma with abolished deep reflexes and dilated pupils, weakness; paralysis; dizziness; numbness; anxiety; chest tightness; irregular heartbeat; shortness of breath; confusion; headache; sore throat; nausea, vomiting; eye irritation; rash, chemical burns on skin; enlargement of thyroid gland.

Health Effects: Irritation-Eyes, Skin, Nose, Throat---Marked (HE14); Acute Toxicity (HE4).

Affected Organs: cardiovascular system, respiratory system, thyroid, eyes, skin, blood

Notes:

  1. Neurological sequelae in survivors of acute cyanide poisoning include parkinsonism and dystonia.

Literature Basis:

  • (symptoms)
    Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR): Toxicological Profile for Cyanide (Update). PHS, U.S. DHHS, Atlanta, GA, 1997.
  • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Potassium cyanide.
  • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Sodium cyanide.
  • U.S. EPA Technology Transfer Network Air Toxics Website: Cyanide Compounds.
  • (target organs, IDLH)
    NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Potassium cyanide (as CN).
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Sodium cyanide as (CN).
  • (neurological sequelae)
    Albin, R.L.: Basal ganglia neurotoxins. Neurol. Clin. 18(3): 665-680, 2000

Date Last Revised: 07/15/2003

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):

  • sampling media: Mixed Cellulose Ester Filter (MCEF) 0.8 microns in series with Midget Fritted Glass Bubbler (MFGB) containing 10 mL 0.1 N NaOH
    maximum volume: 120 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 1.0 L/min
    current analytical method: Ion Specific Electrode; ISE
    method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA ID-120)
    method classification: Fully Validated
    note: Submit as a separate sample. If present, sulfide should be listed as an interference. Particulate cyanide is collected on the filter. HCN, if present, is collected in the Midger Fritted Glass Bubbler. (See HCN) Within 1 hour after the sample has been collected, transfer the filter to a clean screw cap vial containing 10 mL 0.1 N NaOH.

On-Site Sampling Techniques/Methods:

  • device: Detector Tube
    manufacturer: Dräger
    model/type: Cyanide 2/a, order no. 67 28791
    sampling information: 10 strokes
    upper measurement limit: 15 mg/m3
    detection limit: approximately 1 mg/m3
    overall uncertainty: 33-49%
    method reference: on-site air secondary (manufacturer)

Wipe Sampling Method:

  • sampling media: Whatman smear tab
    analytical solvent: Deionized Water

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