Cyanide salts (Potassium, sodium, copper, trimethylsilyl, silver, potassium silver, gold and zinc cyanides) are acutely toxic, fatal in contact with skin, if inhaled or if swallowed. All above-mentioned cyanide salts are GHS Acute Toxicity Dermal, Category 1; potassium and sodium cyanide are also high risk for inhalation (GHS Acute Toxicity Inhalation, Category 1). Doses in milligram quantities can be fatal.
Cyanide salts will react with acid (or water, including moisture in air) to form hydrogen cyanide, a flammable and extremely toxic gas that may produce a bitter almond odor. Potassium, sodium, and silver cyanide may also corrode metals, cause eye damage, or irritate skin.
Be sure to follow the requirements of the SOP: Cyanide Salts.
Sodium cyanide and Potassium cyanide are UH controlled chemicals. EHS shall be contacted for the requisitions with these two chemicals per UH MAPP 04.01.01 Policy. More please see EHS-Chemical Procurement webpage.
Cyanides must be stored in a tightly closed container that is securely locked in a cool dry cabinet to which access is restricted, away from acid, water and moisture to prevent interactions that produce toxic hydrogen cyanide gas.