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In the United States, expert advice from a regional poison control center may be obtained by calling 1-800-222-1222. If cyanide poisoning is suspected, emergency medical personnel should be contacted immediately (dial 911).

Understanding Cyanide Poisoning | CYANIDE INSIGHT
Cyanide may enter the body through inhalation, ingestion, or dermal exposure. Understanding cyanide poisoning's forms may help prevent exposure.
  • Exposure
  • Inside Cells
  • Effects
Cyanide may enter the body through inhalation, ingestion, or dermal exposure

Don’t underestimate this deadly chemical1

Cyanide may exist in more places than you think. Inhaling smoke with hydrogen cyanide is the most common form of cyanide poisoning; however, exposure can happen in any form whether it is through inhalation, ingestion, or even dermal exposure.4 In any form, cyanide is harmful.

Poisoning caused by cyanide depends on the amount of cyanide a person is exposed to, the route of exposure, and the length of time that a person is exposed.1

Cyanide’s harmful effects on the body

In the body, red blood cells carry oxygen to the mitochondria, sometimes called the “power providers” of the body. Mitochondria within cells use oxygen to create energy for the body and support day-to-day functions.5

When cyanide enters the body it blocks cellular mitochondria from accessing oxygen. When the body’s cells and tissues are deprived of oxygen, they can’t function properly and begin to die within moments of cyanide entering the body.1

Did you

Cyanide can exist as
a gas, such as hydrogen
cyanide or cyanogen
chloride, or in a crystal
form, such as sodium
cyanide or potassium