Chapter 25. Cyanides: Chemical Warfare Agents and Potential Terrorist Threats

  1. Timothy C. Marrs OBE, MD, DSc, FRCP, FRCPath4,5,6,
  2. Robert L. Maynard CBE, FRCP, FRCPath7 and
  3. Frederick R. Sidell MD8
  1. Bryan Ballantyne1,
  2. Chantal Bismuth2 and
  3. Alan H. Hall3

Published Online: 2 APR 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470060032.ch25

Chemical Warfare Agents: Toxicology and Treatment, Second Edition

Chemical Warfare Agents: Toxicology and Treatment, Second Edition

How to Cite

Ballantyne, B., Bismuth, C. and Hall, A. H. (2007) Cyanides: Chemical Warfare Agents and Potential Terrorist Threats, in Chemical Warfare Agents: Toxicology and Treatment, Second Edition (eds T. C. Marrs, R. L. Maynard and F. R. Sidell), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470060032.ch25

Editor Information

  1. 4

    Edentox Associates, Pinehurst, Four Elms Road, Edenbridge, Kent TN8 6AQ, UK

  2. 5

    National Poisons Information Service (Birmingham Centre) and West Midlands Poisons Unit, City Hospital, Birmingham B18 7QH, UK

  3. 6

    Lancashire School of Health and Postgraduate Medicine, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, PR1 2HE, UK

  4. 7

    Health Protection Agency, Chilton, Didcot, Oxfordshire OX11 0RQ, UK

  5. 8

    US Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010-5400, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    871 Chappell Road, Charleston, WV 25304, USA

  2. 2

    Hôpital Fernand Widal, 200 Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis, 75010 Paris, France

  3. 3

    Toxicology Consulting and Medical Translating Services, Inc., (TCMS, Inc.), Elk Mountain, WY 82324, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 2 APR 2007
  2. Published Print: 23 MAR 2007

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470013595

Online ISBN: 9780470060032



  • cyanides and potential terrorist threats;
  • specific end-point toxicologial assessments;
  • human lethal inhalation toxicity;
  • specific organ and tissue toxicity;
  • supportive medical management


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • Identities and Physicochemical Properties of Cyanides

  • Biochemical Mechanism of the Acute Toxicity of Cyanide

  • Metabolism and Detoxification of Cyanide

  • Biochemical and Metabolic Sequelae of Cyanide Intoxication

  • General Toxicology of Cyanide by Acute and Repeatd Exposure

  • Specific Organ and Tissue Toxicity

  • Specific End-Point Toxicologial Assessments

  • On the Odour of Hydrogen Cyanide and its Relevance to Detection of and Biohazard from the Vapor

  • Clinical Toxicology

  • Implications of Chemical Warfare and Terrorist Activities with Particular Reference to the Use of Cyanide against Human Targets

  • References