Cyanide Poisoning

The Bay Area personal injury attorneys at Hogan Injury help victims and their families hold companies accountable for cyanide poisoning. Acute cyanide poisoning can result from inhalation of fumes from burning polymer products that use nitrates in their production including polyurethane (foam), wool, paper and silk.

Cyanide is added to some pesticides and insecticides. It is also is present in smoke produced by fires as well as in some foods such as almonds, yuca, bamboo shoots, orange seeds, apricot kernels and apple seeds. It only takes a concentration as low as 45 to 55 parts per million to kill a person in under one hour while higher concentrations of cyanide (over 280 parts per million) cause nearly instant death.

Cyanide binds an enzyme called cytochrome c oxidase in the mitochondrial membrane to inhibit it. This results in cells not being able to produce enough energy to say alive which results in cell death, causing severe damage to the central nervous system and the heart.

Sources of Cyanide Poisoning

There are many things that can cause cyanide poisoning including:

  • Smoke inhalation from fires burning plastics, rubber material and silk can produce deadly cyanide fumes.
  • Many industries use cyanide in the production of plastics, when electroplating and when conducting research using chemicals.
  • Some plants such as cassava (a type of potato) and the pits of apricots contain cyanide.
  • Some chemicals, when ingested can be converted into cyanide by the body. While most of these chemicals have been removed from the marketplace, some older products including some solvents and plastics manufacturing solutions can still contain these chemicals.

Those at highest risk for cyanide poisoning are people who work in industries that use cyanide. For most people, cyanide is only a threat if a fire breaks out or if some of the compounds above are ingested by accident. Home, RV, boat or building fires always come with the concern of cyanide exposure.

Symptoms of Cyanide Poisoning

The most common symptoms of cyanide poisoning include:

  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Confusion
  • Flushing of the skin
  • Loss of muscle control
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Long pauses in breathing (apnea)
  • Seizures

If you or a loved one has been poisoned by cyanide, do not delay in contacting our San Francisco personal injury attorneys. We will provide you with a no-cost consultation wherein we will discuss your symptoms and the circumstances surrounding your case. We will then inform you of your legal options and provide you with advice regarding the best course of action to take that will result in you obtaining a favorable outcome.

We also handle wrongful death claims for family members who’ve lost loved ones due to the negligent actions of others so that they can receive the justice and compensation they rightfully deserve.


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