Agent Name

Cyanogen

CAS Number

460-19-5

Formula

C2-N2

Major Category

Nitrogen Compounds

Synonyms

Dicyan; Dicyanogen; Ethanedinitrile; Oxalonitrile; [NIOSH] Oxalic acid dinitrile Carbon nitride; Oxalyl cyanide; Prussite; Nitriloacetonitrile; [CHEMINFO] UN1026

Category

Nitriles

Description

Colorless gas with a pungent, almond-like odor. [Note: Shipped as a liquefied compressed gas. Forms cyanide in the body.] [NIOSH]

Sources/Uses

Used in organic synthesis; Also used as a fuel (for cutting and welding heat-resistant metals), a rocket fuel, and a fumigant; Produced in internal combustion engines burning gasoline with nitrogen additives and in blast furnaces; [ACGIH]

Comments

Hydrolysis of cyanogen yields hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and cyanate. Toxic effects are due to HCN. TLV Basis: eye and upper respiratory tract irritation; "Subchronic inhalation exposure of 15 monkeys and 90 rats, divided into 3 groups of 5 monkeys and 30 rats exposed 6 hours/day, 5 days/week for 6 months at 25 ppm of cyanogen was marginally toxic as evidenced from decreased body weight, which was not observed in the animals exposed to 11 ppm." [ACGIH] Possible frostbite from contact with liquid; [NIOSH] A lachrymator; [CHEMINFO]

Exposure Assessment
Skin Designation (ACGIH)

Insufficient data

TIH

Yes

Ceiling (ACGIH)

5 ppm

MAK

5 ppm

Lethal Concentration

LC50 = 350 ppm/1h

Explanatory Notes

Odor threshold is >250 ppm; Eye & nasal irritation @ 16 ppm; A 2-hr exposure @ 250 ppm killed all rats within 14 days. Rats exposed to 25 ppm for 6 months show significant weight loss. [CHEMINFO]

Flammability (NFPA)

4: Burns readily

Adverse Effects
Lacrimator

Yes

Other Poison

Chemical Asphyxiant

Links to Other NLM Databases
Health Studies

Human Health Effects from Hazardous Substances Data Bank:

Toxicity Information

Search TOXNET

Chemical Information

Search ChemIDplus

Related Information in HazMap
Diseases

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent:

Processes

Industrial Processes with risk of exposure: