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Poison, for which the characteristic smell of bitter almonds

The smell of bitter almonds typical of cyanide – a colorless volatile liquid with a characteristic odor, resembling the smell of bitter almonds. And indeed in the composition of almonds is a certain percentage of hydrocyanic acid. To get poisoned by it, enough to eat 40-60 grains of bitter almonds.


Hydrocyanic acid is a toxic substance, the lethal dose on the body which is of 50 mg, subcutaneously, 1 mg/kg. Everyone has heard about the most popular poison of the past centuries, which was the Bane of well-known and inconvenient personages. This, of course, talking about potassium cyanide.

Cyanide component of hydrocyanic acid and is a source, which has a characteristic smell of almonds. The popularity of this poison has been associated primarily with the simplicity of its receipt, dependability and speed of action in any of the aggregate States. However, to feel the smell not all people, and approximately 40% of the population, the owners of certain alleles of genes.

In addition to almonds, hydrocyanic (as it is called hydrocyanic acid) is found in other seeds of fruit belonging to the genus plum, which contains a toxic substance with the smell of bitter almonds:

  • cherries;
  • cherry;
  • apricot;
  • peach;
  • cherry.

In Ancient Egypt extracted the cyanide from peach. Poison that smelled like almonds, when it was called peach. Famous was the fact that after decoding the hieroglyphs this context, "for fear of poisoning with the peach," or "under pain of death, from peach" was recognized as a variant of a chemical substance extracted from this fruit.

Where there are cyanides

This poison can occur naturally in some plants, as well as during the coking of coal, in tobacco smoke. A poisonous gas with the smell of almonds is also outstanding when Smoking cigarettes, burning nylon fibers, polyurethane. Can be easily poisoned by toxic fumes on production in the extraction of noble metals for purification which is also used cyanide, easily turns from liquid to gas.

Evaporation of prussic acid is rarely found in everyday life, the main danger can bring the products containing it in large quantity.

Hydrocyanic acid in the bones has a protective function. It repels insects that can damage the grain to give him the opportunity to germinate.

Cyanides salts of hydrocyanic acid and the source of the almond smell is necessary when liberation of gold and silver from ores. This is a method called "cyanidation" is a method of dissolving metals. And also:

  • plating of gold, silver and other metals with the aim of obtaining a thin shell of precious metals on non-noble alloys also occurs with cyanide;
  • the chemical separation of metallic alloys;
  • in other operations in the chemical industry.

In addition to the famous novels of Agatha Christie classic use of potassium cyanide as a poison, it is actively used in world war II as a chemical weapon.

Cyanide consisting of prussic acid it is used to control rodents – a substance made of rat poison.

The content of poison in the home

Beyond the usual and expected places, cyanide may also be in the most unexpected circumstances – when we are least ready and most vulnerable. For example, you should be very careful, many young children and Allergy sufferers plastic utensils. Before you put food or pour drink, make sure that the dishes do not notice an odor of almonds – this factor suggests that the production of plastic, not the rules were followed its production. Low quality plastic is due to improper production can contain the poison cyanide, liberated in large numbers especially from the hot temperatures. That is why the plastic container is a marker "do not use for hot dishes". Since hot temperatures may also cause the release of fumes of cyanide and cause poisoning.

Thus, a harmless plastic cups or reusable plastic bottles of water can kill if not, that undermine health. Especially be careful with children, whose stomachs have low acidity, they are the most delicate and susceptible to hazardous substances. Use glass or a safe plastic, manufactured from environmentally friendly materials.

Poisoning by cyanides

Cyanides inhibit tissue respiration and disrupt the delivery of oxygen to tissue. Symptoms:

  • headache;
  • nausea;
  • vomiting;
  • a metallic taste in the mouth;
  • pressing pain in the chest;
  • difficulty breathing;
  • abdominal pain;
  • convulsions.

After amplification, heart rate, excitation and convulsions there comes a sharp deceleration pulse, loss of consciousness, coma and, in severe poisoning – death. If the critical amount of poison, the symptoms develop within a few minutes. If not to accept urgent antidote, can be fatal.

An antidote from the poison with the taste of almonds is amyl nitrite, sodium nitrite, Chromosme,sodium thiosulfate. Sodium thiosulfate, acting on the cyanide, turning it into Rodney that are harmless to the body.

With a slight poisoning will act as an antidote to the usual sugar – recommended to drink large quantities of sweet drinks to symptoms of poisoning soon disappear.

Quickly bind cyanide in the blood, forming cyanmethemoglobin – matter under the title of metgemoglobinoobrazovatelami. This is the most effective antidotes that react with the natural hemoglobin in human blood. They need to be used as a complex treatment along with other types of antidotes. At the same time they are extremely dangerous substances, as they are able to completely stop the transfer of oxygen in the blood. Therefore, dosage, controls, and deciding on the acceptance of these substances should only take a doctor.

How to eat foods that contain hydrocyanic acid

Almonds and other seeds with cyanide – apricot pits (Babki), cherry stones, etc. – pre-dried in the sun, ensuring complete drying under sunlight dangerous poison neutralizes that allows further safe to eat nuts and grain, without fear for life and health.

In addition to exposure to sunlight, possible thermally processed foods is another way roast the seeds, placing them in the oven and treating a high temperature in sufficient quantity in a different way. Prolonged exposure to hot temperatures is the destruction of molecules of hydrocyanic acid and the evaporation of the poison.

And Vice versa – wet with fresh beans and nuts, liberated from its shell, it is extremely dangerous to humans. Already in the use 40 grains of bitter almonds can be a serious poisoning which required hospitalization. The taste of these products cyanides are also different – they are less pleasant to the taste, than after frying or drying.

Thus, it would be safer to make cherry compote, than a tincture, as tincture of cherry pits dangerous poison continues to be the active ingredient. While the compote by boiling these items will be gone.

Pleasant aroma of almonds, as it turned out, is a mortal danger. However, the cyanide in a concentrated form the smell is completely different- almond flavor and aroma of a poison peculiar only in very weak concentrations.

Like everything in nature, a strong poison in our favorite sugary treats is absolutely harmless, if you know how to use it – at minimum doses when properly processed the product, the potassium cyanide is harmless, as neutralized in the human body contained in the blood glucose. Sugar always present in the blood, act as a natural antidote – we are required only not to exceed the maximum available concentration in the blood.