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MERCURIC CYANIDE Basic information
MERCURIC CYANIDE Chemical Properties
  • Melting point:46.85°C
  • Density 3.996 g/mL at 25 °C(lit.)
  • storage temp. Poison room
  • form Fine Crystalline Powder
  • color White
  • Specific Gravity3.996
  • Water Solubility g/100g solution H2O: 6.31 (0°C), 10.06±0.06 (25°C), 35.05 (101.1°C) [KRU93]; 1g dissolves in 13mL alcohol, 4mL methanol; slightly soluble ether; slowly soluble glycerol [MER06]
  • Merck 13,5903
  • BRN 4652800
  • Exposure limitsTLV-TWA 0.1 mg Hg/m3 (skin) (ACGIH).
  • CAS DataBase Reference592-04-1(CAS DataBase Reference)
  • EPA Substance Registry SystemMercuric cyanide (592-04-1)
Safety Information
MERCURIC CYANIDE Usage And Synthesis
  • Chemical PropertiesMercuric cyanide is an odorless, white crystalline solid; turns gray to dark brown when exposed to light
  • UsesMercuric cyanide finds veterinary application as a topical antiseptic for cats and other animals.
  • UsesMedicine (antiseptic), germicidal soaps, manufacturing cyanogen gas, photography.
  • General DescriptionOdorless tetragonal crystals or white powder. Toxic by inhalation (dust, and the hydrogen cyanide from decomposition) and by ingestion. Toxic oxides of nitrogen are produced in fires. It is used in medicine, germicidal soaps, photography, and in making cyanogen gas.
  • Air & Water ReactionsSoluble in water. Gradually decomposed by water to give off hydrogen cyanide, a flammable poison gas.
  • Reactivity ProfileMERCURIC CYANIDE is rapidly decomposed by acids to give off hydrogen cyanide, a flammable poison gas. Decomposed in the light. May tend to explosive instability. Capable of violent reaction with oxidizing agents. Fusion with metal chlorates, perchlorates, nitrates or nitrites can cause a violent explosion [Bretherick 1979. p. 101].
  • HazardToxic by ingestion, inhalation, and skin absorption.
  • Health HazardSymptoms of both cyanide and mercury intoxication can occur. Acute poisoning has resulted from inhaling dust concentrations of 1.2-8.5 mg/m 3 of air; symptoms include tightness and pain in chest, coughing, and difficul ty in breathing; cyanide poisoning can cause anxiety, confusion, dizziness, and shortness of breath, with possible unconsciousness, convulsions, and paralysis; breath may smell like bitter almonds. Ingestion causes necrosis, pain, vomiting, an d severe purging, plus the above symptoms. Contact with eyes causes ulceration of conjunctiva and cornea. Contact with skin causes irritation and possible dermatitis; systemic poisoning can occur by absorption through skin.
  • Health HazardMercuric cyanide is a highly poisonous compound. Its components, mercury(II) and the cyanide ions, are both highly toxic. Its toxicity, however, is lower than that of sodium and potassium cyanides.
    Acute toxic symptoms from oral intake of this compound in humans are hypermotility, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, and injury to kidney and bladder. Toxic symptoms may be manifested in humans from consuming 15–20 g of this compound. Lower doses may produce somnolence. An intraperitoneal dosage of 7.5 mg/kg was fatal to rats.
    LD50 value, oral (mice): 7.5 mg/kg.
  • Fire HazardSpecial Hazards of Combustion Products: Fumes from fire may contain toxic mercury and hydrogen cyanide.
  • Safety ProfilePoison by ingestion, subcutaneous, intravenous, and intraperitoneal routes. Human systemic effects by ingestion: nausea or vomiting, hypermotility, dlarrhea, kidney changes, somnolence. Hydrolyzes to toxic fumes. A frictionand impact-sensitive explosive. It may initiate detonation of liquid hydrogen cyanide. Incompatible with fluorine, magnesium, sodium nitrite. When heated to decomposition it emits very toxic fumes of Hg, NOx, and CN-. See also CYANIDE and MERCURY COMPOUNDS.
  • Potential ExposureMercuric cyanide is used in medicine, germicidal soaps, photography and in making cyanogen gas
  • ShippingUN1636 Mercuric cyanide, Hazard Class: 6.1; Labels: 6.1-Poisonous materials
  • Purification MethodsCrystallise it from water. The solubility in H2O is 8% at ~20o and 33% at ~100o; in EtOH it is 8% at ~20o and in MeOH it is 25% at ~20o. [Blitz Z Anorg Allgem Chem 170 161 1928.] POISONOUS.
  • IncompatibilitiesViolent reaction with fluorine, magnesium, sodium nitrite, acids. Heating or contact with acid releases toxic mercury and flammable hydrogen cyanide gas. Incompatible with oxidizers (chlorates, nitrates, peroxides, permanganates, perchlorates, chlorine, bromine, fluorine, etc.); contact may cause fires or explosions. Keep away from alkaline materials, strong bases, strong acids, oxoacids, epoxides
  • Waste DisposalReturn to supplier for mercury recovery and deactivation.
MERCURIC CYANIDE Preparation Products And Raw materials
MERCURIC CYANIDE(592-04-1)Related Product Information