Cyanide Antidotes and Fire Toxicology

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Smoke is a heterogeneous mixture of particulate matter (carbon particles coated with acids, aldehydes, and acroleins) and heated gases. The gases can be generally classified as irritants, such as hydrochloric acid, sulfur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, and ammonia; as asphyxiants, such as carbon dioxide; and as cellular toxins, such as carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, and hydrogen cyanide. The composition of the smoke from a given fire depends on the materials burned, the rate of pyrolysis, the absolute temperature, and the oxygen supply. The composition can vary remarkably between samples obtained only a few feet apart.It is therefore quite difficult …

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