Cyanide is purchased online for a variety of reasons. The chemical is used in industrial applications such as metallurgy and manufacturing. In the first context, it is applied to separate gold from its ore in addition to general metal cleaning and electroplating applications. It is also a component in textile, plastic and paper production. As a highly toxic chemical, it is an extermination agent for pests; it is also used occasionally as a means for suicide or homicide.
Cyanide is generally available in a gaseous form as hydrogen cyanide or cyanogen chloride as well as a crystalline form as the compounds sodium cyanide or potassium cyanide. It acts on living organisms by preventing the absorption of oxygen in the circulatory and respiratory systems, causing asphyxiation, organ failure and death in sufficient concentrations.
The pure cyanide ion consists of a single carbon atom triple-bonded with a carbon atom. As it has a negative charge, it bonds with other elements to form the cyano group of compounds.
If accidentally exposed to cyanide gas, the more common form of the compound, immediately leave the exposure area for one with fresh air, preferable outdoors. If unable to leave the area, get low to the ground; cyanide gas is less dense than air and rises. Remove and dispose of any contaminated clothing without letting it get close to respiratory passages and wash any of the substance off skin.