Guides for Emergency Response: Chemical Agent or Weapon: Cyanogen Chloride (CK)
Characteristics: Blood agents, including cyanogen chloride (CK), interfere with oxygen utilization at the cellular level, and all blood agents are non-persistent. Th e vapor of CK is heavier than air and very irritating to the eyes and mucous membrane surfaces, and inhalation presents the primary route of entry. With cyanogen chloride, recovery from the systemic eff ects of this chemical agent is prompt as it is with hydrogen cyanide poisoning, meaning that usually death occurs rapidly or the victim suddenly recovers. Th e diff erence between the two agents (CK and AC) is that with cyanogen chloride, there is a higher residual damage to the central nervous system expected for the victim. Once again, the dose and exposure concentration of CK a victim suff ered will be a factor in determining if pulmonary eff ects may develop at once or may be delayed until the systemic eff ects have subsided.