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Cyanid of potassium poisoning is not infrequent among workmen who "clean up" in the cyaniding process of gold reduction, but is rare in private practice.
After the auriferous ore has been crushed to a fine sand through which an 0.5 per cent, solution of cyanid of potassium is allowed to filter, the solution passes into boxes filled with zinc shavings on which gold is precipitated from the auro-potassic cyanid in the solution. It requires some little force to dislodge these gold particles, and consequently scrubbing the zinc shavings with the hands is the method usually employed. It is in this scrubbing process, while the hands and arms are necessarily bathed in the solution that poisoning occurs with greatest frequency. Different individuals exhibit different degrees of susceptibility, some being apparently immune. The temperature of the solution greatly modifies the ease with which the effect is produced, the greatest number of cases
NOLAN JW. POTASSIUM CYANID POISONING.. JAMA. 1908;L(5):365. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.25310310041002b