The free acid, which is obtained by treating the salts with acids, is an oily liquid smelling like prussic acid; it is very explosive, and the vapour is poisonous to about the same degree as that of prussic acid.
The Poisons and Pharmacy Act of 1908 extended the schedule of poisons instituted by the act of 1868, and it now includes arsenic, aconite, aconitine and their preparations; all poisonous vegetable alkaloids, and their salts and poisonous derivatives; atropine and its salts and their preparations; belladonna and all preparations or admixtures (except belladonna plasters) containing 0.1% or more of belladonna alkaloid; cantharides and its poisonous derivatives; any preparation or admixture of coca-leaves containing 0.1% or more of coca alkaloids; corrosive sublimate; cyanide of potassium and all poisonous cyanides and their preparations; tartar emetic, nux vomica, and all preparations or admixtures containing 0.2% or more of strychnine; opium and all preparations and admixtures containing 1% or more of morphine; picro-toxine; prussic acid and all preparations and admixtures containing o i% or more of prussic acid; savin and its oil, and all preparations or admixtures containing savin or its oil.
The following poisons may not be sold, either retail or wholesale, unless distinctly labelled with the name of the article, and the word poison, with the name and address of the seller: Almonds, essential oil of (unless deprived of prussic acid).
The breathing becomes shallow, the drug killing, like nearly all neurotic poisons (alcohol, morphia, prussic acid, &c.), by paralysis of the respiratory centre, and the patient dying in a state of coma.
The first three will he treated here; for the others see Prussic Acid and Cyanamide.