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ACUTE EXPOSURE INFORMATION

  1. Methyl thiocyanate is an aliphatic thiocyanate (rhodanate) compound formerly used as an insecticide, fumigant, and research chemical. Currently, it appears that this agent is no longer produced. Methyl thiocyanate is a colorless volatile liquid with an onion-like odor.
    1. Little data were available specifically for methyl thiocyanate. Its toxicity is expected to be similar to that of the more well-known aliphatic thiocyanate compounds, Lethane and Thanite, and is due to the metabolic release of CYANIDE after absorption. Methyl thiocyanate may be absorbed and cause systemic toxicity following ingestion, inhalation, dermal exposure, and parenteral administration.
  1. Some aliphatic thiocyanates can liberate hydrogen cyanide after absorption. As the symptoms of poisoning resemble those of cyanide intoxication, cyanide liberation has been considered to be responsible for many of the toxic manifestations of the aliphatic thiocyanates.
    1. A direct depressant effect on the medullary respiratory centers may also occur.
  1. Some of the toxicity may be due to the kerosene vehicle in which these agents are often supplied.
  1. Vomiting, respiratory distress, cyanosis, apnea, coma, and convulsions have been described in patients ingesting these agents. Prolonged CNS depression and irritability were noted in a survivor. Aspiration pneumonitis may occur. Pulmonary edema has been reported. Conjunctival and dermal irritation may be seen. Mucosal irritation of the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts may occur.
  1. Onset of symptoms MAY BE DELAYED in some cases.
  1. The aliphatic thiocyanate insecticides are direct irritants of eyes, skin, and mucous membranes in the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts.
  1. Methyl thiocyanate releases toxic and irritating fumes of oxides of nitrogen and sulfur when heated to decomposition. Inhalation exposure to such combustion products would be predicted to result in respiratory tract irritation with bronchospasm, chemical pneumonitis, or noncardiogenic pulmonary edema.
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