Here's what the 10th edition (1983) of the Merck Index had to say on Hydrogen Cyanide. Notice that there is no mention of the gas being explosive: HYDROGEN CYANIDE: Hydrocyanic acid, Blauseare, prussic acid. [preparation info deleted] Colorless gas or liquid; characteristic odor; very weakly acidic; burns in air with a blue flame. INTENSELY POISONOUS EVEN MIXED WITH AIR. Gas density: 0.941 (air = 1) Liquid density: 0.687 [g/cm^3, I assume] melting point: -13.4 deg Celsius Boiling Point: 25.6 deg Celsius The LC50 (lethal dose for 50% of animals) in rats -- 544 ppm (5min), mice 169 ppm (30 min), dogs 300 ppm (3 min). HUMAN TOXICITY: [..] exposure to 150 ppm for 1/2 to 1 hour may endanger life. Death may result from a few min. exposure to 300 ppm. Average fatal dose: 50 to 60 milligrams. USE: The compressed gas is used for exterminating rodents and insects in ships and for killing insects on trees, etc. MUST BE HANDLED BY SPECIALLY TRAINED EXPERTS.
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