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Heating the substance produces toxic fumes of hydrocyanic acid.
Reaction with acids can also produce hydrocyanic acid and strong oxidising agents.
Potassium ferrocyanide can be absorbed into the body by inhalation or ingestion of the powder. Inhalation will cause sore throat and coughing. It is also a skin and eye irritant.
Harmful to aquatic organisms - may cause long-term damage to the environment.
In medicine it is used as an antidote to copper sulphate.
John Scudder MD, an American doctor and herbalist, used potassium ferrocyanide diluted in water to treat "....excitation, but impaired nutrition of the nerve centres, and where there is feebleness of mucous membranes with increased secretion of mucus". He wrote in 1870: "It is a remedy I value highly, and though little used it is certain to become a favorite.... If the salt is dirty, dark-colored, or parti-colored, it should be rejected. We prepare it for use by adding to water, one teaspoonful every three hours. Although only slightly toxic under normal circumstances, it can form extremely toxic gases if heated strongly or mixed with hot, concentrated acids. In chronic disease where there is marked irritability of the nervous system, with frequency of pulse, we will find it an excellent remedy. It lessens irritation of the nervous system, and acts as a special sedative to the circulation.
In chronic disease of the reproductive organs in women, with hysterical manifestations, it exerts a direct and marked influence—so in hypochondriacal affections in the male.
It exerts a decided influence upon mucous membranes. When they are pallid, lax, and give increased secretion, the Prussiate of Potash may be used with advantage. It makes little difference, whether of nose, throat, bronchial tubes, intestinal mucous membrane, or chronic vaginitis with leucorrhoea, the influence is the same".