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How do poisons kill so quickly

Carole Lyle DeMort cdemor at fair.net
Sun Jan 19 15:26:58 EST 1997


Asa Cannell wrote:
> 
> I was wondering how those super-ultra-deadly neurotoxins, like an eigth of an
> ounce, can kill someone in 2 seconds! Isnt that not even enough time to
> circulate?
> 
> AsaTo: Asa, The actual rate depends on a number of factors; some fairly 
easily explained; some quite complex.  Toxins like cyanide, in fairly 
low doseages are highly lethal and very quickly, in minutes.  This is 
because they are cellular respiratory toxins, they shut down aerobic 
respiration in our cells.  In addition, cyanide is absorbed rapidly into 
the bloodstream with immediate effects.  Most toxins/poisons do not kill 
quite that rapidly and there are antidotes.  The problem is how much 
cell/tissue damage has already occured and can it be reversed?  I teach 
toxicology at a state university in Florida.  Hope this will help.  Find 
a good, basic text on toxicology.  This will answer your questions.
Carole



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