L.I. Jeweler May Have Suffered Cyanide Poisoning

A
man at a Manorhaven, N.Y., jewelry store may have been
exposed to excessive amounts of cyanide March 1, the Nassau County Fire Marshal tells JCK.

Following
limited evacuation, Nassau County Fire Marshal spokesperson Vincent McManus
says hazardous materials crews discovered open products containing cyanide at
the store. 

“They
were able to reseal the open containers,” he says. “As a precaution they
treated the whole scene.”

The
store owner—who had called 911 himself after feeling faint—was transported to St. Francis Hospital around 3:40 a.m. Initial
tests detected cyanide in the man’s system. His condition was not immediately
known.

McManus says no one else was exposed to the chemical and the hazmat team determined the
area was safe.

Cyanide
is commonly used in the jewelry industry—as an ingredient in cleaning solutions, for example—but McManus says it is rare for
someone to become ill from exposure.

“We
recommend with any product to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, use it
cautiously, and with care,” he says.  

According
to the New
York Department of Health
, symptoms of cyanide poisoning include weakness
and confusion; headache; nausea and a feeling of being “sick to your
stomach; gasping for air and difficulty breathing”; loss of
consciousness/passing out; seizures; and cardiac arrest.

If you suspect you have been the victim of cyanide poisoning, you should move away
from the suspected contaminated area, remove the clothing you were wearing at the time of exposure and seal it in a plastic bag, wash your skin with soap and
water, and seek medical attention. More information is here.

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