Cyanide is a toxic chemical compound used to manufacture hundreds of everyday goods in many different industries. Approximately 1.1M tons of cyanide are used annually worldwide to produce vitamins (B12), jewellery, adhesives, computer electronics, cosmetics, paints, pharmaceuticals and table salt, among others.
Cyanide is a fast acting poison that affects our ability to use the oxygen we breathe if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Highly poisonous cyanide gas can be produced when cyanide solids or liquids are mixed with moisture in air, or with steam, acid, acid fumes or if air is bubbled through a cyanide solution. Most people are unable to detect its odour and therefore have no warning of its presence. Waste from cyanide industrial solutions, is usually stored in large ponds. These ponds can leak, overflow or fail catastrophically, posing threats to underground drinking water supplies, wildlife ecosystems and humans if water and food resources are affected. Another great issue for humans comes from many crops and plants naturally containing cyanide, like cassava, a staple food for more than 600M people in developing countries.
Detection of cyanide relies on lengthy (up to 24 hours) and cumbersome procedures carried out in laboratories that often require expensive equipment and highly trained personnel. Moreover, given the high reactivity of cyanide and its related compounds, sample analysis is difficult and often results in data subject to significant errors if sample preservation is not carried out correctly. Though current market offerings also include rapid tests for cyanide, these are often unreliable, difficult to carry out, or require handling hazardous chemicals.
CyanoKit® is the first test kit that allows the naked-eye detection of free cyanide in water and food extracts on-site, right where the source is. The technology eliminates the use of hazardous chemicals for cyanide detection, as well as the need for specialised laboratory instrumentation, making it suitable for a wide range of users. The process is as simple as passing a sample of contaminated water through the cartridge and observing the change in colour. With a time-to-result of less than 60 seconds, CyanoKit® is faster than any other test in the market, is highly sensitive and reliable and has flexible thresholds of detection.