The Doctor (pisica) wrote in little_details,
The Doctor
pisica
little_details

Cyanide: does the smell hang around?

So I know from my basic research that a) cyanide smells like almonds/bitter almonds and that b) not everyone can actually smell it. For the sake of the story, I'm going to assume that my main female character *can* smell it, and even if she personally doesn't recognize it, that the reader will be able to.

The question I need answered, which I cannot find an answer to, is:

Someone in a basement room, no windows, has died by ingesting cyanide. (It was in a glass vial which was cracked open, so the poison was exposed to the air before being ingested.) The body has since been removed from the room. Would there be any tell-tale smell remaining in the room? The time scale here is somewhere between 1-6 hours after the death. (The body was discovered and removed almost immediately afterwards, but the character does not go into the room right away.)

In the course of my Googling I found a site which mentioned that cyanide evaporates and disperses quickly, but given that this is a room with almost no air flow, I didn't want to extrapolate.

Thanks!
Tags: ~medicine: poisoning, ~science: chemistry, ~small spaces
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