Sciencemadness Discussion Board » Special topics » Biochemistry » Fastest Acting Poisons Select A Forum Fundamentals   » Chemistry in General   » Organic Chemistry   » Reagents and Apparatus Acquisition   » Beginnings   » Responsible Practices   » Miscellaneous   » The Wiki Special topics   » Technochemistry   » Energetic Materials   » Biochemistry   » Radiochemistry   » Computational Models and Techniques   » Prepublication Non-chemistry   » Forum Matters   » Legal and Societal Issues

Pages:  1  2    4
Author: Subject: Fastest Acting Poisons
MagicJigPipe
International Hazard

Posts: 1554
Registered: 19-9-2007
Location: USA
Member Is Offline

Mood: Suspicious

I heard the Black Mamba was one of the most poisonous snakes simply because of how much venom it injects and how many times it bites.

I believe they are native to Africa.... not sure though.

Dimethylmercury, IMO, is one of the worst poisons ever. If enough is used it's quick but if even a few microliters are absorbed it can kill months later. What a horrible way to die.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karen_Wetterhahn
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimethylmercury

[Edited on 6-4-2008 by MagicJigPipe]

"There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry ... There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors. ... We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it and that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. And we know that as long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress." -J. Robert Oppenheimer
Tinton
Harmless

Posts: 15
Registered: 16-12-2007
Member Is Offline

I haven't heard phenol mentioned, so...

The Nazis used phenol for rapid individual executions; especially during the last days of concentration camps.
Apparently injections to the heart produced near instant death, and IV injections caused people to "linger" for minutes to hours.
Also, according to Flinn, phenol can be absorbed rapidly upon skin contact, and phenol over about 100 cm*2 of skin can be fatal.
DMSO and phenol splashed onto the torso, or other areas rich in arteries would probably be quickly fatal.

Edit: I've heard of KCl being used as a sodium salt substitute for people with high blood pressures, just fyi.

[Edited on 8-4-2008 by Tinton]

Methyl.Magic
Hazard to Others

Posts: 139
Registered: 14-5-2007
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

 Quote: Message original : MagicJigPipe I heard the Black Mamba was one of the most poisonous snakes simply because of how much venom it injects and how many times it bites. I believe they are native to Africa.... not sure though. Dimethylmercury, IMO, is one of the worst poisons ever. If enough is used it's quick but if even a few microliters are absorbed it can kill months later. What a horrible way to die. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karen_Wetterhahn http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimethylmercury [Edited on 6-4-2008 by MagicJigPipe]

Wow!

Me2Hg seems to be particulary vicious !!!

Nicotine is known to come in the brain faster than cyanides and the its lethal dose is also less than the latter !

Batrachotoxin, this steroid poison is the most potent poison molecule ever ! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batrachotoxin .

Me, I'm very toxic, too. When you inhale me, I quickly transform to methanol and the very toxic fluorosulfonic acid. One of my security book talk about a dutch chemist who broke a 50ml of diluted solution of methyl magic and was rapidely dead... Methyl magic is also very carcinogen !

[Edite le 16-4-2008 par Methyl.Magic]

[Edite le 16-4-2008 par Methyl.Magic]
ScienceSquirrel
International Hazard

Posts: 1863
Registered: 18-6-2008
Location: Brittany
Member Is Offline

Mood: Dogs are pets but cats are little furry humans with four feet and self determination!

Tetramethylenedisulfotetramine is extremely toxic, ca 7 - 12 mg is the lethal dose in humans.
Being cheap and easy to synthesise it was once used as a common rat poison in China.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetramethylenedisulfotetramine
bigbigbeaker
Harmless

Posts: 12
Registered: 12-6-2008
Location: Ilkast, DE
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

Batrachotoxin

I think batrachotoxin might be a possibility. The poison is applied to a blow gun dart by rubbing on the back of a certain tree frog. The LD50 for mice is 2 ugm / kg so probably about 100 ugm would kill a human by fibrillation, arrhythmias, or heart failure. It irreversibly inactivates sodium channels in nerves and muscles. It works fast enough to drop darted animals from trees before they run off. It's an interesting poison probably synthesized by beetles eaten by the frog. It now in a pain creme where the dose per application is less than 1 ugm.
The WiZard is In
International Hazard

Posts: 1617
Registered: 3-4-2010
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

 Quote: Originally posted by bigbigbeaker I think batrachotoxin might be a possibility. The poison is applied to a blow gun dart by rubbing on the back of a certain tree frog. The LD50 for mice is 2 ugm / kg so probably about 100 ugm would kill a human by fibrillation, arrhythmias, or heart failure. It irreversibly inactivates sodium channels in nerves and muscles. It works fast enough to drop darted animals from trees before they run off. It's an interesting poison probably synthesized by beetles eaten by the frog. It now in a pain creme where the dose per application is less than 1 ugm.

-----------
A dangerously toxic new frog (Phyllobates) used by Emberá
Indians of western Colombia, with discussion of blowgun
fabrication and dart poisoning. Bulletin of the AMNH ; v. 161,
article 2

Authors: Myers, Charles W. Daly, John W. Malkin, Borys.
Issue Date: 1978

Publisher: New York : American Museum of Natural History
Series/Report no.: Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural
History ; v. 161, article 2

Abstract: "Phyllobates terribilis, a remarkably toxic new species
of frog, is described from the vicinity of an Emberá Chocó
settlement in lowland rain forest of Pacific coastal Colombia. It is
the third frog definitely known to be used for poisoning darts; the
other species are P. aurotaenia and P. bicolor. Toxicity of the skin
secretions of Phyllobates, and frog-poisoned darts, is due
primarily to batrachotoxin and homobatrachotoxin, steroidal
alkaloids that are stronger than curare mixtures. Phyllobates
terribilis produces relatively massive quantities of these
compounds and is at least twentyfold more toxic than other
poison-dart frogs. The new species is potentially dangerous to
handle: One freshly caught frog may contain up to 1900
micrograms ... of toxins, only a fraction of which would be lethal
to man if enough skin secretion came into contact with an open
wound. A human lethal dose is indirectly judged as being
somewhere in the range of 2-200 [micrograms], and the
secretions also are i...

Description: p. 309-365, [2] leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 26 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 363-365).
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2246/1286
zed
International Hazard

Posts: 2273
Registered: 6-9-2008
Location: Great State of Jefferson, City of Portland
Member Is Offline

Mood: Semi-repentant Sith Lord

Well, for fast...Opiates are hard to beat. Many a junkie has been found dead with the needle still in-arm.

For potency, Etorphine (Immobilon) is right up there in toxicity. For a time, the US Military held the patent on its manufacture.

Heh, heh, people working with the material, are instructed that if they so much as touch a needle that has been exposed to Immobilon, they should be treated for OD immediately. Once symptoms of exposure appear, it may be too late!

This product is very good for quickly immobilizing large animals like rhinos and elephants, but not so good for humans. We don't seem to tolerate it well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etorphine

http://www.opioids.com/etorphine/immobilon.html

Fairly easy to make. I suppose it could be considered a weapon of mass destruction. A kilo or two could do a lot of damage. Of course, with any material this poisonous, personal survival during the manufacturing process, requires very special handling.

If 5mg can knock out a 5000 lb rhino, what do you suppose 500 micrograms would do to you? How about 200 micrograms?

[Edited on 12-7-2010 by zed]
E-tech
Harmless

Posts: 36
Registered: 30-5-2007
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

I have to find the reference, but, there was a couple of cold war biotoxins called "Fast Death Factor" and "Very Fast Death Factor". They, IIRC were made from toxic molds or algae. Appearently- they acted like the shellfish toxin- paralyzing nerve channels by blocking signals.
It seems to me, that the fastest acting poison pretty much depends on the route of exposure, and/or the dosage- rapid inhalation of a fatal dose of HCN can kill quickly, but, there are recorded instances of heroin addicts being found with the needle still in their arms, because they O.D'd on either very pure narcotics, or a powerfull synthetic substitute....
"fastest poison" seems to be a case-by-case basis, rather than an objective observation....
The WiZard is In
International Hazard

Posts: 1617
Registered: 3-4-2010
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

 Quote: Originally posted by MagicJigPipe I heard the Black Mamba was one of the most poisonous snakes simply because of how much venom it injects and how many times it bites.

In the back of my mind. The toxicity of the black mamba
in part has been credited to the fact that they live in trees
(they eat birds) and people are often bit on the face/neck.

Speaking of poisonous snakes - anyone remember the
The doctor sez you are going to die. Poisonous snake joke
besides me?
jon
National Hazard

Posts: 459
Registered: 11-1-2006
Member Is Offline

Mood: paranoid distrustful apprehensive

i did'nt have time to read this thread but i like domoic acid a marine borne toxin it destroys the hippocampus and renders a "mammal" pretty much a zombie it's not a peptide which is a plus it can be orally administered.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domoic_acid

causes massive apoptosis of the hippocampal region.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epibatidine
very effective lipophillic small molecule could probably be administered percutaneously via dmso careful that can easily backfire.
nicotine believe it or not has caused fatalities by dermal contact.
also rapseed oil could be switched for cooking oil it causes free radical damage of radical proportions it can turn someone who's 20 into an 80 year old in a matter of weeks and no one would know why.

also read up on what hydrofluoric acid can do on dermal contact it can be very excrutiating it binds to calcium and effects those channels i don't know if it is lethal but is a very dirty trick.

dioxins are real nasty too symmetric ones are the worst according to my limited knowledge.

[Edited on 6-10-2010 by jon]

[Edited on 6-10-2010 by jon]

[Edited on 6-10-2010 by jon]

[Edited on 6-10-2010 by jon]
zed
International Hazard

Posts: 2273
Registered: 6-9-2008
Location: Great State of Jefferson, City of Portland
Member Is Offline

Mood: Semi-repentant Sith Lord

Phenol may indeed be very poisonous, but any sizable amount of exposure reveals its presence quickly.

It blisters the skin very dramatically. Due to local anesthetic effects, this might not be immediately painful, but the giant fluid filled bullae, are generally pretty hard to ignore.
peach
Bon Vivant

Posts: 1428
Registered: 14-11-2008
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

Botulinium toxin is the most lethal chemical known and causes long term damage at sub lethal doses, but it takes a while.

It's approximately 2,000 time more dangerous in terms of dose than VX, and ten times more so than polonium. The lethal dose is a nanogram per kilo.

And production is as difficult as incubating some manky food for a while - which is why hygiene inspectors go on so much about not rewarming things on counters and then putting it back out the next day to do the same thing, and the next day.

It functions by permanently ruining the docking sites in synapses.

There are many different forms of toxic.

Hydrogen chloride is labelled toxic, yet it does not a lot more than blister. Some toxins accumulate over decades and don't go away, others are very dangerous in the here and now, then gone. Some mess with brains, others with internal organs like the liver, or internal organs via the brain.

Nerve agents are fast acting, but they don't last forever if the packs are to hand. Cyanide is the same, potentially killing you in minutes, but leaving afterwards if not.

You need to eat a fair bit of mercury chloride to kill you but, unlike the two above, it accumulates and doesn't go away - leading to brain damage over the years. There are also things like PCBs, which are horrifically carcinogenic and accumulate. They, and numerous other worrying things, come from plastics - which are relatively new technology. My mum actually lead a petition to ban the construction of a plastics incinerator that was going to be built at the end of the road due to the potential, not well understood, carcinogen risk - there are many primary schools around here that the exhaust would be blowing directly over. These compounds are considered above acceptable limits if they can be measured in the parts per trillion. Some of these carcinogens can be in everyday items produced from synthetic routes that include them. The antiseptic Triclosan was taken off the shelves at one point after a big batch of it from China was found to have the materials still in it. Water bottled in plastic has recently been shown to contain hormone mimicking compounds that leach into the water from the plastic. There is much to be done with artificial flavourings and plastics. In the same way mercury climbs the food chain through sea life, these chemicals climb through humans in a similar manner. The foam in sofas can release toxic materials at very low rates, but these can then accumulate in breast tissue, and be found in concentrated amounts in breast milk. Benzoate preservatives in food have been found to be breaking down in the bottles, to produce benzene in the things you're about to eat or drink. And there is a long list of E numbers we have only really just started adding to foods, with only their single, immediate effects known - not how they will interact over time or their long term effects when consumed on a daily basis in 'mega gulp' quantities.

Doctors will usually define someone as dead once their heart has stopped for more than a few minutes at room temperature and their brain ceases to show any forms of electrical activity. People can hold their breath for over 10 minutes, but this is because their heart is still circulating blood to their brain - albeit oxygen depleted blood, slowly. Once your heart stops, permanent brain damage begins to occur much more rapidly.

Also, whilst your heart is ticking over, and you're breathing, you can still potentially metabolise out a toxin and recover.

With that in mind, you're looking for the fastest way to stop someone's heart. The most lethal compounds are usually those that can interfere with the nervous system and disrupt homeostasis. VX does that by jamming up the system that recycles acetylcholine, which is found in the peripheral nervous system in the synapses that lead to things like your heart and lungs.

In that sense, you could only declare one toxin as being the fastest acting, and declare someone dead before the minutes of heart failure where up, if there was no way the damage to the nervous system could repair it's self or be avoided - which isn't the case for VX and cyanide.

Some aesthetics are brutally strong and very quick. So strong and quick that they're only used on elephants and the vet has to have an antidote kit with the tranquilliser gun.

There are also next generation nerve agents that are supposedly even stronger than VX, but no one's supposed to be doing that due to the conventions, but we all know everyone is and likely worse.

A more positive goal is producing aesthetics with very high medicinal values - the treatment dose to the lethal dose. LSD is an example of something with a huge ratio between the two, far more than many current pharmaceuticals manage. It has been suggested that the theatre siege in Russia, wherein numerous people died as the armed response sprayed some top secret aesthetic in, was related to the current work into next generation nerve agents.

I'd prefer it if all this effort was put into resurrecting Jimi, personally.

And on a Jimi inspired note, hydrogen sulphide is a very nasty gas.

Yet it has now been found that the same thing that makes it toxic also makes it a potentially excellent life saving tool, as small quantities of it injected into animals in an ice bath can put them into a form of suspended animation; blocking sites that would otherwise be damaged as homeostasis fails. The idea is now being put forward for human trials to see if ambulance staff could use it for the drive back to the operating theatre.

[Edited on 22-1-2011 by peach]

Chordate
Hazard to Others

Posts: 108
Registered: 23-2-2011
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

There are, as far as I know, a few types of poisons which act quickly.

One are CNS depressents, which act in a fashion similar to morphine or others, slowing breathing and causing unconsciuosness and eventually death via respiratory failure.

Almost all other toxins, especially quick acting ones, act direct on the autonomic nervous system.

VX, sarin, DIFP, others are examples of acetylcholineestrase inhibitors. Acetylcholine is the primary chemical signal of the symptathetic nervous system. A number of these phosphate esters have similar chemical properties to achetylcholine but bind stronger than acetylcholine, rending the body unable to clear it from the synaptic cleft. If these pass the skin readily they are the quickest acting toxins in the world.

As a result, all your muscles contract maximally, your heart rate shoots up to unsustainable levels, you have siezures and all your pain receptors go off. You die of total metaboic failure quite quickly unless the agent is countered by something

The other class of compounds that works on this system are irreversible antagonists of the acetylcholine receptor. With these in place your body can no longer transmit nerve impulses and your heart stops functioning. You'd be awake though

Unsurprisingly, the two are antidotes for each other, but the newest generations of nerve agents are actually designed to have dual action: they bind to acetylcholinesterase, activate the receptors, and displace atropine by means of higher binding affinity, making treatment by them impossible..

Botulinium is cool because its a protein which binds to the surface of nerve cells, mimicing a spent g-protein, where it is endocytosed and begins inhibiting the production of a protein necessary for transporting acetylcholine vessicles out of the cell. As such it is slow acting but largely untreatable, and amazingly potent for how much damage it can do. (since one molecule of ii can inhibit the release of tens of thousands of Acholine molecules)

[Edited on 27-2-2011 by Chordate]
Lambda-Eyde
International Hazard

Posts: 856
Registered: 20-11-2008
Location: Norway
Member Is Offline

Mood: Cleaved

 Quote: Originally posted by E-tech I have to find the reference, but, there was a couple of cold war biotoxins called "Fast Death Factor" and "Very Fast Death Factor". They, IIRC were made from toxic molds or algae. Appearently- they acted like the shellfish toxin- paralyzing nerve channels by blocking signals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Very_Fast_Death_Factor

VFD, also known as Anatoxin-A, has a very simple molecular structure compared to other poisons in this division. The Periodic Table of Videos made a video about it.

This just in: 95,5 % of the world population lives outside the USA
You should really listen to ABBA
jon
National Hazard

Posts: 459
Registered: 11-1-2006
Member Is Offline

Mood: paranoid distrustful apprehensive

nicotine/dmso/thickening agent
s.c.
ld50 is way less that 50 mg's and it works very quickly too.
looks like a heart attack
The WiZard is In
International Hazard

Posts: 1617
Registered: 3-4-2010
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

Fish that puff

wife

12:59 AM, Aug 4, 2011

CHICAGO (CBS) - A northwest suburban
man has pleaded guilty to trying to kill his
wife with poison from a puffer fish.

Edward F. Bachner IV, of Lake in the Hills,
apparently wanted to collect $20 million on the life insurance policy for his wife, Rebecca Bachner. The 2008 federal indictment against Bachner says starting in 2006, he used the alias of Dr. Edmund Backer of EB Strategic Research to purchase four different orders of the deadly puffer fish poison tetrodotoxin from the biochemical manufacturing firm Biotium. The firm sent Bachner four shipments of tetrodotoxin to a Post Office box he used, totaling at least 64 mg in all. He also ordered a fifth shipment for 98 mg of the poison from a second biotech firm, Ascent Scientific, which he received by claiming his name was "Dr. Backer" and wanted the tetrodotoxin for "marine antitoxin research purposes." Tetrodotoxin has a fatality rate of 50 to 60 percent, and has no known antidote. The Hong Kong Centre for Food Safety says 1 to 2 mg can of the poison can be lethal, and victims usually die within six hours of ingesting the substance. Scientific researchers are legally allowed to purchase the poison, but must obtain special registration from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before trying to buy 100 mg or more. In addition to buying the poison illegally, Bachner was also charged with making false claims to the Internal Revenue Service to take out the$20 million life insurance
policy on his wife.

When Bachner was arrested in July 2008,
FBI agents and hazardous materials teams
spent two days combing through his home.

Pages:  1  2    4

 Sciencemadness Discussion Board » Special topics » Biochemistry » Fastest Acting Poisons Select A Forum Fundamentals   » Chemistry in General   » Organic Chemistry   » Reagents and Apparatus Acquisition   » Beginnings   » Responsible Practices   » Miscellaneous   » The Wiki Special topics   » Technochemistry   » Energetic Materials   » Biochemistry   » Radiochemistry   » Computational Models and Techniques   » Prepublication Non-chemistry   » Forum Matters   » Legal and Societal Issues