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Author: Subject: Taste of different acids?
The Volatile Chemist
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[*] posted on 27-3-2015 at 11:58


Quote: Originally posted by Molecular Manipulations  
I assume it does, yes. I meant "less than lethal", not "less than toxic" BTW. The cytochrome c oxidase is quickly replaced, cyanide becomes lethal when cytochrome c oxidase is used up too fast for it to be replaced in time and too many cells die from inability to produce ATP.

I see. But if the dose was localized in a non-fatal area, it would kill the cells in the area.
Anyways, I've been [accidentally :P] derailing threads all of today...




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[*] posted on 27-3-2015 at 12:04


I'm not sure if a dose can be localized. I think it would spread out evenly. Except perhaps in the case of injection, where it might bind to all of the local cytochrome c oxidases before diffusing very much into the bloodstream.



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[*] posted on 27-3-2015 at 12:30


Quote: Originally posted by Molecular Manipulations  
I'm not sure if a dose can be localized. I think it would spread out evenly. Except perhaps in the case of injection, where it might bind to all of the local cytochrome c oxidases before diffusing very much into the bloodstream.

Obviously cyanide being tasted is localized in mouth and saliva for a time. And then has to diffuse somehow to bloodstream, either through mouth or having been swallowed, through entrails.

Is cyanide absorbed well through tongue? And does a less than fatal dose of cyanide cause any localized damage to the cells of tongue and/or stomach, through which it is absorbed into bloodstream?
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[*] posted on 27-3-2015 at 12:33


Also: competitive inhibitors of cytochrome c oxidase include besides cyanide also carbon monoxide, azide, sulphide and formic acid. Which of these is most dangerous?
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[*] posted on 27-3-2015 at 12:41


Quote: Originally posted by chornedsnorkack  

Obviously cyanide being tasted is localized in mouth and saliva for a time. And then has to diffuse somehow to bloodstream, either through mouth or having been swallowed, through entrails.
Is cyanide absorbed well through tongue? And does a less than fatal dose of cyanide cause any localized damage to the cells of tongue and/or stomach, through which it is absorbed into bloodstream?

That's my point, sort of. Cyanide is only toxic to cytochrome c oxidase, which is in the blood stream, so I can't see how it could cause local damage to tongue cells, except in the blood stream of said tongue, where it would move throughout the body quite quickly, about 90% of your blood is completely circulated in about one minute. Also I doubt cyanide is absorbed in the bloodstream from the tongue.




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[*] posted on 2-4-2015 at 11:16


Quote: Originally posted by Molecular Manipulations  
Quote: Originally posted by chornedsnorkack  

Obviously cyanide being tasted is localized in mouth and saliva for a time. And then has to diffuse somehow to bloodstream, either through mouth or having been swallowed, through entrails.
Is cyanide absorbed well through tongue? And does a less than fatal dose of cyanide cause any localized damage to the cells of tongue and/or stomach, through which it is absorbed into bloodstream?

That's my point, sort of. Cyanide is only toxic to cytochrome c oxidase, which is in the blood stream, so I can't see how it could cause local damage to tongue cells, except in the blood stream of said tongue, where it would move throughout the body quite quickly, about 90% of your blood is completely circulated in about one minute. Also I doubt cyanide is absorbed in the bloodstream from the tongue.

I guess so. Though I don't see why the tongue cells wouldn't absorb it, it's a pretty small ion. Also, it's reported that it gives a burning sensation in the back of the throat (And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie)




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[*] posted on 4-4-2015 at 03:00


Quote: Originally posted by The Volatile Chemist  
Quote: Originally posted by Molecular Manipulations  
Quote: Originally posted by chornedsnorkack  

Obviously cyanide being tasted is localized in mouth and saliva for a time. And then has to diffuse somehow to bloodstream, either through mouth or having been swallowed, through entrails.
Is cyanide absorbed well through tongue? And does a less than fatal dose of cyanide cause any localized damage to the cells of tongue and/or stomach, through which it is absorbed into bloodstream?

That's my point, sort of. Cyanide is only toxic to cytochrome c oxidase, which is in the blood stream, so I can't see how it could cause local damage to tongue cells, except in the blood stream of said tongue, where it would move throughout the body quite quickly, about 90% of your blood is completely circulated in about one minute. Also I doubt cyanide is absorbed in the bloodstream from the tongue.

I guess so. Though I don't see why the tongue cells wouldn't absorb it, it's a pretty small ion. Also, it's reported that it gives a burning sensation in the back of the throat (And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie)


Ask it this way: to affect tongue cells is a very different thing from damaging them! Example, brain: lack of blood flow to brain causes faintness in 3-5 seconds, unconsciousness in 10-15 seconds... yet permanent brain damage and death take 2 minutes or more.

So: are below-fatal amounts of cyanide likely to cause local feeling in tongue cells, which passes over as the cyanide is eliminated by spreading it around the body with bloodstream and conversion into thiocyanate, and the inhibited cytochrome c oxidase is recovered or replaced before the tongue/throat cells sustain any permanent damage?
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[*] posted on 7-4-2015 at 08:22


You're right, of course. And the CN- doesn't have to be absorbed to be tasted.



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[*] posted on 19-4-2015 at 17:48


I tried oxalic acid. Tasted like lemon to me.
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[*] posted on 19-4-2015 at 21:13


Quote: Originally posted by learningChem  
I tried oxalic acid. Tasted like lemon to me.


Yes, but is there any difference between the taste of citric acid and oxalic acid, with concentrations adjusted so as to measure an equal pH?
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[*] posted on 20-4-2015 at 03:38


Quote: Originally posted by learningChem  
I tried oxalic acid. Tasted like lemon to me.


Funnily enough, potassium hydrogen oxalate was once called "salt of lemon".




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[*] posted on 20-4-2015 at 14:08


Ha. Interesting. So I wasn't that far off the mark apparently.

As to how it compares to citric acid, I can't tell since I haven't tried pure citric acid.
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[*] posted on 20-4-2015 at 14:17


To all those guys worrying about the chemistry before tasting hydrogen cyanide i'll give you the quick answer it tastes how it smells which is roasted/charred almonds



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[*] posted on 19-10-2015 at 03:06


Recently, I've accidentally tasted potassium bisulfate. It is very sour, extremely sour, but not burningly so. Very similar to citric acid, but stronger (I've tasted pure food grade citric acid and even tried to eat a sandwich with it, lol). Of course, I went all spitty-spit right after I felt the taste, so maybe I just wasn't exposed enough for it to burn my mouth.

[Edited on 19-10-2015 by ave369]




Smells like ammonia....
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[*] posted on 20-10-2015 at 12:20


Not sure, but in 1984 G. Orwell described bad-tasting gin as having a taste of nitric acid.
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[*] posted on 20-10-2015 at 12:42


Tasting chemicals is a BAD idea.

You'll tittilate , damage or kill yourself and not glean any Useful information about the thing you're tasting.

Spend the Time making some $ instead and buy a GC, MS, NMR etc machine.

Wierdos. And you're not even properly drunk.




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[*] posted on 24-10-2015 at 12:33


haha, way to make light of it. I'm a 'super-taster', I'm fairly certain. Too bad the ptc test strips come in 100 packs... :)



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[*] posted on 13-12-2015 at 19:41
Carl Scheele


The famous chemist Carl Scheel tasted most of his preparations. We should create the Scheele Tasting Guild in his honor.:P;)

[Edited on 12/14/2015 by chloric1]




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[*] posted on 13-12-2015 at 21:15


Quote: Originally posted by chornedsnorkack  
Also: competitive inhibitors of cytochrome c oxidase include besides cyanide also carbon monoxide, azide, sulphide and formic acid. Which of these is most dangerous?


Azide, I think. No known antidotes. Against cyanides, sulfides and carbon monoxide there is the general purpose antidote methylene blue and specific antidotes like acyzol (the Russian anti-monoxide). Against azides, none of there work.

And formic acid, being an mid-strength acid, can only covertly (without a tell-tale blister) enter organism as methanol. And agaist this, the antidote is ethanol.




Smells like ammonia....
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[*] posted on 14-12-2015 at 15:35


Some fine antidotes :) I think there's a rather complex ethanol antidote, but before this was discovered, supposedly the antidote to drunken-ness was more alcohol...{cite:'Bob' on usenet://sci.chem, yarchive}



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[*] posted on 15-12-2015 at 12:03


Not an acid, but I tasted with the tip of my tongue an aluminium sulfate tablet a few weeks ago. It tasted more like battery acid than salt, guess it hydrolyzes pretty quickly.



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[*] posted on 30-12-2015 at 14:24


I oft accidentally inhale an extremely small portion of anhydrous CuSO4 as it is an extremely fine powder. Nasty, tastes like fine sand. Hydrated CuSO4 tastes bitter, I used to be reckless with my prep of basic copper(II) carbonate two summers ago and eat lunch after mixing some up. :)



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[*] posted on 9-12-2016 at 16:47


I've found a Youtube video of a Russian-speaking MORON who tasted HF (the moron survived, so no Darwin award here). He describes it as "like tasting hot vinegar".



Smells like ammonia....
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[*] posted on 21-12-2016 at 18:31


Quote: Originally posted by jsc  
In the old days using taste was considered a standard method in chemistry and students were taught to taste chemicals as part of their analysis.

Within reason, this method can still be used, assuming precautions are taken.



I couldn't agree more. There are very few acids that I'd wouldn't taste if suitably diluted. You can detect the taste very tiny amounts of acids quite easily and safely. Including HCN. I might shy away from acids based on selenium, thallium and tellurium. Or some weird biological toxin that happened to be acidic.

The Golden Book of Chemistry had an experiment where you performed successive dilutions of H2SO4 and NaOH and tasted them. I did this 50 years ago, I guess.

My former boss worked at DuPont a long, long time ago (when they did this kind of thing)....he mouth pipetted HCN soln, goofed and you know the rest...got a mouthful. In my youthful astonishment I asked him "What did you do?!!"...he deadpanned "I spit it out". You can probably taste it at a couple % of a hazardous dose.






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[*] posted on 22-12-2016 at 02:29


Quote: Originally posted by ave369  
I've found a Youtube video of a Russian-speaking MORON who tasted HF (the moron survived, so no Darwin award here). He describes it as "like tasting hot vinegar".


I don't know why, but I've always imagined it to taste kind of teflony.

Would I try it?... err.... No! lol. I suppose in a dilute enough amount it wouldn't do too much damage... That Russian survived. Was there any lasting damage to him?




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