Treating Cyanide Poisoning in Preppers: Apocalyptic Smoke
Apocalyptic smoke isn’t what it used to be. Nowadays when your house catches fire, it could be cyanide poisoning and not the fire that kills you! Let me explain:
We all know you can get carbon monoxide poisoning from burning buildings. But cyanide poisoning? How? That was a mystery not solved until recently. Heck, it wasn’t even known about until the last decade.
House Fires Cause Cyanide Poisoning – That’s New
It all started with firefighters going to the hospital after battling residential fires. There they’d receive the standard treatment and monitoring for carbon monoxide poisoning they always had. Most had all the typical symptoms, and their blood carbon monoxide levels were elevated. But there was a lingering problem: Even after their elevated carbon monoxide levels resolved, the firefighters still had symptoms. And that was odd.
Then a bright chemist somewhere, probably an accomplished “mathlete” since high school, showed that the fiberglass insulation that’s been replacing asbestos in schools and homes since the late 70s, releases cyanide when it burns! You could almost hear Scooby’s “Rut-Rho” when his findings were published. Yep, the EPA had replaced asbestos with cyanide!
Vitamin B12 and Test Kits
With that, the mystery of the sick firefighters was solved. Rapid test and treatment kits made their way into emergency rooms throughout the country. But still the problem remains: how do preppers test for it in the field? Answer is, you can’t. Neither carbon monoxide or cyanide blood levels can be processed outside a hospital setting. Since both poisonings produce the same symptoms, ER physicians now routinely look for both.
The irony is probably not lost on you. The civilian survivors of WWII couldn’t get cyanide poisoning from fires, they were still protected by asbestos. Only Hitler could… an end result of the fires he started!
Nowadays, it’s preppers most at risk. A consequence of our government protecting us. I’m told this is called progress. And I’m thrilled!
How to Tell if You Have Cyanide Poisoning
One of the few unique physical signs cyanide poisoning produces, is an almond scent on the person’s breath. However, only 50% of people can smell almonds in the first place. It’s a genetic mutation that’s swept through the world.
Take Home Message: If you or the people you’re taking care of have been in or around burning buildings, it’s best to assume a headache, bluish discoloration of the skin, and shortness of breath are the consequences of both cyanide poisoning and carbon monoxide poisoning. Treating cyanide poisoning (and carbon monoxide poisoning) involves removing the person from the environment, oxygen supplementation if you have it, and limiting the person physical exertion. Vitamin B12 given intravenously in the hospital is effective, but it’s never been tested in the field. A respirator that filters cyanide can be used for prevention, but getting as far away from the smoke possible is best.