Sodium-azide (26628228) (NA) was described in terms of general properties and uses, toxicity, and occupational exposures. NA has been used in preparation of explosives, herbicides, photosensitive polymers, antibacterials, antidepressants, propellants, denitrification preventers, and for various organic syntheses. Hydrazoic-acid (7782798) (HA) has been used in preparation of inorganic, organic, and organometallic azides and derivatives. Some inorganic azides and HA were highly explosive. HA and NA were found to be strong hypotensive agents which dilate blood vessels by direct smooth muscle action. Azide stimulated cardiac muscle and dilated coronary vessels directly, and stimulated the central nervous system, causing increased respiratory and cardiac rate and force. Acute effects in animals included respiratory stimulation and violent tonic convulsions, causing respiratory depression and asphyxiation. Sublethal doses of NA and HA produced marked depression of blood pressure, coronary dilation, and mild respiratory stimulation with variable convulsions. Subchronic effects included temporary or permanent blindness without dilatation, incoordination, cerebellar ataxia, paresis or rigidity, fibrillary muscular tremors, and apathy. No carcinogenic effects were found for NA. Mutation studies of NA showed interference with cellular DNA repair and possible cocarcinogenesis. Less than 5000 workers were exposed per year, but there was a hazard in hospitals and laboratories where NA could react with plumbing and be explosive.
DCDSD, NIOSH, 23 pages, 33 references