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Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS)

Potassium cyanide

RTECS #

TS8750000

CAS #

151-50-8

Updated

October 2014

Molecular Weight

65.12

Molecular Formula

CKN

Synonyms

Cyanide of potassium
Cyanure de potassium (French)
Hydrocyanic acid, potassium salt
KCN
Potassium cyanide (ACGIH)
RCRA waste number P098

Mutation Data and Reference

System TestRoute/Organism/TissueDoseReference
Cytogenetic Analysismammary gland/mouse1 mmol/L/48HMUREAV 67,221,1979
Cytogenetic Analysislymphocyte/human70 mg/L/24HMUREAV 537,117,2003
DNA Damageother cell types/rat5 mmol/L/6HTOLED5 128,185,2002
DNA Damageliver/rat300 µmol/LMUREAV 368,59,1996
DNA inhibitionlymphocyte/mouse1 mmol/LNEOLA4 28,423,1981
DNA repair/Escherichia coli39 µg/wellMUREAV 133,161,1984

Reproductive Effects Data and References

Route/OrganismDoseEffectReference
intraperitoneal/rat 45 mg/kg (1-15D pregnant)Reproductive: Effects on embryo or fetus: Fetotoxicity (except death, e.g., stunted fetus)TJADAB 25(2),84A,1982
oral/domestic animal 1767 mg/kg (8-20W preg/44D after birth)Reproductive: Effects on newborn: Weaning or lactation index (e.g., # alive at weaning per # alive at day 4)

Reproductive: Effects on newborn: Other neonatal measures or effects
RJARAV 16,109,1978
oral/rat 65 gm/kg (14D prior to copulation/1-22D pregnant)Reproductive: Effects on fertility: Other measures of fertilityBNEOBV 36,233,1979

Acute Toxicity Data and References

Route/OrganismDoseEffectReference
In Vitro/Chicken, neurons Inhibitor Concentration (50 percent kill): 2672 µmol/L/21HIn Vitro Toxicity Studies: Cell viability (mitochondrial reductase assays): MTT, XTT, MTS, WSTs assays etc.TIVIEQ 7,653,1993
In Vitro/Chicken, neurons Inhibitor Concentration (10 percent kill): 664 µmol/L/21HIn Vitro Toxicity Studies: Cell viability (mitochondrial reductase assays): MTT, XTT, MTS, WSTs assays etc.TIVIEQ 7,653,1993
In Vitro/Chicken, neurons Inhibitor Concentration (50 percent kill): 1421 µmol/L/20HIn Vitro Toxicity Studies: Cell viability (lysosomal damage): neutral red assay etc.TIVIEQ 7,653,1993
In Vitro/Chicken, neurons Inhibitor Concentration (10 percent kill): 66 µmol/L/20HIn Vitro Toxicity Studies: Cell viability (lysosomal damage): neutral red assay etc.TIVIEQ 7,653,1993
In Vitro/Human, liver Inhibitor Concentration (10 percent kill): 1.55 mmol/L/24HIn Vitro Toxicity Studies: Cell viability (mitochondrial reductase assays): MTT, XTT, MTS, WSTs assays etc.TIVIEQ 8,47,1994
In Vitro/Human, liver Inhibitor Concentration (50 percent kill): 4.92 mmol/L/24HIn Vitro Toxicity Studies: Cell viability (mitochondrial reductase assays): MTT, XTT, MTS, WSTs assays etc.TIVIEQ 8,47,1994
In Vitro/Human, liver tumor Inhibitor Concentration (10 percent kill): 0.48 mmol/L/24HIn Vitro Toxicity Studies: Cell membrane integrity: Cytoplasmic enzymes leakage (lactate dehydrogenase, ATP enzymes etc.)

In Vitro Toxicity Studies: Cell viability (mitochondrial reductase assays): MTT, XTT, MTS, WSTs assays etc.
TIVIEQ 8,47,1994
In Vitro/Human, liver tumor Inhibitor Concentration (50 percent kill): 2.02 mmol/L/24HIn Vitro Toxicity Studies: Cell membrane integrity: Cytoplasmic enzymes leakage (lactate dehydrogenase, ATP enzymes etc.)

In Vitro Toxicity Studies: Cell viability (mitochondrial reductase assays): MTT, XTT, MTS, WSTs assays etc.
TIVIEQ 8,47,1994
In Vitro/Mouse, fibroblast Inhibitor Concentration (10 percent kill): 0.43 mmol/L/24HIn Vitro Toxicity Studies: Cell membrane integrity: Cytoplasmic enzymes leakage (lactate dehydrogenase, ATP enzymes etc.)

In Vitro Toxicity Studies: Cell viability (mitochondrial reductase assays): MTT, XTT, MTS, WSTs assays etc.
TIVIEQ 8,47,1994
In Vitro/Mouse, fibroblast Inhibitor Concentration (50 percent kill): 0.91 mmol/L/24HIn Vitro Toxicity Studies: Cell membrane integrity: Cytoplasmic enzymes leakage (lactate dehydrogenase, ATP enzymes etc.)

In Vitro Toxicity Studies: Cell viability (mitochondrial reductase assays): MTT, XTT, MTS, WSTs assays etc.
TIVIEQ 8,47,1994
In Vitro/Rat, liver Inhibitor Concentration (10 percent kill): 0.19 mmol/L/24HIn Vitro Toxicity Studies: Cell membrane integrity: Cytoplasmic enzymes leakage (lactate dehydrogenase, ATP enzymes etc.)

In Vitro Toxicity Studies: Cell viability (mitochondrial reductase assays): MTT, XTT, MTS, WSTs assays etc.
TIVIEQ 8,47,1994
In Vitro/Rat, liver Inhibitor Concentration (50 percent kill): 1.15 mmol/L/24HIn Vitro Toxicity Studies: Cell membrane integrity: Cytoplasmic enzymes leakage (lactate dehydrogenase, ATP enzymes etc.)

In Vitro Toxicity Studies: Cell viability (mitochondrial reductase assays): MTT, XTT, MTS, WSTs assays etc.
TIVIEQ 8,47,1994
In Vitro/Rat, liver Inhibitor Concentration Low: 5 mmol/L/2HIn Vitro Toxicity Studies: Cell membrane integrity: Cytoplasmic enzymes leakage (lactate dehydrogenase, ATP enzymes etc.)TIVIEQ 4,37,1990
In Vitro/Rat, liver Inhibitor Concentration Low: 1 mmol/L/4HIn Vitro Toxicity Studies: Cell membrane integrity: Cytoplasmic enzymes leakage (lactate dehydrogenase, ATP enzymes etc.)TIVIEQ 4,37,1990
In Vitro/Rat, lung Inhibitor Concentration (10 percent kill): 0.008 gm/L/24HIn Vitro Toxicity Studies: Cell membrane integrity (prelabeled cells): release of radioactive isotopes ([51Cr], [3H]-thymidine, [3H]-proline, [35S]- or [75Se]-methionine, 5-[125I]-2-deoxy-uridine) or fluorescent dyes (bis-carboxyethyl-carboxyfluorescein (BCECF) or calcein-AM)TIVIEQ 7,111,1993
In Vitro/Rat, lung Inhibitor Concentration (50 percent kill): 0.085 gm/L/24HIn Vitro Toxicity Studies: Cell membrane integrity (prelabeled cells): release of radioactive isotopes ([51Cr], [3H]-thymidine, [3H]-proline, [35S]- or [75Se]-methionine, 5-[125I]-2-deoxy-uridine) or fluorescent dyes (bis-carboxyethyl-carboxyfluorescein (BCECF) or calcein-AM)TIVIEQ 7,111,1993
In Vitro/Rat, lung Inhibitor Concentration (75 percent kill): 0.372 gm/L/24HIn Vitro Toxicity Studies: Cell membrane integrity (prelabeled cells): release of radioactive isotopes ([51Cr], [3H]-thymidine, [3H]-proline, [35S]- or [75Se]-methionine, 5-[125I]-2-deoxy-uridine) or fluorescent dyes (bis-carboxyethyl-carboxyfluorescein (BCECF) or calcein-AM)TIVIEQ 7,111,1993
intraarterial/guinea pig lowest published lethal dose: 5 mg/kgAEPPAE 131,171,1928
intramuscular/pigeon lethal dose (50 percent kill): 4 mg/kgJJPAAZ 3,99,1954
intramuscular/rabbit lethal dose (50 percent kill): 3256 µg/kgJACTDZ 1(3),120,1982
intramuscular/rat lowest published lethal dose: 8 mg/kg27ZIAQ -,209,1973
intraperitoneal/guinea pig lowest published lethal dose: 8 mg/kgCRSBAW 96,202,1927
intraperitoneal/mouse lowest published toxic dose: 10 mg/kg/3MBrain and Coverings: Other degenerative changes

Liver: Other changes

Biochemical: Enzyme inhibition, induction, or change in blood or tissue levels: Cytochrome oxidases (indlucing oxidative phosphrylation)
VCVN1* -,342,1988
intraperitoneal/mouse lethal dose (50 percent kill): 5.7 mg/kgTOLED5 132,95,2002
intraperitoneal/rabbit lethal dose (50 percent kill): 3972 µg/kgBlood: Other changesTOXID9 3,64,1983
intraperitoneal/rat lethal dose (50 percent kill): 4 mg/kgLung, Thorax, or Respiration: Other changesJAPYAA 32,315,1972
intraperitoneal/rat lowest published toxic dose: 2 mg/kgBiochemical: Neurotransmitters or modulators (putative): Dopamine in striatum

Biochemical: Neurotransmitters or modulators (putative): Catecholamine levels in CNS
FCTOD7 42,605,2004
intraperitoneal/rat lowest published toxic dose: 7 mg/kgEar: Change in cochlear structure or functionNETEEC 23,157,2001
intravenous/cat lowest published toxic dose: 1 mg/kgBrain and Coverings: Changes in surface EEG

Cardiac: Arrythmias (indlucing changes in conduction)

Lung, Thorax, or Respiration: Respiratory obstruction
EKFAE9 57,60,1994
intravenous/cat lethal dose (50 percent kill): 2200 µg/kgPSEBAA 35,316,1936
intravenous/Dog lowest published lethal dose: 5 mg/kg27ZIAQ -,209,1973
intravenous/Dog lowest published lethal dose: 1.12 mg/kg/2.8MCardiac: Change in rate

Vascular: BP lowering not characterized in autonomic section

Lung, Thorax, or Respiration: Respiratory obstruction
JTCTDW 44,5,2006
intravenous/domestic animal lowest published lethal dose: 10 mg(CN)/kg/11MVCVN1* -,342,1988
intravenous/guinea pig lowest published lethal dose: 5 mg/kgAEPPAE 131,171,1928
intravenous/mouse lethal dose (50 percent kill): 2600 µg/kgPeripheral Nerve and Sensation: Flaccid paralysis without anesthesia (usually neuromuscular blockage)

Behavioral: Convulsions or effect on seizure threshold

Lung, Thorax, or Respiration: Respiratory stimulation
JJPAAZ 3,99,1954
intravenous/mouse lowest published toxic dose: 2 mg/kgBehavioral: ComaBPBLEO 30,514,2007
intravenous/mouse lethal dose (50 percent kill): 2.6 mg/kgENTOX* ,706,2005
intravenous/rat lowest published toxic dose: 140 µg/kgCardiac: Change in rate

Vascular: BP elevation not characterized in autonomic section
BJMRDK 38,967,2005
intravenous/rat lethal dose (50 percent kill): 3600 µg/kgBehavioral: Altered sleep time (including change in righting reflex)

Behavioral: Convulsions or effect on seizure threshold

Lung, Thorax, or Respiration: Dyspnea
DDREDK 5,225,1985
ocular/rabbit lethal dose (50 percent kill): 7870 µg/kgEye: Other eye effects

Behavioral: Ataxia

Lung, Thorax, or Respiration: Respiratory stimulation
JTOTDO 2,119,1983
oral/domestic animal lowest published toxic dose: 8 mg/kgBehavioral: Sleep

Behavioral: Tremor

Behavioral: Convulsions or effect on seizure threshold
JAPTO* 25,445,2005
oral/domestic animal lowest published toxic dose: 8 mg/kgCardiac: Arrythmias (indlucing changes in conduction)

Lung, Thorax, or Respiration: Dyspnea

Lung, Thorax, or Respiration: Respiratory depression
JAPTO* 25,445,2005
oral/domestic animal lowest published toxic dose: 8 mg/kgGastrointestinal: Changes in structure or function of salivary glands

Nutritional and Gross Metabolic: Body temperature increase
JAPTO* 25,445,2005
oral/human lowest published lethal dose: 2857 µg/kg34ZIAG -,191,1969
oral/man lowest published toxic dose: 13699 µg/kgBehavioral: Convulsions or effect on seizure threshold

Behavioral: Coma

Nutritional and Gross Metabolic: Changes in: Metabolic acidosis
JTCTDW 25,121,1987
oral/mouse lethal dose (50 percent kill): 8500 µg/kgJPETAB 161,163,1968
oral/rabbit lethal dose (50 percent kill): 5 mg/kg27ZIAQ -,209,1973
oral/rat lethal dose (50 percent kill): 5 mg/kgARTODN 54,275,1983
oral/rat lethal dose (50 percent kill): 6 mg/kgBehavioral: Tetany

Behavioral: Ataxia

Lung, Thorax, or Respiration: Respiratory obstruction
VCVN1* -,342,1988
oral/woman lowest published toxic dose: 100 mg/kgBehavioral: Convulsions or effect on seizure threshold

Cardiac: Pulse rate increased without fall in BP

Vascular: BP lowering not characterized in autonomic section
AJEMEN 1,94,1983
parenteral/mouse lethal dose (50 percent kill): 6.7 mg/kg/24HENTOX* -,698,2005
subcutaneous/Dog lethal dose (50 percent kill): 6 mg/kgBehavioral: Convulsions or effect on seizure thresholdATXKA8 21,89,1965
subcutaneous/frog lowest published lethal dose: 60 mg/kgAIPTAK 3,77,1897
subcutaneous/guinea pig lowest published lethal dose: 8 mg/kgCRSBAW 96,202,1927
subcutaneous/mouse lowest published toxic dose: 7 mg/kgBrain and Coverings: Other degenerative changes

Behavioral: Convulsions or effect on seizure threshold

Biochemical: Metabolism (intermediary): Effect on cyclic nucleotides
TXCYAC 179,29,2002
subcutaneous/mouse lethal dose (50 percent kill): 6500 µg/kgNYKZAU 54,1057,1958
subcutaneous/rabbit lethal dose (50 percent kill): 4 mg/kgLung, Thorax, or Respiration: Other changesJJPAAZ 3,99,1954
subcutaneous/rabbit lethal dose (50 percent kill): 6 mg/kgTOLED5 132,95,2002
subcutaneous/rat lowest published lethal dose: 78144 µg/kg/24HNETEEC 32,289,2010
subcutaneous/rat lethal dose (50 percent kill): 7814 µg/kgATSUDG 14,231,1991
unreported route/human lowest published lethal dose: 1.71 mg/kgVCVN1* -,342,1988

Other Multiple Dose Data and References

Route/OrganismDoseEffectReference
intramuscular/domestic animal lowest published toxic dose: 168 mg/kg/20W- intermittentBrain and Coverings: Other degenerative changes

Spinal Cord: Other degenerative changes
FCTOD7 40,1693,2002
intraperitoneal/mouse lowest published toxic dose: 72 mg/kg/12D- intermittentBrain and Coverings: Other degenerative changesTOXID9 36(1 Pt2),15,1997
intraperitoneal/rat lowest published toxic dose: 21 mg/kg/3D- intermittentEar: Change in cochlear structure or functionNETEEC 23,157,2001
oral/domestic animal lowest published toxic dose: 483 mg/kg/23W- intermittentBehavioral: Ataxia

Behavioral: Tremor
FCTOD7 40,1693,2002
oral/domestic animal lowest published toxic dose: 193.2 mg/kg/23W- intermittentSpinal Cord: Other degenerative changes

Blood: Hemorrhage
FCTOD7 40,1693,2002
oral/domestic animal lowest published toxic dose: 56 mg/kg/7D- continuousSpinal Cord: Other degenerative changes

Liver: Other changes

Kidney, Ureter, and Bladder: Changes in tubules (including acute renal failure, acute tubular necrosis)
JAPTO* 25,445,2005
oral/domestic animal lowest published toxic dose: 114 mg/kg/30D- continuousBrain and Coverings: Other degenerative changes

Nutritional and Gross Metabolic: Changes in: Cl
JAPTO* 28,356,2008
oral/rabbit lowest published toxic dose: 45 gm/kg/6W- intermittentGastrointestinal: Other changes

Liver: Other changes

Biochemical: Enzyme inhibition, induction, or change in blood or tissue levels: Phosphatases
CBPCEE 109,215,1994
oral/rabbit lowest published toxic dose: 9.5 mg/kg/25D- continuousVascular: Contraction (isolated tissue)

Vascular: Relaxation (isolated tissue)
HETOEA 26,105,2007
oral/rat lowest published toxic dose: 54.6 mg/kg/91D- intermittentBrain and Coverings: Other degenerative changes

Spinal Cord: Other degenerative changes

Blood: Changes in serum composition (e.g. TP, bilirubin, cholesterol)
EESADV 53,37,2002
oral/rat lowest published toxic dose: 4.5 mg/kg/15D- intermittentEndocrine: Evidence of thyroid hypofunctionTXCYAC 174,87,2002
oral/rat lowest published toxic dose: 45 mg/kg/15D- intermittentKidney, Ureter, and Bladder: Changes in tubules (including acute renal failure, acute tubular necrosis)

Endocrine: Evidence of thyroid hypofunction
TXCYAC 174,87,2002
oral/rat lowest published toxic dose: 135 mg/kg/15D- intermittentKidney, Ureter, and Bladder: Changes in tubules (including acute renal failure, acute tubular necrosis)

Endocrine: Evidence of thyroid hypofunction

Nutritional and Gross Metabolic: Weight loss or decreased weight gain
TXCYAC 174,87,2002
oral/rat lowest published toxic dose: 4.2 mg/kg/14D- intermittentEndocrine: Other changes

Blood: Changes in serum composition (e.g. TP, bilirubin, cholesterol)

Biochemical: Enzyme inhibition, induction, or change in blood or tissue levels: Transaminases
TXCYAC 174,87,2002
oral/rat lowest published toxic dose: 42 mg/kg/14D- intermittentKidney, Ureter, and Bladder: Other changes

Endocrine: Other changes

Biochemical: Enzyme inhibition, induction, or change in blood or tissue levels: Transaminases
TXCYAC 174,87,2002
oral/rat lowest published toxic dose: 126 mg/kg/14D- intermittentLiver: Other changes

Kidney, Ureter, and Bladder: Other changes

Nutritional and Gross Metabolic: Weight loss or decreased weight gain
TXCYAC 174,87,2002
oral/rat lowest published toxic dose: 288 mg/kg/30D- continuousNutritional and Gross Metabolic: Weight loss or decreased weight gain

Biochemical: Enzyme inhibition, induction, or change in blood or tissue levels: Phosphatases

Biochemical: Metabolism (intermediary): Effect on mitochondrial function
TSUMEZ 15,219,1996
oral/rat lowest published toxic dose: 31500 mg/kg/50W- continuousKidney, Ureter, and Bladder: Other changes in urine composition

Endocrine: Changes in thyroid weight

Nutritional and Gross Metabolic: Weight loss or decreased weight gain
JTEHD6 5,579,1979
oral/rat lowest published toxic dose: 14420 mg/kg/13W- continuousBehavioral: Food intake (animal)

Behavioral: Fluid intake

Nutritional and Gross Metabolic: Weight loss or decreased weight gain
TOLED5 57,195,1991
subcutaneous/mouse lowest published toxic dose: 84 mg/kg/7D- intermittentBehavioral: Somnolence (general depressed activity)

Behavioral: Rigidity (includes catalepsy)

Biochemical: Neurotransmitters or modulators (putative): Dopamine in striatum
TXAPA9 126,156,1994
subcutaneous/rat lowest published toxic dose: 11 mg/kg/22W- intermittentBrain and Coverings: Demyelination

Brain and Coverings: Other degenerative changes
VCVN1* -,343,1988

Reviews

OrganizationStandardReference
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH)Threshold Limit Value-time-weighted average 5 mg(CN)/m3 (skin)DTLVS* TLV/BEI,2013
TOXICOLOGY REVIEWFNSCA6 2,67,1973
TOXICOLOGY REVIEWENTOX* -,698,2005
TOXICOLOGY REVIEWHUTOX* -,661,1996
TOXICOLOGY REVIEWNTAPM* -,671,1995
TOXICOLOGY REVIEWMUREAV 728,98,2011
TOXICOLOGY REVIEWTOLED5 198,297,2010

Standards and Regulations

OrganizationStandardReference
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) 1988 PESTICIDE SUBJECT TO REGISTRATION OR RE-REGISTRATIONFEREAC 54,7740,1989
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) 1998 STATUS OF PESTICIDESCancelledRBREV* -,257,1998
Occupational Exposure Limit IN ARGENTINA, BULGARIA, COLOMBIA, JORDAN check ACGIH TLV;
Occupational Exposure Limit IN SINGAPORE, VIETNAM check ACGIH TLV
Occupational Exposure Limit-AUSTRALIAtime-weighted average 5 mg(CN)/m3, JUL2008
Occupational Exposure Limit-BELGIUMshort term exposure limit 5 mg/m3, Skin, MAR2002
Occupational Exposure Limit-DENMARKceiling concentration 5 mg(CN)/m3, skin, MAY2011
Occupational Exposure Limit-FRANCECME 5 mg(CN)/m3, Skin, FEB2006
Occupational Exposure Limit-GERMANYMAK 5 mg/m3, inhal, 2011
Occupational Exposure Limit-HUNGARYtime-weighted average 5 mg(CN)/m3, short term exposure limit 20 mg(CN)/m3, Skin, SEP2000
Occupational Exposure Limit-ICELANDshort term exposure limit 5 mg/m3, skin, NOV2011
Occupational Exposure Limit-JAPANceiling concentration 5 mg(CN)/m3, skin, MAY2012
Occupational Exposure Limit-KOREAtime-weighted average 5 mg/m3, 2006
Occupational Exposure Limit-MEXICOpeak 5 mg/m3, 2004
Occupational Exposure Limit-MEXICOtime-weighted average 5 mg(CN)/m3, 2004
Occupational Exposure Limit-NEW ZEALANDtime-weighted average 5 mg(CN)/m3, skin, JAN2002
Occupational Exposure Limit-PERUshort term exposure limit 5 mg/m3, JUL2005
Occupational Exposure Limit-POLANDtime-weighted average 0.3 mg(CN)/m3, CEILING 10 mg(CN)/m3, JAN1999
Occupational Exposure Limit-SWITZERLANDceiling concentration 5 mg/m3, inhal, skin, JAN2011
Occupational Exposure Limit-UNITED KINGDOMtime-weighted average 5 mg(CN)/m3, skin, OCT2007
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Permissible Exposure Limit (Federal Contractors)8H time-weighted average 5 mg(CN)/m3CFRGBR 41,50-204.50,1994
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Permissible Exposure Limit (Shipyards)8H time-weighted average 5 mg(CN)/m3CFRGBR 29,1915.1000,1993

NIOSH Documentation and Surveillance

OrganizationStandardReference
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Level TO CYANIDE-airceiling concentration 4.7 ppm(CN)/10MNIOSH* DHHS #92-100,1992
National Occupational Exposure Survey 1983Hazard Code 60400; Number of Industries 57; Total Number of Facilities 4594; Number of Occupations 47; Total Number of Employees Exposed 64238; Total Number of Female Employees Exposed 23645
National Occupational Hazard Survey 1974Hazard Code 60400; Number of Industries 45; Total Number of Facilities 2204; Number of Occupations 30; Total Number of Employees Exposed 12274

Status in Federal Agencies

OrganizationReference
ATSDR TOXICOLOGY PROFILE (NTIS** PB/98/101207/AS)
EPA TSCA Section 8(b) CHEMICAL INVENTORY
EPA TSCA TEST SUBMISSION (TSCATS) DATA BASE, JANUARY 2001
NIOSH Analytical Method, 1994: Cyanides (aerosol and gas), 7904
On EPA IRIS database
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