About Azides & Toxicity
Azides are compounds which contain three nitrogen atoms connected to each other, -N3, where the letter N denotes an atom of the element nitrogen. The subscript 3 signifies that three nitrogen atoms are bonded to each other. The free arm written as – denotes that the three nitrogen atoms of the azide are connected to one other atom.
Azides are very toxic materials to viruses and to living cells, including cells of bacteria, fungi as well as mammalian cells, i. e. human cells. That is why they are used as preservation materials for vaccines and as poisons in pest control. Certain drugs, like the AIDS drug AZT, contain the azide group in their molecule.
Inorganic azides are not very stable compounds and often are very labile explosives. In particular, they tend to explode when a hard object impinges on them or scratch them. One such material is the well-known lead azide, Pb(N3)2. Because of the extreme sensitivity of these azides to impact, lead azide has been used as the percussion-sensitive primer at the end of the shell of cartridges. When the hammer of the gun impacts the primer at the casing end, the primer ignites and the propellant inside the bullet casing explodes a large volume of gas forms in the casing which propels the bullet to the target. The azides of copper, silver, mercury and, barium behave in a similar way.
Detection of Azides
API’s Food Poison Detection Kit includes everything one needs to conduct a complete analysis of food for all the most notorious poisons, document the results and preserve any evidence. This Kit was developed under a research grant with the U.S. Department of Defense and has been validated by multiple parties.
The ChemSee Azide Detection Tab allows for the rapid, color-based detection of azides in solution. It is useful in many applications including: Detecting Residual Azides in Pharmaceutical Preparations, Detecting Azides in Recycled Solvents and Detecting Azides in Industrial Wastewater.
The EYAL™ DD-04L Reader allows for fast, quantitative determination of Azides in a solution using the QuantTab™ Azide Determination Card. Using the provided software, sample concentrations can be tracked and monitored over time.