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Sens Actuators B Chem. 2015 Dec 31;221:379-385.

Development of a cobinamide-based end-of-service-life indicator for detection of hydrogen cyanide gas.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health/National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (CDC/NIOSH/NPPTL), 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA.
113 Snee Drive, Jefferson Hills, PA 15025, USA.
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, 9500 Gilman Drive, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.
Department of Medicine, 9500 Gilman Drive, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.
C. Eugene Bennett Department of Chemistry, 217 Clark Hall, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA.


We describe an inexpensive paper-based sensor for rapid detection of low concentrations (ppm) of hydrogen cyanide gas. A piece of filter paper pre-spotted with a dilute monocyanocobinamide [CN(H2O)Cbi] solution was placed on the end of a bifurcated optical fiber and the reflectance spectrum of the CN(H2O)Cbi was monitored during exposure to 1.0-10.0 ppm hydrogen cyanide gas. Formation of dicyanocobinamide yielded a peak at 583 nm with a simultaneous decrease in reflectance from 450-500 nm. Spectral changes were monitored as a function of time at several relative humidity values: 25, 50, and 85% relative humidity. With either cellulose or glass fiber papers, spectral changes occurred within 10 s of exposure to 5.0 ppm hydrogen cyanide gas (NIOSH recommended short-term exposure limit). We conclude that this sensor could provide a real-time end-of-service-life alert to a respirator user.


Cobinamide; Diffuse reflectance; End-of-service-life indicator; Hydrogen cyanide; Optical sensor; Paper sensor

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