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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


cyanide  listen  (SY-uh-nide)

  A poisonous chemical found in some foods and plants, tobacco smoke, and when certain substances are burned. It is used to make products such as paper, fabric, and plastic, and is used as a pesticide. Cyanide keeps cells in the body from using oxygen, so they die. Exposure to cyanide may cause serious health effects, including death.