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Unformatted text preview: This process is controversial, due to the highly toxic nature of cyanide. However, free cyanide breaks down rapidly when exposed to sunlight, although the less toxic compounds such as cyanates and thiocyanates may persist for some years. Cyanide disasters tend not to kill many people, as humans can be warned not to drink or go near polluted water. However cyanide spills can have a devastating effect on rivers, killing everything for several miles downstream. Fish are the most obvious casualties, but in fact the whole food chain collapses, from phytoplankton to ospreys....
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- Spring '10