The Top Ten Deadliest Chemicals in the World. Please note that the deadliest chemicals depend on the volume used and the environment in which they are exposed. Chemicals that are designed specifically by scientists to kill humans are awarded extra deadly points for being just plain evil.
Table of Page Contents
This is an extract from the foxglove plant and in measured quantities improves heart performance. But in the wrong dose, this bad boy is deadly. Nurse Charles Cullen, nicknamed ‘the Angel of Death,’ admitted to using Digoxin as one of his drugs of choice when killing over 40 patients over his prolific 16 year death nursing campaign. Experts, however, estimate that the true death toll figure racked up by this Angel of Death to be more to the tune of 400 fallen patients. Digoxin is sold under the brand name Lanoxin and is usually taken orally or through injection. Follow instructions carefully.
Nicotine is a member of the nightshade family.
A cigarette has between 0.6 and 3% nicotine inside of it, and contact with it in its purest liquid form would cause death within hours. Most cases of nicotine poisoning have been the result of the use of nicotine as an insecticide. Primary symptoms of nicotine poisoning include nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, sweating, hypertension, tremor, seizure followed by central nervous system depression, coma, and respiratory failure.
Dimethylmercury causes severe skin burns and eye damage.
This heavy metal builds up in the tissues of its host. In chemical form, exposure to air is enough to ignite it. This chemical also causes cancer and flu-like illness known as ‘metal fume fever,’ and once symptoms are diagnosed, it is usually too late for any cure. This chemical, however, has never been used as a weapon because it is easily detected by smell, it takes months to kill, and it is simply too dangerous to handle. In 1997, chemist Wetterhahn spilled some of the chemical on her latex gloves. The toxic compound burned straight through the latex and touched her skin. She died a painful death 10 months later.
7. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide at high concentration is extremely volatile, with the slightest nudge causing explosions.
This chemical was used by the 2005 London underground bombers in the explosion that killed 56 civilians. While hydrogen peroxide may be found in everyday cleaning products, in our mains water, and even in our hair products, there are several grades of this chemical that aren’t for domestic use. When the high grade hydrogen peroxide is mixed with the solvent acetone, the result is Acetone peroxide – a highly deadly explosive.
6. Sodium Cyanide
Sodium cyanide is a routine industrial reactant.
The term cyanide is known to many, and is often thought of in the same breath as poison, following its use by soldiers in World War Two as a suicide pill. In large volumes, the chemical is particularly nasty. Officials investigating a huge explosion at a warehouse in China discovered that 700 tons of sodium cyanide had been stored at the site. Its main legitimate use is for mining and blasting. Symptoms of cyanide poisoning include headache, fast heart rate, vomiting followed by seizures, low blood pressure, loss of consciousness, and cardiac arrest. And if a person survives the exposure, they will probably be rewarded with long term neurological damage.
5. Hydrofluoric Acid
Every schoolboy has heard of it for its burning capabilities. But this is a seriously dangerous chemical, and once it passes through the skin, it will give up its proton and react with other chemicals, especially calcium, removing the calcium required for cardiac function. If untreated, hydrofluoric acid poisoning eventually leads to a long and painful ‘bone death.’
Strychnine is rumored to have killed Alexander the Great and blues legend Robert Johnson.
This highly toxic, colorless, bitter alkaloid is used as a pesticide to kill small animals such as rats and birds. If inhaled, swallowed, or absorbed through the mouth or nose, muscular convulsions will take hold, followed by death through asphyxia. In fact, it produces some of the most dramatic and painful symptoms in our list, making it a popular choice for assassination attacks. It is also one of novelist Agatha Christie’s favorite murder methods. She often used it in her cozy who-done-it murder mystery books.
Tabun is the wolf in sheep’s clothing of toxic chemicals.
It is clear, colorless, and tasteless, and has a pleasant fruity odor. But this man-made nerve agent was developed as a pesticide by the Germans in 1936, and was possibly used in the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. A small drop exposed to the skin can cause sweat and muscle spasms, and a larger exposure leads to loss of consciousness, convulsions, paralysis, respiratory failure, and death.
VX is the common name for the venomous Agent X, a chemical that has no real benefit outside the sphere of chemical warfare.
This odorless, tasteless chemical is deadly in amounts as little as 10 milligrams, and exposure kills by attacking glands and muscles eventually leading to a total respiratory system failure. This is not one you want to be in any close proximity to, bc it is deadly as hell
Batrachotoxin is so deadly that only 135 millionth of a gram (or a dose the size of a grain of a salt) is sufficient to kill a normal sized human being.
This potent chemical is the most acutely lethal toxin ever known to man – and guess what – the rich and famous use it to make themselves appear young. This poison, diluted down to a tiny amount, is called Botox, and is one of the most common non-surgical body enhancement procedures. But let’s return to its more potent natural state: Batrachotoxin, in binding to the sodium channels in the nerve cells, removes all muscle control from the host. This extremely dangerous toxin is found in the skin of poison arrow frogs. Native tribes hunt by dunking darts into this chemical. A direct hit naturally renders the animal totally paralyzed. The hunting party can then go on to hunt other game, returning to the downed prey later in the day. 1 milligram of Batrachotoxin stuff could kill 1,200 people, and that’s why it’s our most deadly chemical.
So what do you think?, Surprised that tabasco sauce didn’t make the list?, Think we left out a deadly chemical?
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section. Also, be sure to read our other posts called The Worst Punishments in the history of Mankind. Thanks for reading, and as always, don’t forget to like, share.
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My name is Pradip Sanjay W. I’m an organic chemist originally from Maharashtra, India. I have qualified UGC NET-JRF, GATE in chemical sciences and MH-SET exam for assistant professor. I’m currently pursuing my Ph.D. in organic chemistry at the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, India.