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topic 9302

Zinc cyanide


We rent a duplex and have lived here eight months. I would like to know if this is dangerous as any chemicals bother me. I go to a naturepathic doctor in Georgia that does meridian testing not like traditional doctors do tests. The last time I went it showed I had a build up of zinc cyanide. This duplex is at least twenty years old. He said it showed from plating. I guess its on the water heater. I would like to find out anything about this.

I would appreciate any info.

Patricia Risen
- Winchester, Kentucky, U.S.A.


A. I think I'll stick with my traditional doctor and his conventional tests, thanks :-)

It's true that water heaters have an anode to protect the steel case when/if the glass lining cracks and exposes it. But these are usually magnesium or aluminum, not zinc. Hot water is not potable water; you should not be drinking it, only using it for washing.

As for the cyanide part: How is that supposed to be coming from the plating?

I don't see any reason to conclude that the water heater is the cause of the test results. The zinc could more likely be coming from Cold-Eze tablets and the cyanide from lima beans or almonds. Good luck.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey


A. Zinc Cyanide. Cas# 557-21-1 Hazmat Placard 1713. Most likely your physiological accumulation is a result of this chemical being added to your water in aqueous solution by your Water Company or Water management agency. I would strongly suggest installation of an approved reverse osmosis system. And I would trust the Holistic doctor's advice and treatment. What did he/she recommend? Zinc is added to galvanized pipe, but Aqueous concentrations above 100 ppm as a result of ionic exchange between your piping (if it's galvanized) and your water would be highly unlikely. The tank of a typical hot water heater is pressed steel and contains less zinc than the piping. Tank-held hot water should not be ingested as the tank can accumulate high concentrations of hydrated silica. I doubt you drink your hot tapwater because it usually tastes horrible.

Jonathan Jacobs
- Inyokern, California, USA

February 20, 2013

Hi Jonathan. Do you have any reason to believe any water company anywhere has ever added zinc cyanide to their water? I've personally never heard of such a thing.Thanks.


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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