This is the first line on Wikipedia:

Cyanuric triazide ($\ce{C3N12}$ or $\ce{(NCN3)3}$) is described as an environmentally friendly, low toxicity, and organic primary explosive with a detonation velocity of about $\pu{7300 m/s}$, and ignition temperature at $\pu{205 °C}$

While it is written in the general WP article that "some" organic azides are classified as highly explosive and toxic (and citing the article in ref.), I want to know what determines its toxicity and why cyanuric triazide is less toxic?


  1. How Dangerous Is Too Dangerous? A Perspective on Azide Chemistry, Daniel S. Treitler and Simon Leung, The Journal of Organic Chemistry 2022 87 (17), 11293-11295 DOI: 10.1021/acs.joc.2c01402
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Umm, it's rather a relative thing. Well, for example KCN is much less toxic than botox ;> $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Commented Nov 25, 2022 at 15:11
  • $\begingroup$ Two differences from most organic azides: no hydrogen, and carbon is in effect fully oxidized (all four valence are to more electronegative atoms). $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 8, 2023 at 23:45
  • $\begingroup$ When you try to look up toxicity info for organic azides, they are often limited. Further, I read in one source that little data has been recorded for the toxicity of the majority of organic azides. The toxicity of sodium azide or hydrogen azide comes with the release of the anion which disrupts cellular processes. $\endgroup$
    – M.L
    Commented Jan 9, 2023 at 5:51


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.