Daniel Saez Lorente wrote:"The measurement standard used for the HCN killing insects is the measurement for killing every single insect."
Not only that, but, more importantly, not just adult insects, but eggs and larvae. Not only does this require greater quantities or higher concentrations, but much longer time periods.
I quote myself above. I do not wish to be misunderstood. I mean: killing the eggs and larvae require larger quantities than if you simply wished to kill all the adult insects. It is true that killing insects generally requires less HCN that killing people. But even for people, it is not a simple matter.
A concentration in the air of 5 ppm can be breathed indefinitely. What is more the sensitivity varies according to the individual. Since HCN poisoning causes unconsciousness, I have always wondered how Hoess and the gas house boys knew when the people were dead. Caryll Chessman took 13 minutes to die at a concentration of thousands of parts per million, for many years thought sufficient to cause "instant death". An inmate named Lawson in Raleigh North Carolina took 19 minutes to die.
Indeed with all the complications it is hard to see why HCN is said to have been used at all; suffocation would be almost as fast. Nitrogen or carbon dioxide could also be used, presumably the people would suffer less. It's an interesting idea. Why don't we try it sometime? (If Professor Mathis will volunteer to act as guinea pig). Personally I think phosgene would be a more logical choice of gas. In any case it is incorrect to discuss Zyklon as if it were equivalent to HCN. The acid is absorbed in a solid to slow the evaporation rate and render it LESS dangerous to human beings. Anyone wishing to execute people would use cyanide salt immersed in acid (which would probably be cheaper as well, but too dangerous to bother with). The communists have never gassed people and they are worldclass experts on killing. Why not shoot them all in the back of the neck? I get a kick out of all these stories saying how sadistic the Nazis were, and at the same time that they had to invent all sorts of gas van contraptions because their men were so upset at killing people.