The most dangerous chemical in the world that we regularly encounter

There are a huge number of deadly substances on Earth that can quickly kill a person. For example, one of the most powerful natural poisons is botulinum toxin, produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum, which causes botulism. 5 to 50 nanograms (billionths of 1 gram) are enough to cause death due to complete paralysis. There is also, for example, a similar potent nerve agent, VX, which was developed by British scientists as a chemical weapon. It paralyzes the respiratory muscles, causing suffocation within minutes. Some gases are also extremely dangerous. For example, chlorine trifluoride explodes on contact with water, sand or ash. But which substance is considered the most dangerous? The answer will probably surprise you.

The most dangerous chemical substance in the world that we regularly encounter. Some poisons cause death even after a thousandth of a gram enters the body. Photo source: Photo.

Some poisons cause death even after a thousandth of a gram enters the body. Photo source:

How to determine the most dangerous substance

When it comes to the most dangerous chemicals, people usually focus on the degree of toxicity or explosiveness. For example, just 10 milligrams of the aforementioned substance VX is enough for a person to die from suffocation. It is difficult to argue that this substance is extremely dangerous. But on the other hand — Over the past 10 years, there has only been one known case of human death associated with VX poisoning.

Botulinum toxin, produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum, causes a fatal disease — botulism

The fact is that in addition to toxicity, it is also important to consider the risk of poisoning. One indicator of this risk is the number of people killed during the year. After all, the danger — this is something that can cause harm. Of course, botulinum toxin or some kind of chlorine trifluoride in this case are far from being in first place.

By the way, the situation is similar with the most dangerous creature on the planet. People often assume that it is a lion, shark, bear, poisonous snake, etc. However, in terms of the number of people killed, the first place is occupied by a small insect that is familiar to everyone.

Which chemical substance kills the most people

According to official statistics, in the United States alone, about 100 thousand people are poisoned each year by common household chemicals such as bleach or disinfectant. This usually happens due to a coincidence. For example, mixing drain cleaner and bleach releases toxic chlorine gas. Often people simply confuse containers with household chemicals and food products, which leads to severe poisoning.

Which chemical causes the most deaths? In the United States, 100 thousand people are poisoned annually by household chemicals. Photo source: Photo.

In the United States, 100 thousand people are poisoned annually by household chemicals. Photo source:

Thus, household chemicals are the most dangerous due to the fact that people constantly have to deal with them. Accordingly, the risk of poisoning with it is much higher than, for example, with a chemical warfare agent. True, household chemicals are in first place in terms of danger only if you do not take food chemicals into account.

The most dangerous food chemical

There are many harmful food additives that cause serious illness or even poisoning. For example, these include sodium nitrite (E250), which causes cancer. As we have previously described, this substance is often added to deli meats. However, if we take into account the number of victims, then no food additive can be compared in danger to ethanol, a psychoactive toxic substance, or, more simply put, alcohol.

The most dangerous food chemical. Alcohol kills more people than any other poison. Photo source: Photo.

According to official WHO data, 2.6 million people worldwide died from alcohol in 2019. In Russia, according to the Institute for Health Measurement and Evaluation, in the same year 2019, mortality from alcohol was 19.4 people per 100 thousand population. In 2020, this figure became even higher, resulting in a total of more than 50 thousand people dying from alcohol. This is several times more than, for example, the number of people killed in road accidents.

The causes of death from alcohol are very different. People often die due to alcohol overdose. An example is the sensational case of the Belarusian blogger Alexei Kunis, who drank a bottle of vodka in one gulp during a stream and died of an overdose. Another common cause of death is the consumption of low-quality alcohol. According to Rosstat, 6,000 people died due to alcohol poisoning in 2019.

The most dangerous food chemical. In Russia, about 50 thousand people die every year from alcohol. Photo.

About 50 thousand people die from alcohol every year in Russia

< p>The most common causes of death are injuries sustained during alcohol intoxication, as well as various diseases associated with excessive consumption of alcohol.

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The paradox is that alcoholic drinks, unlike highly toxic poisons, are associated not with death, but with holidays, fun and good mood. However, in terms of the number of deaths, alcohol significantly exceeds botulinum toxin, batrachotoxin and other toxic substances, the mention of which sends a chill down the spine.