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a colorless organic compound, C6H5CHBrCN: Tm = 25.4° C; density, 1,516 kg/m3 (at 20° C). Slightly soluble in water; readily soluble in organic solvents. Bromobenzyl cyanide is resistant to the action of water and oxidizers; it decomposes upon heating above 120° C and also when exposed to the action of a number of metals, which are thereby intensely corroded. It reacts vigorously with alcohol solutions of sodium sulfide, which can be used to decompose it. Bromobenzyl cyanide is obtained by the action of sodium cyanide or potassium cyanide on benzyl chloride with subsequent bromination of the benzyl cyanide that has been formed. Bromobenzyl cyanide acts powerfully on the mucous membranes of the eye, causing irritation and heavy lachrymation; it was proposed as a toxic lachrymatory agent at the end of World War I.