Document Detail

Fatal aluminum phosphide poisoning.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10732945     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
A 39-year-old man committed suicide by ingestion of aluminum phosphide, a potent mole pesticide, which was available at the victim's workplace. The judicial authority ordered an autopsy, which ruled out any other cause of death. The victim was discovered 10 days after the ingestion of the pesticide. When aluminum phosphide comes into contact with humidity, it releases large quantities of hydrogen phosphine (PH3), a very toxic gas. Macroscopic examination during the autopsy revealed a very important asphyxia syndrome with major visceral congestion. Blood, urine, liver, kidney, adrenal, and heart samples were analyzed. Phosphine gas was absent in the blood and urine but present in the brain (94 mL/g), the liver (24 mL/g), and the kidneys (41 mL/g). High levels of phosphorus were found in the blood (76.3 mg/L) and liver (8.22 mg/g). Aluminum concentrations were very high in the blood (1.54 mg/L), brain (36 microg/g), and liver (75 microg/g) compared to the usual published values. Microscopic examination revealed congestion of all the organs studied and obvious asphyxia lesions in the pulmonary parenchyma. All these results confirmed a diagnosis of poisoning by aluminum phosphide. This report points out that this type of poisoning is rare and that hydrogen phosphine is very toxic. The phosphorus and aluminum concentrations observed and their distribution in the different viscera are discussed in relation to data in the literature.
F Anger; F Paysant; F Brousse; I Le Normand; P Develay; Y Gaillard; A Baert; M A Le Gueut; G Pepin; J P Anger
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of analytical toxicology     Volume:  24     ISSN:  0146-4760     ISO Abbreviation:  J Anal Toxicol     Publication Date:  2000 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2000-04-11     Completed Date:  2000-04-11     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7705085     Medline TA:  J Anal Toxicol     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  90-2     Citation Subset:  IM    
Laboratoire de Toxicologie Pharmaceutique, U.F.R. des Sciences Médicales et Pharmaceutiques, Rennes, France.
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MeSH Terms
Aluminum / analysis
Aluminum Compounds / analysis,  poisoning*
Brain Chemistry
Kidney / chemistry
Liver / chemistry
Pesticides / analysis,  poisoning*
Phosphines / analysis,  poisoning*
Phosphorus / analysis
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Aluminum Compounds; 0/Pesticides; 0/Phosphines; 20859-73-8/aluminum phosphide; 7429-90-5/Aluminum; 7723-14-0/Phosphorus; 7803-51-2/phosphine

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