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December 1960

Fatality from Acute Dinitrophenol Derivative Poisoning

Author Affiliations

Washington, D.C.
National Clearinghouse for Poison Control Centers, Accident Prevention Program, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

Am J Dis Child. 1960;100(6):947-948. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1960.04020040949024

Derivatives of 2,4-dinitrophenol are being used as herbicides throughout the world. The potential hazard associated with these substances is illustrated by a fatal poisoning reported from the Poison Control Center at Duke University Hospital, Durham, N.C.

Report of a Case  On May 23, 1959, at 1:30 a.m., a 61-year-old white man in a town in North Carolina ingested and then ejected from his mouth a small quantity of fluid which he had thought was grape juice, but which was actually a weed-killer containing alkanolamine salts of dinitro-o-sec-butylphenol (derivatives of 2,4-dinitrophenol). He saw a local physician after the accident and was sent home. At 6:30 a.m. he awoke vomiting, and he died on the way to see his physician again, 24 hours after the ingestion.Postmortem examination was performed 8 hours after death. Significant findings included yellow staining of the palmar surface of the right hand, moderate coronary arteriosclerosis