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December 1960

Fatality from Acute Dinitrophenol Derivative Poisoning

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