Death and Injury Caused by Methyl Bromide, An Insecticide Fumigant

    Volume 28, Issue 3 (July 1983)

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    CODEN: JFSOAD

    Published Online: 1 July 1983

    Page Count: 7


    Pfaffenberger, CD
    Professor and Director of Chemical Epidemiology Division, University of Miami School of Medicine,

    Thomas, GE
    Deputy coroner, Coroner's Office, Denver General Hospital, Denver, CO

    Davis, JH
    Associate medical examiner, chief medical examiner, director of laboratories, Metropolitan Dade County, Medical Examiner Office, Miami, FL

    Ongley, JP
    Associate medical examiner, Broward Medical Examiner Office, Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Marraccini, JV
    Associate medical examiner, chief medical examiner, director of laboratories, Metropolitan Dade County, Medical Examiner Office, Miami, FL

    Bednarczyk, LR
    Associate medical examiner, chief medical examiner, director of laboratories, Metropolitan Dade County, Medical Examiner Office, Miami, FL

    (Received 9 November 1982; accepted 13 December 1982)

    Abstract

    Methyl bromide (MeBr) is used as an insecticide fumigant. Four deaths and three recent hospitalizations have resulted from exposures to MeBr in Dade County, FL. Six cases occurred during burglaries of tented houses over a nine-month period. In four lethal exposures, the symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and malaise preceeded fulminant respiratory failure. Two of these also had seizures, delirium, and agitation. Serum or plasma bromide ion levels ranged from 40 to 583 mg/L. Pulmonary edema, hyaline membranes, and hemorrhagic alveolitis were present at autopsy along with varying degrees of cerebral edema. The nonlethal exposures resulted in symptoms of conjunctival irritation, headache, or nausea. Plasma bromide concentrations varied between 17.5 and 321 mg/L. Methyl bromide characteristics, use, morbidity, and mortality in Florida during the past 25 years are reviewed. Remedies for illegal entry are proposed.


    Paper ID: JFS11555J

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS11555J

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    Title Death and Injury Caused by Methyl Bromide, An Insecticide Fumigant
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30