Volume 29, Issue 4 (October 1984)
Toxicologic Studies in a Fatal Overdose of 2,4-D, Mecoprop, and Dicamba
A suicidal poisoning committed by a 61-year-old woman, who ingested an unknown quantity of Killex®, containing in aqueous solution 100 g/L of (2,4-dichlorophenoxy)acetic acid (2,4-D), 50 g/L of mecoprop, and 9 g/L of dicamba as amine salts is described. Quantitation of chlorophenoxy acids was performed by extraction from an acidified mixture and concentration before high performance liquid chromatography analysis. All three herbicides were separated in a phosphate buffer/acetonitrile mixture at 280 nm on a RP-8 column. Concentrations of herbicides found were: in blood—520-mg/L 2,4-D, 530-mg/L mecoprop, and 170-mg/L dicamba; in urine—670-mg/L 2,4-D and 520-mg/L mecoprop; in bile—340-mg/L 2,4-D, 530-mg/L mecoprop, and 140-mg/L dicamba; and in liver—540-mg/Kg 2,4-D, 500-mg/Kg mecoprop, and < 100-mg/Kg dicamba. Liquid chromatography was found to be a reliable method for herbicide quantitation in biological tissues and fluids. The technique offered definite advantages over ultraviolet spectrophotometry and avoids the derivatization requirement for gas chromatography.