(Received 6 February 1984; accepted 26 March 1984)
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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.
Head, Toxicology Laboratory, Division of Clinical Chemistry, Victoria General Hospital, Halifax, N.S.
Technologist, Toxicology Laboratory, Victoria General Hospital, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Chief medical examiner, Halifax County, Department of Attorney General, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Stock #: JFS11795J