Volume 49, Issue 6 (November 2004)
Fatality Due to Methyl Acetylene-Propadiene (MAPP) Inhalation
A 33-year-old man died after intentionally inhaling a gaseous mix of methyl acetylene (propyne) and propadiene (allene) commonly known as MAPP, which is used for soldering and welding. He was found with a plastic bag securely placed over his head and a cylinder of MAPP alongside his head. The cylinder had been vented into the bag using a flexible hose. A comprehensive toxicological analysis revealed only a trace of diphenhydramine in the liver and 0.02 mg/L of morphine in the urine. Analysis of blood by headspace gas chromatography (HS-GC) detected two unknown peaks. These were determined to be the components of MAPP gas. MAPP was quantitated in femoral blood (59.6 mg/L) and brain (43.6 mg/kg) using a HS-GC method. The cause of death was attributed to acute MAPP intoxication, and the manner was determined to be suicide. A discussion on the analytical and interpretive considerations commonly encountered when analyzing volatile compounds is also presented.