(Received 8 May 2004; accepted 25 June 2004)
Published Online: November
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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.
Toxicologist, Suffolk County Office of the Medical Examiner, Hauppauge,
Chief Toxicologist, Suffolk County Office of the Medical Examiner, Hauppauge, NY
Stock #: JFS2004200