A lethal ingestion of a household cleaner containing pine oil and isopropanol.
This paper presents the case of a woman with a history of schizophrenia found deceased in her residence after she apparently ingested an unknown quantity of a pine oil-containing product. A strong lemon-pine odor emanated from the body. Autopsy revealed a large volume of oily fluid in the stomach. The lungs were heavy, hemorrhagic, and necrotic. There was no evidence of significant recent injury or pre-existing disease. The toxicological screening and quantitation of 1-alpha-terpineol in postmortem fluids was performed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Isopropanol and its metabolite acetone were determined by means of flame-ionization gas chromatography. Postmortem blood, urine, and stomach content levels of 1-alpha-terpineol were 276 mg/L, 0.5 mg/L, and 4.0 g/total contents, respectively, and isopropanol levels were 730 mg/dL, 20 mg/dL, and 1000 mg/dL, respectively. No acetone could be detected. Her death was attributed to the combined toxicity of isopropanol and pine oil.
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