An unusual exposure to methyl bromide leading to fatality

B. Zane Horowitz, Timothy E. Albertson, Michael O'Malley, Emilie J. Swenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Introduction: Methyl bromide has been responsible for deaths that usually occur from its accidental inhalation during fumigation. Case Report: We report an accidental fatality that occurred after methyl bromide seeped through underground conduits from a fumigated building to an adjacent guest house on the same property. The patient developed refractory seizures, intermittent fever, and multiorgan system failure before dying 19 days after exposure. The initial serum bromide was 27 mg/dL. Postmortem analysis detected methyl bromide concentrations of 2.9 mg/dL in the blood, 1.7 mg/dL in the bile, 24 μg/g in the liver, and 28 μg/g in the adipose tissue. Conclusion: Methyl bromide, although applied under acceptable safety standards, led to the inadvertent death of a young woman. Extreme care must be used when fumigating to insure no unsuspected seepage routes exist.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-357
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Toxicology - Clinical Toxicology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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