Forensic science international

Determination of phenol and o-cresol by GC/MS in a fatal poisoning case.

PMID 15040915


A fatality due to the ingestion of solution containing phenol and o-cresol is described. The pathological findings were typical of acute substantial poisoning. Blood, urine and stomach content were obtained during post mortem examinations. Phenol and o-cresol were identified using GC/MS. The extractions from autopsy materials were obtained as follows: by gel permeation with cyclohexane/dichloromethane from stomach content, by solid phase extraction (SPE) from urine and by deproteinization with acetonitrile from blood. The phenol and o-cresol concentrations in the samples were found, respectively, as follows: 115.0 and 5.0 microg/g in the stomach contents, 58.3 and 1.9 microg/ml in the blood, 3.3 and 20.5 microg/ml in the urine. Distributions of phenol in fatal poisonings have been reported, but, usually, colorimetry was used as the analytical method and it cannot exclude the interference of other phenolic compounds.