Suicide by ingestion of a CCA wood preservative

Emile Hay, Hashmonai Derazon, Yosef Eisenberg, Bukish Natalia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Chromated-copper-arsenate (CCA) is a compound used worldwide for wood preservation. Occupational hazards from chronic exposure to CCA are well known, but acute ingestion of CCA wood preservative is very rare. We describe a case of suicide by ingestion of a CCA wood preservative. A 33-year-old man attempted suicide by ingesting an unknown liquid, later identified as a CCA wood preservative, 75 min before his arrival in the emergency department. He was in severe respiratory distress, drooling, tachycardic, and hypotensive. There was an orange color on the palms of both hands. Severe, green colored burns of the buccal mucosa were observed. He was intubated shortly after arrival. The larynx was edematous, but a 7-mm endotracheal tube was successfully introduced. Blood tests revealed partially compensated metabolic acidosis. The patient deteriorated rapidly; the systolic blood pressure dropped to 70 mmHg, and he passed bloody diarrhea. He developed multiple premature atrial contractions and supraventricular tachycardia, and later in the intensive care unit, refractory ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation. The patient was declared dead 212 h after his arrival. Unfortunately, postmortem blood levels of heavy metals and autopsy were not performed because of refusal by the family for religious reasons. (C) Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-163
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • CCA ingestion
  • CCA poisoning
  • Heavy metal poisoning
  • Intoxication
  • Poisoning
  • Suicide with CCA
  • Suicide with wood preservative
  • Wood preservative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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