A Uganda Ministry of Internal Affairs analytical laboratory conducted toxicology testing using triple liquid chromatography mass spectrometry in the recently calibrated triple quadrupole liquid chromatograph mass spectrometer (2) for traces of metam sodium or methyl isothiocyanate
(a metam sodium degradation product) in the blood of nine symptomatic patients.
Keeping in mind the lethal activity of methyl bromide, different combinations of fumigants and non-fumigants were used as alternatives, such as metham-sodium, which is rapidly converted to methyl isothiocyanate
while in contact with moist soil (Hague and Gowen, 1987).
Except for methyl isothiocyanate
generators (e.g., metam sodium), these fumigants represent most of the soil fumigants registered by the U.S.
ITCs are related to compounds found in chemical soil fumigants metham sodium and dazomet, which release methyl isothiocyanate
into the soil; this could be a valuable component of a methyl bromide alternatives program (Fahey et al., 2001).
The latter affected him for the rest of his life and he got immersed in not only understanding the causes of deaths due to methyl isothiocyanate
(MIC) but also the long term effects on the survivors.
A second sign in front of the plant, erected by court order, lists some of the chemicals being used: toluene, methyl isothiocyanate
, DMSO, chloroform.
Participants were exposed to methyl isothiocyanate
, the active ingredient in the soil fumigant metam sodium (Wadman 1998).
The pesticicle methyl isothiocyanate
, a soil fumigant commonly sprayed on crops, has long caused concern about its ultimate health effects in wildlife and people.
In the United States only a handful of fumigants are registered, including methyl bromide, 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D), chloropicrin, dimethyl disulfide (DMDS), and methyl isothiocyanate
(MITC) generating compounds.
The pesticides evaluated include chloropicrin, chlorothalonil, chlorpyrifos, S,S,S-tributyl phosphorotrithioate, diazinon, 1,3-dichloropropene, dichlorvos (naled breakdown product), endosulfan, eptam, methidathion, methyl bromide, methyl isothiocyanate
(MITC; metam sodium breakdown product), molinate, propargite, and simazine.
On May 26,1995, Philip Morris U.S.A.(*) announced a voluntary recall of 36 cigarette product lines (approximately 8 billion cigarettes) because, during production, the company detected unusual tastes and peculiar odors and identified methyl isothiocyanate
(MITC) in the cigarette filters.
For example, the actual fumigant action of metam sodium (a probable carcinogen) comes from a reaction product called methyl isothiocyanate
, which is not thought to be a carcinogen.