Pentachlorophenol/Dinitrophenol, acute poisoning


Acute Poisoning




PCP poisoning

Biomedical References

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Hyperthermia is the major symptom in patients acutely poisoned by PCP. In severe poisonings, muscle spasms and rigidity, as well as seizures, may occur. The dinitrophenols, noted for staining the skin yellow, can also uncouple of oxidative phosphorylation. [ATSDR Case Studies # 23] Most cases of severe occupational poisoning have occurred after dermal absorption. Heat stress increases the risk of a serious outcome in workers who develop hyperthermia from PCP poisoning. [EPA Pesticides] Acute PCP poisoning has been reported in workers exposed to liquid formulations of PCP from: 1) dipping wood, 2) immersing hands, or 3) spraying PCP to kill mollusks. Chronic occupational poisoning has been reported in sawmill workers. [Jorens PG, Schepens PJ. Human pentachlorophenol poisoning. Hum Exp Toxicol 1993 Nov;12(6):479-95] Other symptoms from poisons that uncouple oxidative phosphorylation are headache, weakness, lethargy, tachycardia, and coma. Hyperthermia and cardiovascular collapse are the usual causes of death. Treatment is supportive. There are no specific antidotes. [Olson, p. 364-5]


Seconds to hours


PCP in urine or plasma; See the Biological Exposure Indices (BEI) for pentachlorophenol published by ACGIH;

ICD-9 Code


Reference Link

See "Pentachlorophenol" in "Recognition and Management of Pesticide Poisonings"

Related Information in Haz-Map

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