Chloropicrin (Do not eat)

In the news the last couple days: chloropicrin:


Chloropicrin is a pesticide. It's one of the older types that's just generally really, really toxic. It will easily hydrolyze to phosgene and nitrosyl chloride, one of the nasties aqua regia generates.

Just recently, a Japanese farmer swallowed some in a suicide attempt, which resulted in toxic, phosgene and nitrosyl chloride-containing vomit, poisoning those around him.

This brought to mind a story which still gets to me, that of Jason Altom, Elias Corey's student who commited suicide nearly ten years ago with cyanide:

Having accounted for the remote possibility that his own death might endanger others, the 26-year-old doctoral candidate left a warning note on the bed. ''Do Not Resuscitate,'' it read. ''Danger: Potassium Cyanide.'' As one of his roommates explained to me later, ''I think he was worried, in his meticulous way, that someone might try to give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.''


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Chloropicrin, or "klop", was commonly used in chemical warfare during WWI. Apparently its relatively low reactivity and small molecule made it ideal for getting through gas mask filters, which would cause the victims to vomit, lifting their masks to do so. If the klop was mixed with something like phosgene that would be a fatal mistake.

By Ktesibios (not verified) on 24 May 2008 #permalink

Chloropicrin is used as an addant to the poisonous but odourless Methyl Bromid. In fact, clean Methyl bromide is considered much more dangerous then its mixture with Klop.