Fatal cardiac arrhythmia after repeated exposure to 1,1-difluoroethane (DFE)

Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 2006 Mar;27(1):58-60. doi: 10.1097/01.paf.0000202715.71009.0e.


A 42-year-old man was found dead after repeated exposure to 1,1-difluoroethane (DFE, Freon 152a), a propellant found in CRC Duster, a product intended for the removal of dust and lint. Toxicologic analysis detected DFE in femoral blood 136.3 mg/L, brain 117.5 mg/kg, liver 87.6 mg/kg, lung 60.3 mg/kg, adipose 235.7 mg/kg, and vitreous fluid 25.1 mg/L. The cause of death was determined to be a fatal cardiac arrhythmia due to intoxication with 1,1-difluoroethane. After comparison to previously published cases involving DFE, we suggest that analysis of adipose tissue for DFE and similar compounds, along with blood and other tissues, may be useful in distinguishing between acute versus chronic exposure. Adipose may also be a valuable alternate specimen for detection in cases where loss or elimination from blood is likely to have occurred.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / chemistry
  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adult
  • Aerosols / adverse effects*
  • Aerosols / pharmacokinetics
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / chemically induced*
  • Brain Chemistry
  • Forensic Medicine
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons, Fluorinated / adverse effects*
  • Hydrocarbons, Fluorinated / pharmacokinetics
  • Liver / chemistry
  • Lung / chemistry
  • Male
  • Solvents / adverse effects*
  • Solvents / pharmacokinetics
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Vitreous Body / chemistry


  • Aerosols
  • Hydrocarbons, Fluorinated
  • Solvents
  • 1,1-difluoroethane