Spontaneous ignition due to intentional acute aluminum phosphide poisoning

J Emerg Med. 2011 Feb;40(2):179-81. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2009.05.028. Epub 2009 Jul 21.


Background: Acute aluminum phosphide (AlP) poisoning is one of the most common cause of acute pesticide poisoning in Iran. Spontaneous ignition is a rare finding in AlP poisoning.

Objective: To present two cases of fatal AlP poisoning that involved spontaneous ignition.

Case report: Two patients presented with suicidal ingestion of AlP tablets. In the Emergency Department (ED), they received gastric lavage. During insertion of a nasogastric tube, both patients experienced spontaneous ignition, and flames were witnessed by the medical personnel. Unfortunately, both patients died due to systemic effects of AlP poisoning.

Conclusion: Patients who present with acute aluminum phosphide poisoning may experience spontaneous ignition in the ED.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aluminum Compounds / poisoning*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Female
  • Fires*
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Gastrointestinal
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phosphines / poisoning*
  • Suicide*
  • Young Adult


  • Aluminum Compounds
  • Phosphines
  • aluminum phosphide