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Comparative Study
, 66 (6), 1485-99

Analysis for Fusarium Toxins in Various Samples Implicated in Biological Warfare in Southeast Asia

  • PMID: 6643363
Comparative Study

Analysis for Fusarium Toxins in Various Samples Implicated in Biological Warfare in Southeast Asia

C J Mirocha et al. J Assoc Off Anal Chem.

Abstract

Samples of leaves, water, cereal grains, soil, and yellow powder as well as blood, urine, and body tissues from chemical warfare victims were analyzed for Fusarium toxins by using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. The leaves, water, and yellow powder samples contained various combinations of T-2 toxin, diacetoxyscirpenol, deoxynivalenol, nivalenol, and zearalenone in concentrations ranging from trace (1.0 ppb) amounts to 143 ppm. These trichothecenes do not occur naturally on the substrates described and were correlated with the so-called "yellow rain" chemical attacks against Hmong people in Southeast Asia. Analysis of leaves, soil, water, and cereals collected in areas adjacent to but apart from the area where chemical attacks had been staged did not contain any Fusarium toxins. Moreover, T-2 and HT-2 toxins were found in human blood, urine, and body tissues (heart, esophagus, kidney, lung, and large intestine) of alleged victims. In addition, diacetoxyscirpenol was found in the kidney of one person who had died.

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