An evaluation of childhood deaths in Turkey due to yellow phosphorus in firecrackers.

Yilmaz R., Yilmaz E., Ozdemir V., CAN M., Pakis I., PİŞKİN İ. E., ...More

Journal of forensic sciences, vol.60, no.3, pp.648-52, 2015 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 60 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/1556-4029.12702
  • Journal Name: Journal of forensic sciences
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.648-52
  • Keywords: forensic science, yellow phosphorus, intoxication, firecracker, childhood deaths, autopsy, toxic hepatitis, ACUTE LIVER-FAILURE, INGESTION, FIREWORKS
  • Acibadem Mehmet Ali Aydinlar University Affiliated: Yes


Yellow phosphorus (YP) is a powerful protoplasmic poison used in the manufacturing of matches, pest poisons, firecrackers, firework cracker, lights for watches, military ammunition, and agriculture fertilizer. YP is extremely flammable and toxic and easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. In this study, we examined childhood deaths from 1997 to 2012 resulting from the ingestion of firecrackers. The patients ranged from 2 to 15years of age and were admitted to the hospital with a variety of symptoms. Those that presented with nausea, vomiting, and hypotension rapidly deteriorated and entered a coma. An autopsy was performed in all but one of the 16 cases reviewed. Macroscopically, the livers had a yellowish discoloration with petechial bleeding. Histopathologic examination revealed acute toxic hepatitis. In conclusion, these firecrackers are found in corner shops throughout Turkey, may cause death in children with little warning, and should be banned to prevent further deaths.