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Development of an analytical method for the determination of volatile organic substances in post mortem blood samples by gas chromatography-flame ionization detection

Grant number: 17/24992-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2018
Effective date (End): February 28, 2019
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Pharmacy
Principal Investigator:José Luiz da Costa
Grantee:Kauê de Oliveira Chinaglia
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas (FCF). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The abuse of volatile organic substances (VOS), such as dichloromethane, chloroform, trichloroethylene and toluene, is a serious public health problem in several countries. Factors such as ease of access, low cost and the fact that they are not illegal substances (such as cocaine, MDMA or LSD) are attractive to this class of inhalants, which has more and more users. Among the effects sought by users (often young individuals or even children) are excitement, euphoria, dizziness and minor visual and auditory disorders. Acute intoxications include symptoms such as central nervous system depression, upper and lower airway irritation, cough, sinusitis, dyspnea, snoring, as well as headache, asthenia, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, and may progress to death from cardiac arrhythmia or respiratory depression. Despite the knowledge of the high rate of abuse of inhalants, there are still no studies with quantitative data on the blood concentrations of these substances in the user, numerical data that would allow a better understanding of the relationship between the dose and the toxic effects manifested. Thus, the objective of this work is the development of an analytical method to determine the concentration of VOS used as drugs of abuse (inhalants) in blood samples collected post mortem from victims with suspected intoxication by these agents, by gas chromatography with ionization detection in flame. The project will be developed by the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of UNICAMP, in partnership with the Sao Paulo State Police. (AU)