Formic acid is a critical ingredient in the rubber industry. Formic acid in combination with latex can be used in the production of rubber sheets. Production of rubber sheetsis achieved by reducing the water content of milk-like latex after the addition of formic acid. Availability of formic acid is high in regions such as Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka and northern districts of Kerala along India’s western coastline. Easy availability of formic acid is due to the presence of rubber plantations and its related industries there. Herein the death of elderly male as a result of formic acid is discussed. The manner of death was suicidal. A post-mortem examination revealed chemical burns of a corrosive nature over the lower part of the face. Internally the mucosa from the oesophagus till the proximal small intestine showed greyish-black coloured corrosive chemical burns. Also, the rectus sheath, the external surface of the liver, spleen and omentum were also discoloured black. Histopathology findings included dilatation and congestion of blood vessels of the oesophageal sub-epithelium, sloughing of the gastric mucosa, small intestinal mucosa ulceration and fat necrosis of the omentum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-116
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of South India Medicolegal Association
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01-09-2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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