Thanks for getting back to me on this.
As promised, I've summarized below the fairly limited information that
is available on the toxicity of MAAQ. For your information, I am an
environmental biologist myself, and quite familiar with sources of
chemical toxicity information.
I want to point out, though, the importance of checking directly with
the manufacturer of the security device for information on the health
and safety of the materials. The manufacturer -- and only the
manufacturer -- has the knowledge of what was in the device in
addition to MAAQ (which is sometimes coated with other chemicals), and
the conditions of the chemical release, such as whether a detonation
charge is involved, temperature of combustion, etc.
For instance, this study (which dates from 1982):
Chemical Characterization and Toxicologic Evaluation of Airborne
Mixtures: Chemical Characterization of Combusted Inventory Red and
Violet Smoke Mixes
indicates that a smoke device contains only 40% MAAQ, and the rest is
combustion and additive chemicals such as potassium chlorate and
These details are important to any thorough investigation of what the
patient was actually exposed to, and what the effects of those
exposures might be.
I'd also like to point out that, my experience aside, I am not a
toxicology professional, and Google Answers is no substitute for
advice from a health professional, so please take my comments here
with the appropriate grains of salt.
The only source of consolidated health information on MAAQ that I came
across is this Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) prepared by a
manufacturer of MAAQ:
MSDS Safety Information
ALDRICH CHEMICAL INC
Here are some relevant excerpts from the MSDS:
...ACUTE EFFECTS: MAY BE HARMFUL BY INHALATION, INGESTION, OR SKIN
ABSORPTION. CAUSES EYE AND SKIN IRRITATION. MATERIAL IS IRRITATING TO
MUCOUS MEMBRANES AND UPPER RESPIRATORY TRACT. TO THE BEST OF OUR
KNOWLEDGE, THE CHEMICAL, PHYSICAL, AND TOXICOLOGICAL PROPERTIES HAVE
NOT BEN THOROUGHLY INVESTIGATED.
...Spill Release Procedures: WEAR SELF-CONTAINED BREATHING APPARATUS,
RUBBER BOOTS AND HEAVY RUBBER GLOVES. SWEEP UP, PLACE IN A BAG AND
HOLD FOR WASTE DISPOSAL. AVOID RAISING DUST. VENTILATE AREA AND WASH
SPILL SITE AFTER MATE RIAL PICKUP IS COMPLETE
...Work Hygienic Practices: AVOID CONTACT AND INHALATION. DO NOT GET
IN EYES, ON SKIN, ON CLOTHING. WASH THOROUGHLY AFTER HANDLING. WASH
CONTAMINATED CLOTHING BEFORE REUSE.
Obviously, there are strong cautions here regarding inhalation of
MAAQ. In addition, the MSDS notes the absence of any in-depth
investigations of the toxicological properties of the chemical.
Not all the toxicity information on MAAQ is consistent. This 23-year
old study, for instance:
The acute toxicity of 1-methylaminoanthraquinone in dogs and rabbits
and its metabolism in sheep
did not find any adverse effects in a variety of animals from
ingestion or topical (on the skin) exposure. Inhalation exposures
were not examined in this study.
It is difficult to find a recognized expert on the toxicity of this
chemical, since it has been so little-studied.
Your best bet, I believe, would be to contact the author of this study:
Fundam Appl Toxicol. 1994 Jan;22(1):103-12
Toxicity of an anthraquinone violet dye mixture following inhalation
exposure, intratracheal instillation, or gavage.
Jaskot RH, Costa DL.
ManTech Environmental Technologies, Inc., Research Triangle Park,
North Carolina 27709.
...Anthraquinone dyes are utilized by the military in colored-smoke
grenades. During production, workers in munitions plants may be
exposed to fugitive emissions of these dyes or mixtures thereof...
The senior author of the article, Richard Jaskot, worked at a firm
called ManTech at the time the article was written; his current
contact information is:
US Environmental Protection Agency
Mail Code: B143-01
Research Triangle Park, NC 27711
Office Phone 919-541-4368
I trust this information fully answers your question.
However, please don't rate this answer until you have everything you
need. If you would like any additional information, just post a
Request for Clarification to let me know how I can assist you further,
and I'm at your service.
All the best,
search strategy -- Google searches on various combinations of: