I have several thoughts:
- How could he stand the taste of those chemicals? Maybe the polyol wouldn't be so bad (much like glycerin is), but an isocyanate?
- The man is lucky to be alive just because the heat of the reaction didn't kill him. The article cited above noted that the doctors found the internal temperature of the foam to be 94 oC!
- The man is lucky that he hasn't developed any sensitivities to the isocyanates, something that would result in cardiopulmonary issues
What is more surprising (or maybe not) is that this was not the first person to attempt suicide in this manner. The Journal of Trauma has a 2008 report ($-per-view) of a similar attempt, also unsuccessful.
For this newest case, the foam was easily removed and not surprisingly was in the shape of the stomach and the esophagus, reconfirming that drawings in anatomy books are correct:
This anatomically detailing reminded me of another suicide attempt in which a women injected elemental mercury. Much of it moved to her lungs where an x-ray showed the most beautiful imaging of bronchial tubes I've ever seen:Source
This also should make you question exactly how paranoid we really need to be when worrying about mercury from a broken thermometer or fluorescent bulb.
[*] The easiest way to foam a 2-part urethane is to include a little bit of water in the diol/polyol. It reacts with the isocyanate to form a carbamic acid, an unstable entity that decomposes to an amine and carbon dioxide.