Insecticides Herbicides Rodenticides

Walter C. Robey III William J. Meggs


Organophosphates Carbamates

ChlorinatedHydrOCarbons Pyrethrins Herbicides

Chlorop.henoxy „Herbjcj, BjpyridyL Herbicides yrea:SubstitMted„Herbicides

Rodenticides Epidemiology


Moderate, „Toxicity


Cli nical „Approach

Disposition Chapter, References

Pesticides are used to kill pests but also can be harmful or deadly to humans. Compounds considered to be pesticides include insecticides, herbicides, and rodenticides. In the United States, over 85,225 pesticide exposures were reported to poison centers in 1997. 1 About 45,390 of these involved children under 6 years of age. There were 14 deaths.

Pesticide intoxication results from intentional, accidental, and occupational exposures. Because of the number of chemical compounds marketed as multiple formulations and brand names and the complex clinical syndromes that result from exposure to their active ingredients, management often necessitates consultation with a poison center. Many pesticides contain inactive ingredients, such as petroleum distillates, that also can have harmful effects and modify management. Each class of pesticides has specific toxicologic properties that may produce predictable clinical findings after excessive exposure. However, there may be very nonspecific, subtle syndromes early on or in the case of chronic exposure. Many of the pesticides are responsible for both local and systemic effects. Supportive measures play an important role in most toxic exposures, even though specific antidotal therapy occasionally may be available. Broad-spectrum insecticides are responsible for most human pesticide intoxications.

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