Pesticide poisonings occur when chemicals intended to control a pest affect non-target organisms such as humans, wildlife, or bees. A pesticide is a substance or mixture of substances used to kill a pest. In the context of Biology, poisons are substances that can cause damage, Illness, or Death to Organisms usually by A pest is an organism which has characteristics that are regarded by Humans as injurious or unwanted Human beings, humans or man (Origin 1590–1600 L homō man OL hemō the earthly one (see Humus Wildlife includes all non-domesticated plants animals and other organisms Bees are flying Insects closely related to Wasps and Ants Bees are a Monophyletic lineage within the superfamily Apoidea Since label directions required by the FIFRA are specifically designed to protect applicators and other humans, wildlife, and other environmental resources, the majority of pesticide poisonings result from violations of the label directions. The Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (or FIFRA) Et seq. Under United States laws pesticide misuse is the use of a Pesticide in a way that violates laws regulating their use or endangers humans or the environment many
A major exception to the above rule of thumb, likely the worst single case of pesticide poisoning that has ever occurred, occurred due to an industrial accident at a Union Carbide pesticide manufacturing plant in Bhopal, India. The Bhopal disaster was an Industrial disaster that occurred in the city of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India, resulting in the immediate deaths Union Carbide Corporation ( Union Carbide) is one of the oldest chemical and polymers companies in the United States, currently employing more than 3800 people Bhopāl ( Hindi: भोपाल bʰoːpɑːl, Marathi -भोपाळ is a city in central India. India, officially the Republic of India (भारत गणराज्य inc-Latn Bhārat Gaṇarājya; see also other Indian languages) is a country On the night of December 3, 1984, a leak erupted from one of the tanks of methyl isocyanate, a gas that is an intermediate step in the production of carbaryl and aldicarb. Events 1800 - War of the Second Coalition: Battle of Hohenlinden, French Year 1984 ( MCMLXXXIV) was a Leap year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1984 Gregorian calendar) Methyl isocyanate (MIC is an organic compound with the molecular formula C2H3NO arranged as H3C-N=C=O Carbaryl (1-naphthyl methylcarbamate is a chemical in the Carbamate family used chiefly as an Insecticide. Aldicarb is a Carbamate Insecticide with structural formula 2-methyl-2-(methylthiopropionaldehyde O-methylcarbamoyloxime For two hours the gas poured out and into the surrounding community, killing at least 3,800 people, and permanently disabling 40 people. About two thousand seven hundred people were partly disabled and over 400,000 have lingering health effects. Health effects, health impacts or health risks are changes in Health resulting from exposure to a source The worst damage was to the eyes and lungs of the victims, but there were many other physical and psychiatric symptoms as well. One reason the accident was so severe was that all safety and backup systems were either disabled or inadequate.
Pesticides are designed to kill pests are usually toxic to other creatures as well, including the applicator, people working in the field, and non-target organisms such as birds, wild and domestic animals and bees (our primary pollinators). The label for each chemical pesticide is designed after extensive testing to maximize the effectiveness of this particular material and minimize risks. It often takes millions of dollars and several years to get a new material labeled ie approved for use, in the USA. Prevention of pesticide poisoning, as well as first aid response when accidents occur all should start with the label.
A fruit farmer in New York was preparing to use paraquat for weed control in his orchard. Paraquat is the trade name for NN'-Dimethyl-44'-bipyridinium dichloride, a Viologen. A herbicide is used to kill unwanted Plants Selective herbicides kill specific targets while leaving the desired Crop relatively unharmed An orchard is an intentional planting of Trees or Shrubs maintained for Food production. He spilled the concentrate on his bare forearm and hand, while mixing in the tank. He immediately flooded the affected skin with water from the filler hose. Water is a common Chemical substance that is essential for the survival of all known forms of Life. Notwithstanding his immediate washing, he died of chemical pneumonia the following week. Death is the termination of the biological functions that define living Organisms It refers both to a specific Chemical pneumonitis is inflammation of the lung caused by irritation from aspirated Vomitus or barium used in gastro-intestinal imaging ingested Gasoline or His death was preventable had he not made three errors: 1. He had a casual attitude about a highly toxic chemical, 2. He was not wearing skin protection as directed by the label, and 3. He did not seek immediate medical attention after the accident.
Prior to using any pesticide, even the garden dust one buys at the discount store, one must carefully read the label. Knowing what it says may prevent injury or death. Injury or bodily injury is Damage or Harm caused to the Structure or function of the Body caused by an outside agent or Pesticide labels are also legal documents. Law is a system of rules enforced through a set of Institutions used as an instrument to underpin civil obedience politics economics and society Using the material contrary to the directions is a violation; deliberate use in violation of the label is a crime. Infraction as a general term means a violation of a rule or Local ordinance or regulation promise or obligation In the sociological field, crime is the breach of a rule or Law for which some governing authority or force may ultimately prescribe a Punishment
There are three technical words used on pesticide labels that are important to check.
It is critical, when pesticide poisoning is suspected, to get competent treatment as rapidly as possible. Since pesticides have different modes of action and different medical responses, it is also necessary to refer to the label. If you are using a pesticide, be sure a copy of the label is present and accessible before you begin use. If you are rendering first aid, if at all possible, obtain a copy of the pesticide label for yourself and for the medical personnel.
If one is regularly using carbamate and organophosphate pesticides, it is important to obtain a baseline cholinesterase test. Carbamates, or Urethanes are a group of Organic compounds sharing a common Functional group with the general structure -NH(COO- An organophosphate (sometimes abbreviated OP) is the general name for Esters of Phosphoric acid. In Biochemistry, cholinesterase is an enzyme that catalyzes the Hydrolysis of the Neurotransmitter Acetylcholine into Cholinesterase is an important enzyme of the nervous system, and these chemical groups kill pests, and potentially injure or kill humans by inhibiting cholinesterase. An acetylcholinesterase inhibitor or anti-cholinesterase is a chemical that inhibits the Cholinesterase enzyme from breaking down Acetylcholine If one has a baseline test, and suspects a poisoning, one can identify the extent of it by comparison of the current cholinesterase level with the baseline level.
Anticholinesterase poisoning may be treated with muscarinic antagonist, e. A muscarinic receptor antagonist is an agent that reduces the activity of the Muscarinic acetylcholine receptor. g. atropine. Atropine is a Tropane Alkaloid extracted from Deadly nightshade ( Atropa belladonna) Jimsonweed (Datura stramonium and other plants
Pesticides can enter the body from inhalation, ingestion, or eye or skin contact. Many cases of poisoning occur to applicators without proper protection. Another scenario is that pesticides are directly applied to farmworkers in the field, or that they re-enter treated field before the toxicity levels drop to acceptable levels.
Never attempt to rescue someone or give mouth-to-mouth or mouth-to-nose resuscitation when an unknown or highly toxic substance is involved, you may become a victim yourself.
If ingested, do not induce vomiting and do not give excessive fluids. A small drink of water is fine, if the substance is irritating. If the substance is on the skin, wash thoroughly with water. If in the eye, flush with running water for at least 15 minutes. If inhaled, remove the person from the exposure to fresh air. If they are sleepy or having difficulty breathing put them in the recovery position (on their side, with their head lower than their body). Call your local Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222, or Emergency Service at 911 if the person has severe symptoms.
Rachel Carson's Silent Spring brought about the first major wave of public concern over the chronic effects of pesticides. Silent Spring is a book written by Rachel Carson and published by Houghton Mifflin in September 1962 The organochlorine pesticides, like DDT, aldrin, and dieldrin are extremely persistent and accumulate in fatty tissue. Applications The simplest form of organochlorides are chlorinated Hydrocarbons These consist of simple Hydrocarbons in which one or more hydrogen atoms have DDT (from its trivial name D ichloro- D iphenyl- T richloroethane is one of the best known synthetic Pesticides It is a chemical with a long Aldrin is an organochlorine Insecticide which is oxidized in the Insect to form Dieldrin, a Neurotoxin. Dieldrin is a Chlorinated hydrocarbon originally produced in 1948 by J Through the process of bioaccumulation (lower amounts in the environment get magnified sequentially up the food chain), large amounts of organochlorines can accumulate in top species like humans. There is substantial evidence to suggest that DDT, and its metabolite DDE, act as endocrine disruptors, interfering with hormonal function of estrogen, testosterone, and other steroid hormones. Endocrine disruptors (sometimes also referred to as hormonally active agents) are Exogenous substances that act like Hormones in the Endocrine system
There is speculation of a pesticide contribution to Parkinson's disease, see section on Toxins. Parkinson's disease (also known as Parkinson disease or PD) is a degenerative disorder of the Central nervous system that often impairs the sufferer's Parkinson's disease (also known as Parkinson disease or PD) is a degenerative disorder of the Central nervous system that often impairs the sufferer's
Certain organophosphates have long been known to cause a delayed-onset toxicity to nerve cells, which is often irreversible. An organophosphate (sometimes abbreviated OP) is the general name for Esters of Phosphoric acid. Several studies have shown persistent deficits in cognitive function in workers chronically exposed to pesticides (Jamal et al. 2000). Newer evidence suggests that these pesticides may cause developmental neurotoxicity at much lower doses and without depression of plasma cholinesterase levels. In Biochemistry, cholinesterase is an enzyme that catalyzes the Hydrolysis of the Neurotransmitter Acetylcholine into
Acute pesticide poisoning is a large-scale problem, especially in developing countries.
"Most estimates concerning the extent of acute pesticide poisoning have been based on data from hospital admissions which would include only the more serious cases. The latest estimate by a WHO task group indicates that there may be 1 million serious unintentional poisonings each year and in addition 2 million people hospitalized for suicide attempts with pesticides. This necessarily reflects only a fraction of the real problem. On the basis of a survey of self-reported minor poisoning carried out in the Asian region, it is estimated that there could be as many as 25 million agricultural workers in the developing world suffering an episode of poisoning each year. " (Jeyaratnam J. , 1990).
Estimating the numbers of chronic poisonings worldwide is even more difficult.
An obvious side effect of using a chemical meant to kill is that one is likely to kill more than just the desired organism. Contact with a sprayed plant or "weed" can have an effect upon local wildlife, most notably insects.
Jamal GA, Hansen S, Julu PO. Low level exposures to organophosphorus esters may cause neurotoxicity. Toxicology. 2002 Dec 27;181-182:23-33. Review. PMID 12505280
Jeyaratnam J. Acute pesticide poisoning: a major global health problem. World Health Statistics Quarterly. 1990;43(3):139-44.
Other Readings "Pesticides,a Toxic Time Bomb in our Midst" by Marvin J. Levine.