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Afsana Banu

Guest Faculty

Department Of Zoology.

Govt. First Grade College, Tumkur(INDIA)

Mob: 9964037160, email:  afsanabanutbz2@gmail.com

The term pesticides covers a wide range of compounds including, fungicides, herbicides, rodenticides , molluscacides, nematicides, plant growth regulators and others.

The production of pesticides started in India in 1952. India is the second largest manufacturer of pesticides in Asia after China and ranks 12th globally.

Chlorpyrifos is a broad spectrum insecticide a chemical used to kill a wide variety of insects. It was introduced in 1965 by Dow chemical company. Chlorypyrifos is available in emulsifiable concentrate , dust , flowable, pellet, spray, granular and wet powder formulation. Chlorpyrifos is one of the insceticides  refered to as organophosphate. It acts on the nervous system by inbhibiting  acetylcholinesterase  it is used to kill a number of pests including insects and worms.

Toxicological effects:

  • Acute toxicity:

            Chlorpyrifos is moderately toxic to humans. Poisoning from chlorpyrifos may affect the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system and respiratory system. It is also a skin and eye irritant . while some organophosphates are readily absorbed through the skin, studies in human suggest that skin abortion of chlorpyroifos is more limited skin which has come in contact with this material should be washed immediately with soap and water and all contaminated clothing should be removed.

Three hundred and nineteen human exposure incidents were reported by the pesticides incident monitoring system from 1981, most of these  resulting from inhalation and dermal exposure. Human deaths were reported with , persons showing respiratory ailments, exposure to cholinesterase inhibitors , cholinesterase impairment or liver malfunction.

  • Chronic toxicity:

            Repeated or prolonged exposure to organophosphate may result in the same effects as acute exposure including the delayed symptoms  other effects reported in workers repeatedly exposed include impaired memory and concentration dis orientation , severe depression , irritability, confusion, headache, speech difficulty ,delayed reaction, night mares,  and drowsiness or insomnia. An influenza like condition with headache, nausea, weakness, loss of appetite has also been reported.

  • Human effects:

This pesticide known for its damaging effects on the human nervous system. It blocks an enzyme that our brain needed to control acetylcholine, one of the many neurotransmitters mediating communication between nerve cells. These neurological effects cause especially elevated risk for children as their brain and nervous system develops.

Reduce birth size: a study on pregnant women exposed to chlorpyrifos through home insecticides use demonstrated link between in utero exposure to cholropyrifos and decreased birth weight. These effects on size were no longer significant in newborn after 2001, when indoor residential use of chlorpyrifos was phased out.

Lung and prostate cancer : This pesticide is  easily absorbed into the blood stream through the gastrointestinal tract, if it is ingested through the lung or  through the skin if there is dermal exposure leads to lung and prostate cancer.

  • Symptoms:

Children are more likely to experience muscle weakness rather than twitching, seizers and coma.

Intermediate exposure may lead to muscle spasm or weakness , vomiting or diarrhea and impaired vision.

Severe poisoning include unconsiousness , paralysis and suffocation from lung failure.

Treatment :

Poisoning is treated with atropine and simultaneously with oxines such as prolidxime, atropine blocks acetlycholine from building with muscarinic receptors which reduces the pesticides impact. A randomized controlled trail supported the use of higher doses. A subsequent double-blind RCT that treated patients who self poisoned , found no benefits of prolidoxime including specifically in chlorpyrifos patient.

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