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Insecticide poisoning is exposure to a group of chemicals designed to eradicate insects that cause affected persons to develop clinical signs that can progress to death.
Insecticides belong to a group of chemicals called organophosphates, used to protect against insects. Their use is popular since they are effective and do not remain in the environment, disintegrating within a few days. Organophosphates act to inhibit an enzyme in humans called acetyl cholinesterase. This enzyme functions to degrade a chemical called acetylcholine, which excites nerve cells. The resultant effect of organophosphates would be an increase in acetylcholine, thus causing initial excitation of nerve cells.
Poisoning can occur with a broad range of symptoms affecting the functioning of nerves and initial symptoms similar to the flu, such as vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness, and headache. Common names for
Exposure to insecticides can occur by ingestion, inhalation, or exposure to skin or eyes. The chemicals are absorbed through the skin, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract and then widely distributed in tissues. Symptoms cover a broad spectrum and affect several organ systems:
Author Info: Laith Farid Gulli M.D., The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit, Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, 2002
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