Health Aspects of Organophosphorous Pesticides in Asian Countries

M Balali-Mood, K Balali-Mood, M Moodi, B Balali-Mood
2012 Iranian J Publ Health   unpublished
Organophosphorous (OP) pesticides are used frequently in agriculture, particularly in Asian countries over the past decades. Poisoning by these agents, either as acute or chronic in these nations, is a serious health problem. OP pesticides residue in fruits and vegetables that may not induce early clinical features, could also affect the human health. Therefore, medical and health professionals should be aware and learn more on the toxicology, prevention and proper management of OP poisoning.
more » ... of OP poisoning. The well-known mechanism of OP toxicity is the inhibition of acetyl cholinesterase, resulting in an accumulation of acetylcholine and continued stimulation of acetylcholine receptors. Therefore, they are also called anticholinesterase agents. Determination of blood acetyl cholinesterase and butyryl cholinesterase activities remains a mainstay for the rapid initial screening of OP pesticides. Quantitative analysis of OP and their degradation products in plasma and urine by mass spectrometric methods is a more specific method, but is expensive and limited to specialized laboratories. Therefore, history of OP pesticides exposure and clinical manifestations of a cholinergic syndrome is sufficient for management of the exposed patients. However, electrophysiological tests may be required for the diagnosis of delayed neuropathy of OP poisoning. The standard management of OP poisoning includes decontamination, atropine sulphate with an oxime. Recent advances focus on blood alkalinisation and magnesium sulphate as promising adjunctive therapies. Preventive measures in OP exposure are of great importance in human health in developing countries. Therefore, regulations and controls on safe use of OP particularly in Asian countries are recommended.