What does organophosphate do to the body?

Asked By: Houcin Makhno | Last Updated: 17th May, 2020
Category: science chemistry
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Organophosphate insecticides (such as diazinon) are one type of pesticide that works by damaging an enzyme in the body called acetylcholinesterase. This enzyme is critical for controlling nerve signals in the body. The damage to this enzyme kills pests and may cause unwanted side effects in exposed humans.

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Similarly, it is asked, how does organophosphate cause death?

The health effects associated with organophosphate poisoning are a result of excess acetylcholine (ACh) present at different nerves and receptors in the body because acetylcholinesterase is blocked. Accumulation of ACh at motor nerves causes overstimulation of nicotinic expression at the neuromuscular junction.

Secondly, what are organophosphate pesticides used for? Organophosphate Pesticides. Organophosphate pesticides are used in commercial agriculture to control pests on fruit and vegetable crops. They are also used in home gardens, for flea control on pets, and in some no-pest strips.

In this regard, how long do the effects of organophosphates last?

The acute effects of exposure to organophosphorus pesticides are well known, but the chronic effects are unclear. Recent studies suggest that abnormalities of the central and peripheral nervous systems persisted for up to 5 years after acute poisoning due to a single large dose of organophosphates (OPs).

What products contain organophosphate?

Examples of organophosphates include the following:

  • Insecticides – Malathion, parathion, diazinon, fenthion, dichlorvos, chlorpyrifos, ethion.
  • Nerve gases – Soman, sarin, tabun, VX.
  • Ophthalmic agents – Echothiophate, isoflurophate.
  • Antihelmintics – Trichlorfon.
  • Herbicides – Tribufos (DEF), merphos.

27 Related Question Answers Found

Is roundup an organophosphate?

Glyphosate, an active ingredient in Roundup® branded herbicides, is periodically referred to as an organophosphate. It has become customary to generically refer to any organic compound containing phosphorous as an “organophosphate”.

How do you prevent organophosphates?

Here's how to limit your exposure to pesticides during pregnancy:
  1. Eat organic foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Eat food certified as organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  2. Do not use pesticides at home. Indoors, take preventive steps to keep away pests.
  3. Take care with flea and tick medications for pets.

What are the signs of Atropinization?

These signs include warm, dry, flushed skin; dilated pupils; and an increased heart rate.

How do you manage OP poisoning?

The mainstays of medical therapy in organophosphate (OP) poisoning include atropine, pralidoxime (2-PAM), and benzodiazepines (eg, diazepam). Initial management must focus on adequate use of atropine. Optimizing oxygenation prior to the use of atropine is recommended to minimize the potential for dysrhythmias.

Can monocrotophos kill human?


Monocrotophos is an organophosphate insecticide. It is acutely toxic to birds and humans, so it has been banned in the U.S., the E.U. and many other countries, however it is still available in India.

What is anticholinesterase poisoning?

A patient with anticholinesterase insecticide poisoning is classically described as unresponsive with pinpoint pupils, muscle fasciculations, diaphoresis, emesis, diarrhea, salivation, lacrimation, urinary incontinence, and an odor of garlic or solvents; however, most clinical presentations are not so typical.

What does organophosphate smell like?

Organophosphates are a common class of insecticides. Organophosphate poisoning can occur when you're exposed to them for too long or at high levels. Organophosphates are typically colorless-to-brown liquids at room temperature. Some may be unscented, while others have a fruit-like smell.

Why Atropine is used in organophosphate poisoning?

Poisonings. Atropine is not an actual antidote for organophosphate poisoning. Atropine can be used to reduce the effect of the poisoning by blocking muscarinic acetylcholine receptors, which would otherwise be overstimulated, by excessive acetylcholine accumulation.

What causes cholinergic toxicity?

Cholinergic toxicity is caused by medications, drugs, and substances that stimulate, enhance or mimic the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine stimulates muscarinic and nicotinic receptors to cause muscle contraction and glandular secretions.

Who discovered organophosphate?


Function. Pioneers in the study of nerve gas include two French organic chemists, Jean Louis Lassange and Phillipe de Clermont. In the early 1930s, the German scientist Willy Lange first described the toxidromes associated with exposure to nerve gas as a choking sensation and dimming of vision.

Are organophosphates organic?

An organic diet is an effective way to reduce exposure to the organophosphorus pesticides commonly used in agricultural production. Organophosphate metabolite levels rapidly drop, and for some metabolites, become undetectable in children's urine when an organic diet is consumed.

Is Sarin an organophosphate?

Sarin is a human-made chemical warfare agent classified as a nerve agent. However, nerve agents are much more potent than organophosphate pesticides. Sarin originally was developed in 1938 in Germany as a pesticide. Sarin is a clear, colorless, and tasteless liquid that has no odor in its pure form.

How do organophosphate pesticides affect the events at the neuromuscular junction?

Toxic exposures occur commonly in farmers, gardeners, crop dusters, and pesticide handlers. OPs produce their toxic effects by binding to acetylcholinesterase (AChE). Inhibition of this important enzyme results in excess acetylcholine at neuromuscular junctions and at certain locations in the brain.

How does organophosphate inhibit acetylcholinesterase?

Organophosphates are agricultural insecticides. These agents inhibit the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, which is responsible for the degradation of acetylcholine. The organophosphate binds to the enzyme, causing it to undergo a conformational change at its binding site to acetylcholine.

Are pesticides cancerous?


Some chemicals used in pesticides have been linked to cancer through laboratory and epidemiological research. However, there is no conclusive evidence linking pesticide use in general with cancer.

Are organophosphates carcinogenic?

- Organophosphates are generally not considered to be carcinogenic, with the exception of parathion (PENNCAP, PHOSKIL) and phosmet (IMIDAN), which are considered possible human carcinogens by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

What are carbamate pesticides?

Carbamate pesticides are derived from carbamic acid and kill insects in a similar fashion as organophosphate insecticides. They are widely used in homes, gardens, and agriculture. Like the organophosphates, their mode of action is inhibition of cholinesterase enzymes, affecting nerve impulse transmission.