Most commonly used pesticides, including the chlorinated hydrocarbons (e.g., DDT), the organophosphates (e.g., Malathion, Diazinon, Ronnel), and the carbamates (e.g., Baygon, Maneb, Sevin, Zineb), are lethal to insects via neurotoxic action (Morgan, 1982). Studies using higher mammals have also demonstrated pesticide neurotoxicity (e.g., Vandekar, Plestina, & Wilhelm, 1971; Aldridge & Johnson, 1971; DuBois, 1971). It is not surprising, therefore, that neurotoxic effects of pesticides are also found in human exposure victims, and that both cognitive and emotional functions are affected. What may be surprising is the extent of the potential problem, since of all neurotoxic substances produced by civilization, pesticides probably vie with lead for the widest distribution in the environment. In the United States, where there has been a government-mandated ban of leaded fuels, pesticides may well have taken the place of lead as the most ubiquitous neurotoxic material deliberately released into the ecosystem.
KeywordsOrganochlorine Pesticide Pesticide Exposure Methyl Bromide Neuropsychological Impairment Pesticide Poisoning
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