Pesticides of Greatest Concern
Being self-centred creatures, we tend to relate the seriousness of toxicity in terms of humanintoxications. Data from Costa Rica, a country using considerable amounts of pesticides, reveals thatof 1,274 pesticide poisonings reported in 1996, 490 (38.5%) were occupational in nature and 430(33.8%) were accidental. The majority of poisonings (438) involved organophosphorus andcarbamate esters. By contrast, only 8 involved organochlorine compounds. This typical pattern isseen in other regions, countries, states and provinces. Insecticides are the most acutely hazardousagents, organophosphorus and carbamate esters being major players in accidental- and occupationalrelated intoxications around the globe. Of necessity, more time should be devoted to their study inboth acute and chronic exposure although other classes of pesticides may be associated with adversebiological effects following chronic exposure.