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Agricultural Poisons

  1. Organophosphorus poisoning
    Used as pesticide, vermicide, rodenticide.
1. Hexaethyl tetraphosphate (HETP) 1. Parathion (Folidol)
2. Tetraethyl pyrophosphate (TEPP) 2. Diazinon (Tik – 20)
3. Octamethyl pyrophosphoramide (OMPA)  
4. Malathion  
Inhibitor of CHOLINESTERASE at the myoneurals junction.


Bronchospasm (mimics asthama) cyanosis, increased secretion.
Pulmonary oedema, FROTH AT MOUTH AND NOSE.
INCREASED Sweating, Salivation, Lacrimation (tears RED due to porphyrin in lacrimal gland ), increased frequency of Urination.
Vomiting, diarrhoea, tenesmus, involuntary Defacation.
  1. Nicotinic Effects :
    1. Muscular fasciculations,
    2. weakness of muscles of respiration.
    3. Pallor,
    4. elevation of blood pressure (sympathetic ganglia)
    5. Permanent delayed paralysis due to demyelination.
  2. Sequence Of Events: Tremor, mental confusion, coma, absence of reflexes, depression of respiratory and circulatory center.
    1. FATAL DOSE   : 160 mg HETP im or iv , 350 mg orally.
    2. FATAL PERIOD :   ½ to 3 hrs
    3. DIAGNOSIS : Plasma CHOLINESTERASE estimation, most sensitive & rapid test.
    4. TREATMENT :       
      1. Gastric lavage with Potassium Permangnate.
      2. Aspiration of secretion.
      3. ATROPINE blocks the muscrinic effects but not the central & nicotinic. 2 mg
      4. every 15 min till pupil dilate, max 12 mg given.
      5. PRALIDOXIME CHLORIDE, PAM dephosphorylate the inactivated cholinesterase and rapidly activate them. 1-2 gm iv repeated after 12 hrs if sym persists.
      6. Exchange transfusion in serious cases ( HAEMODIALYSIS NOT DONE ).
      7. PM APP. : Blood stained FROTH at nose and mouth.
      8. KEROSENE like smell ( due to AROMAX, a solvent present in pesticide).
      9. They resists putrefaction and can be detected in exhumed body.
      10. Mixed with alcohol to mask the smell and use for homicide.
      11. So the viscera is preserved in SATURATED SALINE for analysis.
    1. Examples: Carbaryl, Baygon, Propoxur.
    2. Reversibly inhibit acetyl cholinesterase enzyme.
    3. Atropine is antidote.
    4. Pralidoxime should not be given because of rapid spontaneous hydrolytic reactivation of acetyl cholinesterase exposed to carbamate.
  2. Chlorinated compound
    1. D.D.T., Endrin, Dieldrin, Gammexane.
    2. PLANT PENICILLIN ( it acts on pests of Paddy, Tobacco )
    3. Polycyclic polychlorinated hydrocarbon.
    5. All the s/s , PM APP., are similar to organophosphates.
    6. Calcium decreases the toxicity of endrin.
    7. PAM not used in the treatment.
    8. Atropine does not have substantial effect.
  3. Aluminum Phosphide-
    1. widely used as a grain preservative
    2. Fatal dose of between 0.15 and 0.5 gram.
    3. The most common cause of suicidal death in North India
    4. Phosphine (PH3) gas is liberated when aluminium phosphide comes in contact with moisture in stomach. This gas after getting absorbed leads to multisystem involvement.
    5. Each 3 gm tablet releases 1 gm of phosphine gas on exposure to moisture.
    6. AlP causes widespread organ damage due to cellular hypoxia due to inhibition of the enzyme cytochrome c oxidase of the mitochondria.
    7. It leads to the generation superoxide radicals and cellular peroxides
    8. They lead to direct effects on cardiac myocytes fluid loss, and adrenal gland damage. This leads to profound circulatory collapse.
    9. In addition, phosphine also has corrosive effects on tissues
    10. Garlicky odour from the mouth is the typical feature.
    11. Stricture of oesophagus can occur due to ingestion of aluminium phosphide
  4. Strychnine (Strychnos nux vomica = kuchila)
    1. spasm of abdominal muscles may bend the body forward (emprosthotonus) or to the side (pleurosthotonus), action is noted in anterior horn cells
    2. convulsions affect all muscles at a time
    3. consciousness is not lost
    4. Brain is preserved
    5. Postmortem caloricity is seen. 
  5. Aconite Poisoning:
    1. Signs and symptoms of aconite which is also known as “ Monks Hood” , Wolf Bane”. All the species of the plant is poisonous so the name “Bish” or “Bikh” meaning the poison is used for them.
    2. The dry root of the plant when freshly cut is whitish but becomes pink on exposure to air. It has no odour but some what sweetish taste which gives it the name Mitha Bish (sweet poison).
      1. Tingling followed by numbness of mouth and throat is characteristic symptom of aconite poisoning.
      2. Salivation (not excessive), nausea, vomiting
      3. Muscular weakness, convulsion
      4. In early stage pupils alternately contract and dilate (HIPPUS) but dilated in the later stage.
      5. Hypotension, cardiac arrhythmia & AV Block
      6. Death may occur from shock or syncope but usually occurs from asphyxia due to paralysis of the respiration. 
        1. Treatment – Milk or activated charcoal, stomach is washed with potassium permanganate. Atropine given to avoid vagal inhibition. Artificial inflation and oxygen inhalation.

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