How were the mechanisms of acute and chronic toxicity of organophosphates (OPs) discovered?

Updated: Sep 22, 2018
  • Author: Kenneth D Katz, MD, FAAEM, ABMT; Chief Editor: Sage W Wiener, MD  more...
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Answer

Severe organophosphate intoxication from suicide attempts and outbreaks of unintentional poisoning, such as the Jamaican ginger palsy incident in 1930, led to the discovery of the mechanisms of acute and chronic toxicity of organophosphates. In 1995, a religious sect, Aum Shinrikyo, used sarin to poison people on a Tokyo subway. Mass poisonings still occur today; in 2005, 15 victims were poisoned after accidentally ingesting ethion-contaminated food in a social ceremony in Magrawa, India.


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