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Editorials
November 2, 1964

SAFE USE OF PESTICIDES

JAMA. 1964;190(5):466. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070180064015
Abstract

Although a recently published book advocated elimination of all pesticide application in the United States, it is apparent that a majority of agriculturists feel that these agents are necessary to our present economy and food production. Therefore, it becomes the responsibility of the general population and of the medical profession to see that these pesticides are used in the safest manner and that appropriate therapy is always available. Pesticide toxicity concerns two major groups of our population: those working directly with the pesticides and their agricultural application, and those having contact because they live in areas where such agents are being applied.

According to data from California, approximately 75% of the systemic poisoning from occupational exposures to agricultural chemicals is due to organophosphorus insecticides,1 for which diagnostic blood tests are available and specific therapy is effective. A report in a recent issue of the Archives of Environmental Health indicates

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