The pesticide-related problem that the average physician is most likely to face and about which he must take immediate and definitive action is acute poisoning due to occupational or accidental exposure or to suicidal ingestion.
Almost every pesticide can cause poisoning if it is swallowed. For many years and at least as late as 1959, the arsenicals caused more accidental deaths than any other group of pesticides. This is almost certainly due to the casualness with which they are still stored and the ease with which they can be found and ingested by children and other uninformed people. The arsenical pesticides have never been an important source of occupational disease. Among the newer pesticides, greatest attention has focused on the chlorinated hydrocarbon and the organic phosphorus insecticides. Although the chlorinated hydrocarbons have caused a moderate number of cases of accidental posioning, their record of occupational safety is generally good. In
HEALTH HAZARDS OF PESTICIDES. JAMA. 1962;181(4):332–333. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050300052014