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April 12, 1971

Analytical Diagnosis of Pesticide Poisoning: Collection, Storage, and Shipment of Biological Samples

Author Affiliations

From the Perrine Primate Research Branch, Division of Pesticide Chemistry and Toxicology, Bureau of Foods, Pesticides, and Product Safety, Food and Drug Administration, Perrine, Fla.

JAMA. 1971;216(2):298-300. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03180280052009

Approximately 150 deaths a year in the United States are attributable to pesticide poisoning, with total morbidity reaching up to 100 times that number.1 Several sophisticated methods of analyzing biological samples for pesticides and their metabolic products have been developed in recent years. However, knowledge of the existence of these methods, of the sampling techniques required, and of the location of laboratories where the analyses may be performed has not been made generally available to the physician. The purpose of this communication is to bridge this gap so that the practicing physician can derive the most meaningful information from the analytical chemist.

General Considerations  First, the diagnosis must be made. Since several reports have dealt with various aspects of the diagnosis and treatment of acute pesticide intoxication,2-5 these will not be covered here. Of preeminence is the maintenance of a high index of suspicion.Once the diagnosis is