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July 12, 1965

Organophosphorus Insecticide Toxicity

JAMA. 1965;193(2):170. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090020083034

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To the Editor:—  It is true, as Dr. Golz states, that if every person using insecticides followed the safety procedures as prescribed by the manufacturer, toxicity among the workers would be minimal. But this is not what happens in practice. In our experience, during the growing season in Colorado the periods of highest incidence of exposure are at the beginning of the season, during the first hot spell of the summer, and at the end of the season. This is when workers should be checked most carefully.While malathion is less toxic than other organophosphorus insecticides, its potential toxicity should be clearly emphasized to the user. A child we recently saw suffered a near-fatal reaction from accidental exposure to malathion.

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