The Potential Toxicity of Organophosphorus Compounds on Yemeni Qat- Farmers and Consumers.

1Hassan M. H. Al-Mhbashi, 2Khalid A. A. Al-Shoba

1Assistant professor of toxicology Department of Forensic Medicine and Clinical Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine, Sana’a University, Sana’a, Yemen

2Assistant professor of genetics and gene therapy Department of Forensic Medicine and Clinical Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine, Sana’a University, Sana’a, Yemeny


Organophosphorus compounds (OPC) are chemical agents in world-wide use. They have been extensively used for agricultural purposes for the last five decades, providing well-characterized and cost-effective measures to prevent, repel or mitigate the effects of pests on a wide range of crops. They are also used as insecticides, nerve agents in chemical warfare (e.g. Sarin gas) and as therapeutic agents such as ecothiopate used in the treatment of glaucoma (1). OPC act primarily by blocking acetylcholinesterase (AchE), an enzyme that decomposes acetylcholine (2). Immobilization of this enzyme results in an accumulation of excessive amounts of acetylcholine in nervous tissue and muscular motor plates (3). Noncholinergic mechanism

of intoxication with OPC were attributed to many factors including the generation of oxidative stress through induction of nitric oxide synthase and excessive production of oxygen free radicals-ROS (4;5). Organophosphate poisoning constitutes a major public health problem. It is an important cause of morbidity and mortality particularly in the developing world where many poisoning epidemics have occurred. Despite the inadequate data to quantify the extent and size of the problem, recent estimates suggest that each year there may be as many as 3 million cases of acute severe pesticide poisoning worldwide with about 200 000 deaths/year (6). More than 95% of such mortalities occur in the developing world. The potential of exposure exists among many groups of people such as agricultural workers, sheep

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An Academic Biannual Refereed Journal, Published by Sana'a University

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