Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/14582
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Type: Journal article
Title: Peripheral cholinesterase inhibition by occupational chlorpyrifos exposure in Australia termiticide applicators
Author: Dyer, S.
Cattani, M.
Pisaniello, D.
Williams, F.
Edwards, J.
Citation: Toxicology, 2001; 169(3):177-185
Publisher: Elsevier Sci Ireland Ltd
Issue Date: 2001
ISSN: 0300-483X
1879-3185
Statement of
Responsibility: 
S. M. Dyer, M. Cattani, D. L. Pisaniello, F. M. Williams and J. W. Edwards
Abstract: Occupational exposure to organophosphorus insecticides (OPs), such as chlorpyrifos, may be monitored by the measurement of the activity of peripheral cholinesterase (ChE) enzymes, including erythrocyte acetylcholinesterase (EAChE) and serum cholinesterase (SChE). Lymphocyte neuropathy target esterase (NTE) is thought to have potential as a predictor of organophosphate-induced delayed neuropathy (OPIDN). This paper describes work performed in 39 Australian pest control operators (PCOs) exposed to a termiticide containing chlorpyrifos, and 34 unexposed control subjects. EAChE activities in PCOs did not differ from those of unexposed control workers. Mean NTE activity was slightly higher in PCOs than in controls and mean SChE was 52% of control activity. These results indicate that exposure of Australian PCOs to termiticides containing chlorpyrifos may be monitored using SChE but not EAChE or NTE, and that workers in this industry have sufficiently high OP exposure to significantly depress SChE activity. SChE inhibition of 70–80% may be associated with symptoms. Although no current symptoms were reported to be associated with occupational OP exposure, these workers may be at increased risk of acute effects following inadvertent spills or self-contamination due to their background level of exposure to OPs. While it is preferable to compare ChE enzyme activities between pre- and post-exposure periods to evaluate OP-related effects in individuals, in some cases there is an absence of pre-exposure data. The results of this study suggest that a screening value for SChE of 550 nmol/min/ml in a single blood sample may be useful to identify potentially OP-exposed individuals in the Australian population. Australian control subjects were similar with respect to EAChE, but displayed activities of NTE and SChE ≈50 and 23% lower than an unexposed UK reference group. While these comparisons are presently speculative, they suggest that there may be differences in SChE and NTE activities in control populations of the two countries. The routine treatment of Australian homes with termiticides containing OPs, or differences in the availability and use of domestic OP-containing insecticides may explain these population differences. Further work is required to examine whether these differences are real, and if so their likely cause.
Keywords: Chlorpyrifos; Cholinesterase; biological monitoring; pesticide applicators; neuropathy target esterase
Description: Copyright © 2001 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
RMID: 0020012088
DOI: 10.1016/S0300-483X(01)00509-1
Description (link): http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/505518/description#description
Appears in Collections:Pharmacology publications

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