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Organophosphates

  • By: Mei-Hui Li
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Organophosphates are a group of synthetic organic chemicals with some common elements in their chemical structure and the same toxic mechanism of acute toxicity. The general structure of organophosphates is characterized by a central phosphorus atom that is attached to an oxygen or a sulfur atom by a double bond and to three side chains by single bonds.

Organophosphates are mainly used as nerve gases and agricultural pesticides. In fact, organo-phosphate insecticides are the most extensively used pesticides for insect control in the world today. Organophosphates are also widely present in many commonly used products in modern life, such as solvents, plasticizers, flame retardants, gasoline additives, and therapeutic drugs, in both human and veterinary medicine.

All organophosphates have the same mode of toxic action for insects ...

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