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quote:Malathion is an organophosphate parasympathomimetic which binds irreversibly to cholinesterase.Malathion is an insecticide of relatively low human toxicity.However, Malathion breaks down into Malaoxon, which is 60 times more toxic than Malathion. For this reason, if Malathion is used or somehow enters an indoor environment, as it breaks down into Malaoxon, it can seriously and chronically poison the occupants living or working in this environmnent.In 1976, numerous malaria workers in Pakistan were poisoned by isomalathion, a common impurity in malathion, which is capable of inhibiting carboxyesterase enzymes in those exposed to it; the original toxicity evaluation for malathion had not anticipated isomalathion coexposure.
quote:Almost 300 pupils and teachers of the Signal Hill Government Primary School had to be evacuated yesterday because of a chemical leak emanating from the nearby Public Health Department compound at Signal Hill. In addition, 80 employees of the Medical Transcription Centre and another 50 employees of the Public Health department had to abandon their jobs to seek refuge from the area. The offices were closed for the day. The drama started when two pupils and a teacher began vomiting during assembly around 8.30 a.m. An ambulance was summoned but by the time it arrived, ten other pupils complained of feeling unwell. They and the teacher were rushed to the Scarborough Regional Hospital where they were treated and discharged. Other teachers on staff were advised by the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers' Association to also seek medical treatment. School teacher Anderson Charles said he was in charge of Morning Assembly when they began to get a scent of a chemical substance. "Soon pupils began complaining of feeling unwell and some began vomiting," he said. Units from the Scarborough Fire Station and the Police responded to the emergency around 9.15 a.m. and assisted in taking pupils in buses to safety at the Red Cross headquarters building, a half mile away. Fire Station Officer Carlston Edwards confirmed to the Express that the pupils had inhaled something that smelled like a chemical. Edwards said the chemical turned out to be Malathion used in spraying insects. It was stored in 45-gallon barrels on the eastern end of the compound.