Organophosphate and carbamate toxicity refers to toxicity caused by these two compounds, usually due to over-exposure or misuse. Carbamates and organophosphates are closely related insecticidal chemical compounds. Both function in a similar fashion and are common active ingredients in pet and premise flea and tick control products, and household and agricultural products. Overexposure or misuse of these compounds can result in toxicity.
The two chemicals affect the nervous system causing a constant state of nerve stimulation. They are readily absorbed by the skin, the GI tract, and the respiratory system. Acetylcholine is a compound that is found throughout the nervous system and acts as neurotransmitter. For its normal functioning, it needs two enzymes, cholinesterases and acetylcholinesterase, to hydrolyse acetycholine. Organophosphate and carbamate insecticides inhibit these two vital enzymes from performing their normal function of acetycholine hydrlysis. This results in constant attachement of acetylcholine to the postsynaptic receptors of the neurons causing continuous, unending nervous transmission to nervous tissue, organs and muscles (smooth and skeletal). This causes seizures and shaking.
Common symptoms associated with organophosphate and carbamate toxicity include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, poor appetite, depression, seizures, muscle tremors, drooling, constricted pupils, increased heart rate, twitching, weakness, paralysis, lack of coordination and respiratory failure.