Inorganic pesticides include
arsenic, copper sulfates, lead, mercury
- They do not degrade readily and
persist long in the system
- They may be leached out of the
system by water, wind and erosion...
- Arsenic coagulates proteins, form complexes
with coenzymes, inhibits the production of ATP. Like cadmium and mercury,
it can substitute for phosphorous in some biochemical processes.
- Mercury has a strong affinity for sulfhydryl
groups (SH) in proteins, enzymes, hemoglobin and serum albumin. The Central
Nervous system is affected by damage to the blood-brain barrier; transfer
of metabolites such as amino acids to /from the brain are not properly regulated.
- Cadmium affects enzymes
responsible fro the reabsorption of proteins in kidney tubules. It
also affects the functioning of enzymes such as ADH ( alcohol
dehydrogenase). Cadmium is substituted for zinc as the 2 metals
are similar in solution.
Synthetic organometallics include
methylmercury which we discussed in the last class on heavy metals.
Often used as fungicides, they have been replaced by safer
Methyl mercury is volatile and fat
soluble, thus it can be absorbed through the skin, GI tract,
- Although it acts like elemental
mercury causing psychopathological actions, their expressions is
somewhat different: people affected tend to laugh or cry
excessively vs. the irritable and depressed cats/humans described
Go on to the following pages