(Received 30 March 1972; accepted 5 June 1972)
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Organic pesticides came into wide use between 1944 and 1960. The chlorinated hydrocarbons including DDT came first, followed by the organic phosphates, the mercurials, and the organic carbamates. In the 1960s there was an awakening to the hazards to human life, to animals, and to other life forms resulting from the continued use of persistent chemicals and also from the extremely toxic ones even though they may not be persistent. There were increasing numbers of accidental deaths from pesticide poisoning among agricultural workers and among children who accidentally ate or drank pesticide formualtions. The primary culprits were the organic phosphates, such as parathion, but there have also been numerous serious or fatal poisonings by some of the others .
Stanford Research Institute, Menlo Park, Calif.
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