Updated 04 December 2013

Aldicarb: a very dangerous poison

Here are some quick facts on Aldicarb (Temik), which is a fast-acting poison.

Five members of a family were found dead on a farm near Bothaville. It is thought that their food had been poisoned with Aldicarb after a fight about a love triangle.

This poison is also thought to have been used to kill several dogs in Rustenburg during the month of October.

Here are some quick facts on this extremely dangerous and fast-acting poison:

- Aldicarb is an extremely toxic insecticide.

- It is described by the WHO as ‘extremely dangerous’.

- It is a white crystalline solid with a slight sulphurous odour.

- It is distributed as ‘Temik’ which is a dust-free granulated material.

- It is often used in citrus plantations.

- Chronic low-level exposure to this poison could lead to liver damage. The poison does not accumulate in the body and is rapidly metabolised.

- Thirty-three countries have registered it for use on potatoes, and 28 for use on cotton.

- Symptoms immediately after ingesting this poison include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and quick loss of consciousness. Breathing problems are also common.

- This substance is particularly poisonous to mammals and people and a very small amount could lead to death.

- Symptoms of poisoning can occur in as little as five minutes after ingesting a large dose of the poison.
Aldicarb is quickly absorbed into the gastrointestinal tract.

- Although this type of poisoning can be treated, it is unusual for victims to reach medical assistance in time as the poison is fast-acting.

(Compiled by Susan Erasmus, Health24, December 2013)


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