Background: Carbofuran is a widely-used carbamate insecticide which is listed as highly hazardous (Class 1b) by the World Health Organization (WHO) classification of pesticides. We report the poisonings among children following exposure to carbofuran crystal form, which is used as a household remedy for head lice infestation.
Methods: The medical case records from June 2016 to January 2019 of a Tertiary Care Hospital in rural Maharashtra, India, were examined for the pediatric poisoning due to exposure to blue crystals in sachets being sold as medication for head lice infestation and its confirmation as being carbofuran. A total of 14 such exposures were found among 64 cases of pediatric poisoning (excluding bites and sting envenomation), recorded in the above period. The children were evaluated for their presentations, manner of unintentional poisonings, clinical profile, and outcomes.
Results: The results in carbofuran poisonings showed universal unintentional exposure with the majority of patients being infants and toddlers. It was the most significant single cause of poisoning, excluding bites and envenomation, in the above period. The clinical features of excessive cholinergic activity were consistent with the characteristics of carbamate poisoning. Comparison with other poisonings during the period did not show significant differences concerning variables such as age, sex, religion, and length of hospital stay.
Conclusion: Unintentional poisoning of the class1 pesticide carbofuran, among younger children, is associated with misuse and availability in the environment. Our obtained data about the agent, host, and environmental factors related to the poisoning are consistent with data available on the literature.
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