Role of Metabolism in Pesticide Selectivity and Toxicity

  • S. D. Murphy
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 13)


Ideally, pesticides will be selectively toxic to target organisms and non-toxic to non-target or desirable organisms. Theoretically, this might be achieved by several means. First, a pesticidal chemical might be designed or selected which uniquely attacks a functional or structural bio-system that is peculiar to the pest organism and which is either absent in or less critical to the desirable organism. Examples of this would include: the use of red squill as a rodenticide, particularly useful because rats do not effectively vomit the material whereas other mammals do; or the use of chitin synthetase inhibitors which are selectively toxic to invertebrates with exoskeleton and nontoxic, or generally much less toxic, to mammalian organisms; or the use of juvenile hormones which affect the peculiar metamorphic development of insects.


Methyl Parathion Organophosphate Insecticide Mixed Function Oxidase Nontarget Species Piperonyl Butoxide 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. D. Murphy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Health, SC-34, School of Public Health and Community MedicineUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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