Toxicity of malathion to mammals, aquatic organisms and tissue culture cells

I. Dési, G. Dura, L. Gönczi, Z. Kneffel, A. Strohmayer, Z. Szabó

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10 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of malathion on rats (75 and 38 mg/kg bwt), aquatic organisms (100 to 0.001 mg/L), and cells in tissue culture (1000 to 1 ppm) was studied. The conventional toxicological tests conducted for 90 days on rats yielded negative results. ChE activity was determined in plasma, liver, brain and erythrocyte samples. It was significantly reduced in the erythrocytes of animals treated with the larger dose for 21 days and in the cerebral cortex of rats fed either of the doses. ChE activity of rats consuming malathion for 90 days did not differ significantly from that of the controls. In contrast, the psychophysiological examinations utilized in the experiments indicated abnormalities within 21 days. Alterations were observed in the EEG and EMG records after 90 days of feeding. Malathion had a definitely harmful effect on phylogenetically and ontogenetically young aquatic organisms, as well as on the cells of monkey kidney culture. The latter finding suggests that the preparation has a direct destructive effect on cells. Although it is not suggested that malathion should be regarded a toxic agent thus requiring limitation of application, attention is directed to the fact that inconsiderate use of the preparation may involve potential dangers for man and his environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-425
Number of pages16
JournalArchives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1975

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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