Organophosphate insecticides, such as Vapona, Naled, and Rabon, are highly potent inhibitors of an enzyme found in human monocytes. The enzyme, a specific monocyte esterase, could be inhibited by Vapona in blood samples via airborne contamination at levels easily achieved from commercial slow-release insecticide strips. Fifty percent inhibition (I50)--as measured on the Hemalog D (Technicon Corp.)--occurred at solution concentrations of 0.22, 1.5, and 2.6 X 10(-6) g/liter for Vapona, Rabon, and Naled, respectively. Parathion (a thiophosphate) and Baygon (a carbamate) were less potent, with I50 values of 3.7 X 10(-5) and 1.5 X 10(-4) g/liter, respectively. Dursban (another thiophosphate) and Carbaryl (a carbamate) showed only marginal inhibition. Eserine, malathion, nicotine and pyrethrum had no inhibitory effect up to 0.5 g/liter. The occurrence of this effect in vivo has not yet been shown, nor is it clear what the implications of such an effect would be. The inhibition of this enzyme by airborne contaminants, however, may interfere with the proper functioning of the Hemalog D.

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