A NEW BOOK ON PESTICIDE POISONING
Pocketbook of Pesticide Poisoning for Physicians, 1st Edition by V. V. Pillay. Paperback, 4.5" x 7".
CBS Publishers and Distributors, CBS Plaza, 4819/11, Prahlad Street, 24 Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi-110002, India; Publication Date 2001; xvi + 96 pages: ISBN 81-239-0748-6: Price, Indian Rupees 75.00
The Author of this pocketbook is an internationally known forensic expert in the field of pathology and toxicology, and Head & Professor of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology at Kasturba Medical College in Mangalore, India.
The book is really a pocketbook, as it has less than one hundred pages in small format. The content, however, covers the area of the main classes of pesticides that can be encountered in the agricultural use and in the medical practice in India and elsewhere.
In the world, perhaps more than 1500 types of pesticides are used (more than 40.000 brand names), so that it is a great merit of the Author to have selected those pesticides that are worthy to be discussed from a clinical point of view.
The toxicological reality can be very different according to countries and places. Personally, I do not remember a fatal case of poisoning by pesticides, although in this country some 3000 cases per year of acute intoxication by pesticides occur. Fatal cases are rare, and this is possibly due to the control in the sales, to instructions on the usage, and last to a quick hospital admission and care. In general, family doctors are not acquainted with the knowledge of signs and symptoms of pesticide intoxication, as, like in India and other countries, university courses in medical toxicology are not easily available.
Prof. Pillay, in a style that is sober and clear, describes all that a medical practitioner should know in this field, including the physical appearance of the substances. Signs, symptoms and diagnosis and therapy are treated in some detail, and attention is also paid to pharmacological and analytical aspects.
The book was written for the usage of medical practitioners, and it has no scientific aim. However, the dissemination of practical and exact notions about pesticides intoxication represents the fulfilment of a need, as these intoxications are very common and fatal in several cases and no other way of information seems useful to reach family doctors.
In conclusion, prof. Pillay wrote a very useful and very readable book, that can help in preserving human lives. In my opinion, this booklet could be distributed to all medical practitioners in rural areas of India.
Professor Giusto Giusti is the Chairman of Legal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Via Montpellier - 1, Rome 00133, Italy. The list of his publications can be seen at www.legalandsocialmedicine.com. He has edited an exhaustive Treatise of Legal Medicine (six volumes, about 8500 pages) CEDAM, Padua (1998-99). His Email is firstname.lastname@example.org
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