U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Date of this Version


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Reprinted from ANNALS OF THE NEW YORK ACADEMY OF SCIENCES Volume 160, Article 1, Pages 7-29, June 23, 1969.


U.S. government work.


INTRODUCTION This review is limited to the structures and a few reactions of the pesticides mainly insecticides-that affect mammalian systems and that are the subject of papers by other authors in this monograph. There is no attempt to give a complete review of the chemistry of pesticides. It is intended only to show the breadth and depth of pesticide chemistry through the use of examples. With proper use of the references, and of the papers by Crosby, Freed and Montgomery, and Owens in this monograph, the reader will be able to find information for other chemicals.

NOMENCLATURE Pesticides or economic poisons are defined in the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act as " ... any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any insects, rodents. nematodes, fungi or weeds or any other forms of life declared to be pests; any substance or mixture of substances intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant or desiccant." Thus, the classification of a pesticide could be made by first naming the living system that it controls and then listing functional groups wherever possible. This is generally the form that we have used, as shown in TABLE 1.