21 Indian Children Die After Eating School Lunch: Pesticide Poisoning?

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Home / 21 Indian Children Die After Eating School Lunch: Pesticide Poisoning?
Orgnophosphates are often used as an insecticide on rice fields. Photo by Wsj,

Orgnophosphates are often used as an insecticide on rice fields. Photo by Wsj,

Organophosphate Poisoning Treatment

When organophosphate is ingested, as with the school children in India, common treatment is to pump the stomach to rid the body of the insecticide.

Poison victims may also be given activated charcoal to drink; activated charcoal binds the poison in the stomach and allows it to naturally pass out of the body.

Medicines may also be given to reverse the effects of the organophosphates.

India’s School Lunch Tragedy

India’s school lunch program was part of a national campaign to give poor and malnourished children one hot meal a day. India’s midday meal program is the largest in the world and has been replicated across the country, where it now serves over 120 million school children.

Was this a case of botulism or pesticide poisoning? As the investigation continues, we will learn more about how the food was contaminated.

Resources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nerve Agent and Organophosphate Pesticide Poisoning. (2013). Accessed July 17, 2013.

Illinois Department of Public Health. Organophosphates. Accessed July 17, 2013.

Pesticide Action Network. Organophosphates. Accessed July 17, 2013.

USA Today News. 21 children die after eating school lunch in India. (2013). Accessed July 17, 2013.

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