Article

The Effects of Feeding Parathion to Dairy Cows[1] and [2]

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Abstract

An experiment was designed to determine the presence or absence of parathion in the milk of dairy cows fed parathion in capsules. Ten dairy cows in heavy lactation, representing four of the major breeds, were allotted into two groups and fed a commercially available wettable powder formulation of parathion at levels of five ppm. and one ppm., based upon an estimated roughage dry matter intake of 2.25 lb. per 100 lb. of body weight daily, continuously for 81 days. These feeding levels represent an actuaul parathion intake of 0.112 mg. of parathion per kilogram of body weight for the cows receiving five ppm. of parathion, and 0.022 mg. of parathion per kilogram of body weight for the cows receiving one ppm. of parathion based upon the estimated roughage dry matter intake. At the conclusion of this experiment, two of these cows were fed increasing amounts of parathion up to 40 ppm. of the estimated roughage dry matter intake. In neither experiment was any parathion found in the milk of the experimental cows by the use of both a chemical method of analysis for parathion and biological assay using adult houseflies. No objectionable flavor was noted in the milk and no harmful effects to the health or reproductive ability of the cows were observed.

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Incubation in vitro of rumen fluid, to which had been added 40 µg. parathion per milliliter resulted in a rapid reduction of the nitro-group of the parathion to an amino group. After 10 minutes of incubation 12–13 per cent was recovered as unconverted parathion, and after 20 minutes 5 per cent. The administered parathion was in part converted to aminoparathion and intermediates, while up to 25 per cent was recovered as conjugated p-aminophenol. After oral administration to two Jersey cows of 1 mg. and 10 mg. parathion per kg. respectively, no signs of poisoning were observed and no inhibition of the blood Cholinesterase activity was detected. In the urine conjugated p-aminophenol constituted 97 per cent of the excreted metabolites and p-nitrophenol the remaining 3 per cent. Neither parathion, nor the metabolites paraoxon, aminoparathion, aminoparaoxon, p-nitrophenol or p-aminophenol could be detected in the milk samples. Dermal application of 1 mg. parathion per kilogram body weight caused inhibition of the Cholinesterase activity in the blood and development of mild poisoning. The deposit in the coat consisted exclusively of parathion and was measurable for up to 12 days. In the urine p-nitrophenol was found as the only metabolite. Neither parathion nor metabolites were detected in milk samples.
Chapter
Economic agricultural production requires the use of insecticides. The organophosphate esters have their established position within the available insecticides. Moreover, in practical veterinary medicine, the organophosphate esters found a more manifold field of application than the organochlorine compounds. The organophosphate esters also gained ground in hygiene for the protection of human health, largely because of the occurrence of insecticide resistance towards organochlorine compounds (Anonymous 33).
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