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Update: Hydrogen cyanamide--related illnesses - Italy, 2002-2004.

Authors
Settimi-L; Marcello-I; Davanzo-F; Faraoni-L; Miceli-G; Richmond-D; Calvert-GM
Source
MMWR 2005 Apr; 54(16):405-408
NIOSHTIC No.
20026605
Abstract
Hydrogen cyanamide (CAS No. 420-04-2) is used in agriculture as a plant growth regulator and is applied to many deciduous plants to stimulate uniform budbreak after dormancy, resulting in uniform flowering and maturity. Hydrogen cyanamide is highly toxic, and adverse health effects from contact include severe irritation and ulceration of the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract. The substance also inhibits aldehyde dehydrogenase and can produce acetaldehyde syndrome (e.g., vomiting, parasympathetic hyperactivity, dyspnea, hypotension, and confusion) when exposure coincides with alcohol use. After Dormex (Degussa AG, Trostberg, Germany), a pesticide product containing hydrogen cyanamide (49% by weight), was introduced in Italy in 2000, a total of 23 cases of acute illness associated with exposure to this chemical were identified in early 2001. This led to a temporary suspension of sales and usage of Dormex on February 23, 2002, and strengthening of protective measures, as specified on the pesticide label when sales were resumed on June 20, 2003. This report describes 28 additional cases of hydrogen cyanamide-related illness that occurred during 2002-2004, 14 of which occurred after sales resumed. These illnesses suggest that the preventive measures adopted in Italy in 2003 to protect workers using hydrogen cyanamide are inadequate. Workers exposed to hydrogen cyanamide should be provided adequate information, training, personal protective equipment (PPE), and engineering controls.
Keywords
Agricultural-chemicals; Agricultural-workers; Pesticides-and-agricultural-chemicals; Pesticides; Preventive-medicine; Surveillance-programs; Poison-control; Poisons; Spraying-equipment; Amides; Occupational-exposure; Personal-protective-equipment
CODEN
MMWRB6
CAS No.
420-04-2
Publication Date
20050429
Document Type
Journal Article
Fiscal Year
2005
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Issue of Publication
16
ISSN
0892-3787
NIOSH Division
DSHEFS
Source Name
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
State
CA; OH
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