Pesticides and cardiotoxicity. Where do we stand?

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Cardiovascular diseases are among the most significant causes of mortality in humans. Pesticides toxicity and risk for human health are controlled at a European level through a well-developed regulatory network, but cardiotoxicity is not described as a separate hazard class. Specific classification criteria should be developed within the frame of Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 in order to classify chemicals as cardiotoxic, if applicable to avoid long-term cardiovascular complications. The aim of this study was to review the cardiac pathology and function impairment due to exposure to pesticides (i.e. organophosphates, organothiophisphates, organochlorines, carbamates, pyrethroids, dipyridyl herbicides, triazoles, triazines) based on both animal and human data. The majority of human data on cardiotoxicity of pesticides come from poisoning cases and epidemiological data. Several cardiovascular complications have been reported in animal models including electrocardiogram abnormalities, myocardial infarction, impaired systolic and diastolic performance, functional remodeling and histopathological findings, such as haemorrhage, vacuolisation, signs of apoptosis and degeneration.

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