Sodium fluoroacetate

  • much cooler name: Compound 1080
  • naturally occurring poison found in a number of plants from around the world
  • converted in the body to to fluorocitrate, which disrupts the citric acid cycle, thus impairing cellular respiration
    • this is very bad
    • since it messes up an essential component of metabolism, there is no known antidote and few people survive significant ingestion of this substance
    • a single teaspoon can potentially kill dozens of people
  • discovered by the Germans during World War II
    • they were looking for new chemical warfare agents
    • highly potent (0.1 g can theoretically kill a man) but requires ingestion or injection to be effective, so not quite what they were looking for (inhalation is where it's at!)
    • independently discovered by the Americans during the war and was introduced as a rodenticide (kills...rodents) in the US in 1946
  • currently is used by farmers and the US government to kill various crop- and livestock-eating mammals
  • is also highly toxic to birds and insects
- Proudfoot AT, Bradberry SM, Vale JA. Sodium fluoroacetate poisoning. Toxicol Rev. 2006;25(4):213-9.
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_fluoroacetate
- http://texnat.tamu.edu/publications/B-1664/p6.htm

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