#1 By: Maggie Koerth-Baker, July 17th, 2013 14:40
#2 By: John Smith, July 17th, 2013 15:00
Clearly we need to ban assault insecticides.
#3 By: fuzzyfuzzyfungus, July 17th, 2013 15:58
We do ban them, and fairly hard: a fair few of the CWC-scheduled chemical warfare agents, especially the nerve gasses, are also recognized as formidable insecticides(and close cousins of slightly feebler compounds that remain legal, and probably don't kill farmers faster than they kill bugs); but are too dangerous to humans to be legally used for the purpose. In at least one case(Amiton) a compound even managed to be sold commercially, for use as an insecticide; before sheer product unsafety prevailed and it ended up being scheduled as a warfare agent(VG).
(It's less likely in this case, given the relative availability of pesticides and aircraft lubricants in rural India, and the rapid onset and severity of symptoms; but there are other avenues for contamination: tricresyl phosphate is all sorts of useful as an engine lubricant, flame retardant, and plasticiser; but it's also enthusiastically neurotoxic and is both lipid soluble and without distinctive color, odor, taste, or texture. It gave the US the 'Jake Leg Blues' during prohibition, poisoned around 10,000 Moroccans around 1960, and continues to crop up now and again all over the world, generally in the context of allegedly edible oils with either incompetence or fraud in the supply chain.)
#4 By: Dennis_Neal, July 17th, 2013 20:41
Everyone knows the largest mass poisoning in history was the Jonestown Massacre.
#5 By: Frank_Xavior, July 18th, 2013 12:16
21 is the largest mass poisoning in history ?
what about wen tap water gets contaminated (all the time) and people havent been warned yet ?
theres no friggin way its 21
EDIT : wait how about AGENT ORANGE for starters ?!
#6 By: Maggie Koerth-Baker, July 18th, 2013 12:48
You seem to be confused. The 21-person case was a recent poisoning in India. The largest mass poisoning in history is in Bangladesh and involves millions of people. (Which would also make it much larger than Jonestown, in response to a different post.)
Sorry for the confusion!
#7 By: Tennessee Waltz, July 18th, 2013 14:38
Perhaps Jonestown was the largest INTENTIONAL poisoning, while in India, it was only greed and low brain power that resulted in the unfortunate demise of children.
#8 By: fuzzyfuzzyfungus, July 18th, 2013 18:44
You'd have to specify 'civilian' and 'intentional' mass poisoning: The Bhopal disaster killed at least three times as many(on the low end of estimates) and the initial use of chlorine at Ypres something like 6,000.
#9 By: Maggie Koerth-Baker, July 22nd, 2013 14:41
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