Safety Aspects in Treatment of Cancer by Carbamate Insecticides as Measured by Osmotic Fragility of Erythrocytes
Cancer chemotherapy using carbamate insecticides has been published by the first author. This study was to evaluate their effects on other cell types because; pesticides and insecticides can affect the health of living organisms through different mechanisms such as membrane denaturation. The evaluation of the deleterious effects of chemical agents on biological membranes can be performed through the analysis of the stability of erythrocytes against a concentration gradient of certain chemical agent in physiologic saline solution. In the present study, technical grade carbamate insecticides viz., propoxur, carbaryl and carbofuran were tested for their toxicity on erythrocytes in vitro. Osmotic fragility of erythrocytes in different concentrations of saline, following exposure to technical grade carbamates was studied in order to indirectly assess the degree of anaemia and hypoxia, resulting upon exposure to carbamates. The percent hemolysis of sheep erythrocytes without carbamates (control), initiated at 0.45 percent NaCl solution, which reached 50% at 0.40 percent NaCl concentration. Complete hemolysis was seen at 0.35 percent NaCl.Baygon treated erythrocytes showed initial, 50% and complete hemolysis at 0.55, 0.45 and 0.35% NaCl respectively i.e. a little earlier as compared to the control. Carbaryl treated erythrocytes showed initial 50% and complete hemolysis at 0.65% NaCl, 0.55% and 0.45% concentration of NaCl respectively. Carbofuran exhibited less toxic effects on the fragility of erythrocytes as compared to baygon and carbaryl, where in the initial, 50% and complete haemolysis was seen at 0.50, 0.45 and 0.40 percent NaCl respectively. Though carbamate insecticides affected the integrity of the erythrocytes, the effect is transient and reversible and hence they can safely be used as chemotherapeutic agents for cancer.