E 605 is a powerful and highly toxic organophosphate compound that is commonly referred to as parathion. It is primarily used as an insecticide and acaricide in agricultural practices. The name "E 605" is derived from its registration number as an additive to various products in the European Union.
Parathion, or E 605, acts as a potent cholinesterase inhibitor, meaning it disrupts the activity of the enzyme cholinesterase, which is responsible for breaking down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. By impeding the function of this enzyme, E 605 disrupts the proper transmission of nerve impulses, adversely affecting the central and peripheral nervous systems.
Due to its intense potency, E 605 is classified as highly toxic and poses significant risks to human health and the environment. It is classified as a WHO Class Ia (extremely hazardous) pesticide. Exposure to E 605 can occur through inhalation, ingestion, or dermal contact, leading to severe poisoning symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, blurred vision, muscle weakness, diarrhea, and convulsions. Ingesting or inhaling a substantial amount of E 605 can be fatal.
In order to prevent accidental poisoning and harmful environmental impacts, the use of E 605 has been strictly regulated in many countries. Its production and sale have also been banned in several regions due to the potential dangers it poses to humans, animals, and the ecosystem.
The term "E 605" refers to the chemical compound called "parathion". The etymology of the word can be traced back to the compound's development by the German chemical company Bayer. In the early 20th century, Bayer was categorizing and numbering their compounds, and they assigned the number 605 to parathion. The "E" stands for "entomologie", meaning "related to insects", as parathion was initially developed as an insecticide. Over time, the term "E 605" became synonymous with parathion. However, it's important to note that parathion is now banned in many countries due to its extreme toxicity.