Definitions for organophosphateˌɔr gə noʊˈfɒs feɪt, ɔrˌgæn ə-
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
or•ga•no•phos•phateˌɔr gə noʊˈfɒs feɪt, ɔrˌgæn ə-(n.)
any of a variety of organic compounds that contain phosphorus and often have intense neurotoxic activity.
Category: Chemistry, Biochemistry
Origin of organophosphate:
an insecticide that interferes with an insect's nervous system
any ester of phosphoric acid or its derivatives, especially one used as an insecticide or herbicide
An organophosphate or phosphate ester is the general name for esters of phosphoric acid. Phosphates are probably the most pervasive organophosphorus compounds. Many of the most important biochemicals are organophosphates, including DNA and RNA as well as many cofactors that are essential for life. Organophosphates are the basis of many insecticides, herbicides, and nerve gases. The EPA lists organophosphates as very highly acutely toxic to bees, wildlife, and humans. Recent studies suggest a possible link to adverse effects in the neurobehavioral development of fetuses and children, even at very low levels of exposure. Organophosphates are widely used as solvents, plasticizers, and EP additives. Organophosphates are widely employed both in natural and synthetic applications because of the ease with which organic groups can be linked together. Being a triprotic acid, phosphoric acid can form triesters whereas carboxylic acids only form monoesters. Esterification entails the attachment of organic groups to phosphorus through oxygen linkers. The precursors to such esters are alcohols. Encompassing many thousands of natural and synthetic compounds, alcohols are diverse and widespread.-
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