The traditional categories of fluoroacetate poisoning signs and symptoms belie substantial underlying similarities

Toxicol Lett. 2004 Aug 1;151(3):399-406. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2004.03.013.


Sodium monofluoroacetate (Compound 1080) has been widely used around the world as a vertebrate pest control agent. Following ingestion of 1080 there is a latent period, during which the compound is metabolised into a toxic form, before the onset of symptoms. The timing of this period varies significantly between species as does the median lethal dose. Traditionally different species have also been classified into groups depending on the primary organ system involved in 1080 toxicosis (cardiac, nervous, or mixed signs/symptoms). However, general acceptance of this method of classification has obscured the fact that several signs of fluoroacetate poisoning are common to most vertebrate species. This paper reviews five decades of literature on the signs/symptoms of fluoroacetate poisoning in vertebrates and concludes that there is little justification for the division of animals poisoned by fluoroacetate into symptomatic groups.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fluoroacetates / metabolism
  • Fluoroacetates / poisoning*
  • Humans
  • Species Specificity


  • Fluoroacetates
  • fluoroacetic acid