Fluoroacetates are organic compounds that contain a fluorine atom and an acetic acid group. The most well-known and notorious compound in this family is sodium fluoroacetate, also known as 1080 or compound 1080, which is a potent metabolic poison. It works by interfering with the citric acid cycle, a critical process that generates energy in cells. Specifically, fluoroacetates are converted into fluorocitrate, which inhibits an enzyme called aconitase, leading to disruption of cellular metabolism and ultimately cell death.
Fluoroacetates have been used as rodenticides and pesticides, but their use is highly regulated due to their high toxicity to non-target species, including humans. Exposure to fluoroacetates can cause a range of symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, seizures, and cardiac arrest, and can be fatal if not treated promptly.