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- Action: Ethephon is a plant growth
regulator with systemic properties. It penetrates into tissues and is
translocated. It decomposes to ethylene which is the active metabolite.
- Ethephon is easily
converted into ethylene and has the same harmful effects.
- Ethephon is an
organophosphonate as opposed to an organophosphate. It is structurally
different from and exhibits different physical/ chemical properties than
traditional organophosphate compounds.
- Appearance: colorless
solid. Water Solubility: readily soluble in water. Solubility in Other
Solvents: readily soluble in methanol, ethanol, isopropanol, acetone,
ether and other polar organic solvents. Melting Point: 74-75 degrees C.
Vapor Pressure: <10 to the minus 7 mbar at 20 degrees C.
Oral: acute oral LD50 for
Skin and eyes: acute percutaneous
LD50 for rabbits 5730mg/kg; irritating to skin and eyes.
Inhalation: LC50 (4h)
for rats 6.26mg/L.
NOEL: (2 y) for rats 3000ppm diet.
ADI: (JMPR) 0.05mg/kg b.w.
Birds: acute oral LD50
for bobwhite quails 1072mg/kg.
Fish: LC50 (96h) for
carp >140, rainbow trout 720mg/L.
Daphnia: EC50 (48h)
- Ethephon exhibits
low acute toxicity via the oral (Toxicity Category III), inhalation
(Toxicity Category IV), and dermal (Toxicity Category III) routes of
exposure. Ethephon is dermally corrosive and is a skin and eye
irritant (Toxicity Category I) but not a dermal sensitizer.
- To accelerate ripening of
fruit, tomatoes, sugar beet, coffee, etc.
- To increase the tillering
of wheat and rice.
- To prevent lodging in
rice, maize and flax.
- To accelerate boll
opening and defoliation in cotton.
- To hasten the yellowing
of mature tobacco leaves.
- To stimulate latex flow
in rubber trees, and resin flow in pine trees.
- To stimulate early
uniform hull split in walnuts, etc.
- To promote pre-harvest
ripening in apples, currants, blackberries, blueberries,
cranberries, morello cherries, citrus fruit, figs, tomatoes,
sugar beet and fodder beet seed crops, coffee, capsicums,
- To accelerate
post-harvest ripening in bananas, mangoes, and citrus fruit.
- To facilitate harvesting
by loosening of the fruit in currants, gooseberries,
cherries, and apples; to increase flower bud development in
young apple trees.
- To induce flowering of
- To shorten the stem
length in forced daffodils.
Ethephon is registered on a number of terrestrial food,
feed, and nonfood crops, greenhouse nonfood crops, and
outdoor plants, and 45 tolerances have been established
for residues of ethephon in or on food commodities under
40 CFR §180.300.
average about 4.1 million pounds of ethephon are used
annually on 1.7 million acres. The crops with highest
percent crop treated are tart cherries (61%), grapes
(40%), processed tomatoes (15%), and cotton (10%).
Ethephon-treated trees, which defoliated within two
weeks of treatment, began showing inflorescence buds
about four weeks after treatment, and produced open
flowers well in advance of the controls.
prevent evaporation, ethephon was foliarly sprayed
using a black sprayer system consisting of ahand-held
boom with nozzles spaced 0.76 m apart.
Ethylene evolution from ethephon treated plants was
determined with the use of a shimadzu 8A gas
chromotography (GC),with a flame ionisation detector.
Nitrogen and air were the carrier gases.
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