- Fenthion (O,O-dimethyl
O-4-methylthio-m-tolylphosphorothioate ) is a broad spectrum
organophosphorus (OP) insecticide.
- Fenthion was first
registered domestically in 1965 by the Mobay Corp., a U.S. subsidiary of
Bayer AG of West Germany.
- Fenthion was formerly
called DMTP. Trade names include Bay 29493, Baycid, Baytex, Dalf, DMTP,
Entex, Lebaycid, Mercaptophos, Prentox Fenthion 4E, Queletox, S 1752,
Spotton, Talodex, and Tiguvon.
- Fenthion is available
in dust, emulsifiable concentrate, granular, liquid concentrate, spray
concentrate, ULV, and wettable powder formulations.
- Fenthion works by
systemic action and inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinesterase,
interrupting the transmission of nerve impulses in the insect.
- Pure fenthion is a
colorless liquid while technical fenthion is a yellow or brown oily
liquid with a weak garlic odor.It is very slightly soluble in water
but miscible in a wide range of organic solvents.
- Fenthion is used
to kill pest insects in horticultural production, the home garden,
around commercial/industrial buildings and domestic/public areas.
- It was used
extensively preharvest on sugar cane, rice, field corn, beets, pome
and stone fruits, citrus fruits, pistachio, cotton, olives, coffee,
cocoa, vegetables, and vines.
- It is also used
in a spot-on formulation to control external parasites on cattle, as
well as to control pest non-native birds around commercial and
- The use of
fenthion for treatment of stagnant water and septic tanks is mainly
for mosquito control.
- Fenthion is a
moderately toxic compound in EPA toxicity class II. It is
classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as
a Restricted Use Pesticide (RUP) due to the special handling
warranted by its toxicity.
- Fenthion can
cause cholinesterase inhibition in humans; that is, it can
overstimulate the nervous system causing nausea, dizziness,
confusion, and at very high exposures (e.g., accidents or major
spills), respiratory paralysis and death.
- It is
slightly toxic via inhalation with a reported 1-hour airborne
LC50 for fenthion in rats of 2.4 to 3.0 mg/L.
poisoning of fenthion results into myosis (pinpoint pupils),
headache, nausea/vomiting, dizziness, muscle weakness,
drowsiness, lethargy, agitation, or anxiety.
- Fenthion is
moderately toxic via the oral route, with reported oral LD50
values of 180 to 298 mg/kg in rats, 150 mg/kg in rabbits, and 88
to 145 mg/kg in mice.
- As at
September 2005, there were one active constituent approval
for fenthion; 10 registered products containing the active
constituent fenthion used in non-food-producing situations;
and one home garden product used on food-producing plants
that is being considered only in regard to toxicology.
chemistry aspects (manufacturing process, quality control
procedures, batch analysis results, and analytical methods)
of fenthion active constituent were evaluated and found
acceptable. The level of fenthion is quantified using
reverse-phase HPLC with UV detection.
Photodegradation and biodegradation are common mechanisms of
fenthion degradation in the environment.
- In the
atmosphere, vapor phase fenthion reacts rapidly with
photochemically produced hydroxyl radicals, and its
half-life is about 5 hours.
- In soil
and water, photodegradation is again predominant mechanism
if there is enough presence of sunlight. Under normal
aquatic environment, half-life of fenthion in water is
2.9 to 21.1 days
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