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Chlorpyrifos is a toxic crystalline organophosphate insecticide which was used extensively on homes and farms to control pests including mosquitoes, cockroaches, grubs, flea beetles, fire ants, and others. It is a Cholinesterase Inhibitor and depending on the length of time and amount exposed to, can cause severe nervous system damage. Trade names include Dursban, Empire, Eradex, Lorsban (Dow Chemical Company), and Stipend.


Physical Information

Name: Chlorpyrifos

Use: insecticide

Source: chemistry

Recommended daily intake: none

Absorption: inhalation ingestion

Toxicity/symptoms: moderate

Chemical Structure

Structure retrieved from ABCbirds.

Chemical Description

Chlorpyrifos is a solid white crystalline solid that is practically insoluble in water. It is available as granules, wettable powder, dustable powder and emulsifiable concentrate.

Uses and Benefits

Chlorpyrifos was used as an insecticide on numerous crops to control fleas, ants, beetles, mosquitoes and other annoying little insects. because of this, it was also used in dog kennels, horse stalls, and on sheep (#ATSDR).

Health Effects

Chlorpyrifos is moderately toxic to humans (#EXTOXNET PIP). Inhalation or ingestion of chlorpyrifos will affect the nervous system and cause, depending on the dose and length of exposure, anything from headaches to unconsciousness. It is not believed to be a carcinogen.

Environmental Effects

Chlorpyrifos enters the environment through direct application on crops and clings to soil. It rarely enters groundwater sources, but if it does it is highly toxic to aquatic organisms. It is moderately toxic to birds.


Wash all fruit.


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