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Fenthion, formerly called DMTP, is a contact and systemic organothiophosphate insecticide used against many sucking and biting pests (#EXTOXNET).


  1. #Chemical Description
  2. #Uses
  3. #Health Effects
  4. #Environmental Effects
  5. #Regulation
  6. #External Links
  7. #References



    Just the facts

    Physical Information

    Name: Fenthion

    Use: insecticide

    Source: synthetic chemistry

    Recommended daily intake:


    Sensitive individuals:


    Regulatory facts:

    General facts:



    Chemical Structure

Chemical Description

Pure fenthion is a colorless liquid while technical fenthion is a yellow or brown oily liquid with a weak garlic odor (#EXTOXNET).


Fenthion was primarily an organophosphate insecticide, but was also an avacide and acaricide. 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. However, fenthion no longer has Food and Drug Administration approval because of an excess number of poisoning-related deaths (#ATSDR). It is also applied to control pests on livestock (#ATSDR).

Health Effects

The general population is not likely to be exposed to fenthion through contact but it has been detected on consumer foods and workers handling fenthion may come into contact with the insecticide. Symptoms of fenthion exposure are consistent with other Organophosphates and are the result of cholinesterase inhibition.

Acute Symptoms

* miosis
* headache
* nausea/vomiting
* dizziness
* muscle weakness
* drowsiness
* chest tightness
* difficulty breathing
* hypertension, pallor

* abdominal pain
* incontinence
* diarrhea
* heavy salivation and profuse sweating
* blurred vision
* coma
* seizures
* respiratory arrest
* pulmonary edema

Chronic Toxicity
Fenthion is not believed to be highly toxic chronically (#ATSDR).

Environmental Effects

Fenthion is moderately persistent in soil with a typical half-life of 4-6 weeks. Because it binds strongly to soil, it is not likely to leach into groundwater (#ATSDR).

Fenthion is highly toxic to birds, toxic to bees, and moderately toxic to aquatic organisms and fish (#EXTOXNET).


Fenthion is registered for use in most countries and is only banned in one country (Angola) (#PAN).



Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Fenthion. April, 2005. Accessed 6-20-07.

Extension Toxicology Network. Pesticide Information Profile - Fenthion. Accessed 6-20-07.

Pesticide Action Network Database. Fenthion. Accessed 6-20-07.

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