E X T O X N E T
Extension Toxicology Network
A Pesticide Information Project of Cooperative Extension Offices of
Cornell University, Michigan State University, Oregon State University, and
University of California at Davis. Major support and funding was provided
by the USDA/Extension Service/National Agricultural Pesticide Impact
Publication Date: 9/95
TRADE OR OTHER NAMES
Product names include Aazdieno, Acarac, Amitraze, Baam, Edrizan,
Mitac, Maitac, Triatox, Triatix, Vapcozin Taktic, Triazid, Topline,
Tudy, Ectodex, Garial, Danicut, Ovidrex, Acadrex, Bumetran, and Ovasyn
Amitraz is registered for use on pears, cattle, hogs, and cotton
(4). It is not permitted on apples to prevent its residues in processed
apples or meat producing animals which consume apple processing waste
(3). Amitraz was a restricted use pesticide in 1985 because some studies
showed it causes cancer in mice. But re-evaluation of the evidence has
led to the current classification of Amitraz as an unrestricted or
General Use Pesticide (GUP) (11). Amitraz is available in an
emulsifiable concentrate, wettable powder, or a pour-on powder.
Amitraz is a triazapentadiene compound, a member of the amidine
chemical family (2). It is an insecticide and acaricide used to control
red spider mites, leaf miners, scale insects, and aphids. On cotton it
is used to control bollworms, white fly, and leaf worms. On animals it
is used to control ticks, mites, lice and other animal pests (5,6).The
EPA classifies Amitraz as Class III - slightly toxic. However, products
containing it bear the SIGNAL WORD: CAUTION (4, 11).
Amitraz is slightly toxic to mammals if ingested orally (7). The
dose of Amitraz that is lethal to half of the test animals that ingest
it is called the median lethal dose, or the LD50. The oral LD50 is 523-
800 mg/kg for amitraz in rats (1, 3, 4, 9). The oral LD50 is greater
than 1,600 mg/kg for mice. Dermal exposure results in an LD50 of greater
than 1,600 mg/kg for rats and greater than 200 mg/kg for rabbits (2, 4,
The Lethal Concentration 50 or LC50 is the concentration of the
chemical in air or water that kills half of the experimental animals
exposed to it. The inhalation LC50 (6 hours) of amitraz for rats is 65
mg/l of air. Amitraz is not a skin irritant and does not sensitize skin
Signs of acute amitraz poisoning in male and female rats treated
with 440 mg/kg and 365 mg/kg respectively, include coolness to touch,
reduced spontaneous activity, episodes of increased induced activity
such as aggression in response to handling, and signs of general
debilitation. Amitraz also may produce a slowly reversible emaciation in
In two-year feeding trials, rats who received 50 mg/kg/day in their
diet and dogs who received 0.25 mg/kg/day of amitraz did not show any
Doses of 200 mg/kg/day of amitraz for ten weeks decreased fertility
in male and female rats. Female mice treated orally for 5 days with 50
mg/kg/day of amitraz and then mated showed a slight increase in loss of
fetuses and a decrease in the number of living offspring. When male mice
were given 50 mg/kg/day of amitraz orally for 5 days and then mated, the
resulting embryos were significantly less likely to grow in the mother's
uterus. Female mice who received 400 mg/kg/day of amitraz in their diet
for up to 33 weeks, showed a significant increase in the time they were
sexually receptive (8).
The highest dose of amitraz which has no observable effect on the
death of unborn rats (fetotoxic NOEL) is 3 mg/kg/day. The highest dose
of amitraz that does not cause an observable effect in the death of rat
embryos (Embryotoxic NOEL) is 5 mg/kg/day (9). Rats who received 12
mg/kg/day of amitraz from day one of pregnancy until the young were
weaned at 21 days old had a reduced number of young born and alive at
day four (8). Rabbits who received 25 mg/kg/day of amitraz from days 6
to 18 of pregnancy had fewer and smaller litters (1). Although there
have been reproductive effects observed in laboratory animals at some
dose levels, likely human exposures are very much less than those which
produced effects. These effects are unlikely in humans under normal
In one study, rats treated with 12 mg/kg/day of amitraz from days 8
to 20 of pregnancy, the offspring were heavier but had less bone
development than the offspring of untreated rats (8). However, an EPA
study indicates that the highest dose at which amitraz has no observable
effect on test rats' offspring (teratogenic NOEL) is 12 mg/kg/day (9).
The teratogenic NOEL of rabbits is 25 mg/kg/day (1). These studies
indicate that high doses of amitraz exposure during pregnancy produced
adverse effects in laboratory animals. Likely human exposures are very
much less than those which produced effects, and these effects are
unlikely in humans under normal circumstances.
A variety of tests indicate that amitraz is not mutagenic and does
not cause damage to DNA (8).
Long term feeding studies show that amitraz is not carcinogenic in
rats. However, it can cause tumors in female mice (8). Amitraz causes an
increase in tumors of the lungs and lymph nodes in female mice, but not
males, at 57 mg/kg/day over 20 months. A two-year study of female mice
also showed an increase in tumors of the liver (hepatocellular tumors)
at 57 mg/kg/day of amitraz (4, 5). Because amitraz causes cancer in
female mice, but not male mice or male or female rats, it is
unclassifiable as to human carcinogenicity (10).
At high doses, amitraz can reduce the function of the hypothalamus,
which helps regulate the metabolism by controlling hormone release in
the body (4). A daily dose of 200 mg of amitraz per kilogram of body
weight for ten weeks causes decreased growth and food consumption (8).
Fate in Humans and Animals
Available data suggest that amitraz, following absorption into the
blood, is not readily absorbed into tissues, and is mostly excreted
unchanged via the urine (2, 4, 8).
Effects on Birds
Amitraz is slightly toxic to birds. The dietary LC50 (8 day) is
7,000 mg/kg for mallard ducks and 1,800 mg/kg for Japanese quail (2, 7).
The oral LD50 for bobwhite quail is 788 mg/kg (3). Amitraz may affect
reproduction in birds. The avian reproduction NOEL is less than 40 ppm
Effects on Aquatic Organisms
Amitraz is moderately toxic to fish (3, 4, 5). The LC50 (96-hour
exposure) is 1.3 mg/l for bluegill sunfish and 3.2-4.2 mg/l for
harlequin fish. For a 48-hour exposure of rainbow trout, a cold water
species, the LC50 is 2.7-4.0 mg/l (2). Daphnia, a fresh water
invertebrate, exhibited toxic effects at 35 ppb of amitraz in water (1).
Effects on Other Animals (Nontarget species)
Amitraz is relatively non-toxic to bees (5, 7). The LD50 is 12
micrograms per bee by ingestion and 3.6 mg/l by direct spraying (2).
Breakdown of Chemical in Soil
Amitraz is broken down rapidly in soil containing oxygen. The half-
life in soil, the amount of time needed for the chemical to degrade to
half its original concentration, is less than one day. Degradation
occurs more rapidly in acidic soils than in alkaline or neutral soils
Breakdown of Chemical in Vegetation
Reports indicate that amitraz may cause crop injury to young
peppers and pears during high temperature conditions (5).
PHYSICAL PROPERTIES AND GUIDELINES
Amitraz is a straw colored crystalline solid and odorless. It is
non-corrosive and stable to heat. UV light seems to have little effect
on its stability. Slow decomposition occurs when amitraz is stored for
prolonged periods under moist conditions (2).
|CAS #: ||33089-61-1
|Chemical name: ||N,N'-[(methylimino) dimethylidyne]di-2,4-xylidine
|Solubility in water at room temperature: ||ca. 1 mg/l (3)
|Soluble in common organic solvents including acetone, toluene, and xylene (3) ||
|Vapor pressure: ||0.051 mPa at 20 degrees C (2)
|Melting point: ||86-87 degrees C (2)
|Partition coefficient: ||(octanol/water) Kow = 316,000 (2)
|ADI: ||0.003 mg/kg (human) (4).
|NOEL: ||0.25 mg/kg/day (dog); 3 mg/kg/day (rat) (10).
|RfD: ||0.0025 mg/kg/day (10).
NOR-AM Chemical Company
3509 Silverside Rd.
P.O. Box 7495
Wilmington, DE 19803
Emergency : Day: 302-995-8632, Night: 302-656-5114
Review by Basic Manufacturer:
Comments solicited: October, 1994
Comments received: March, 1995
Meister, R.T., (ed.). 1994. Farm Chemicals Handbook '94. Meister
Publishing Company. Willoughby, OH.
The Agrochemicals Handbook, Third Edition. 1994. Royal Society
of Chemistry Information Systems. Unwin Brothers Ltd., Surrey, England.
Meister, R.T. (ed.). 1992. Farm Chemicals Handbook '92. Meister
Publishing Company. Willoughby, OH.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1987. EPA Fact Sheet No.
147 Amitraz. U.S. EPA. Washington, DC.
Thomson, W. T. 1983. Agricultural Chemicals Book I Insecticides.
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Budavari, Susan, (ed.). 1989. The Merck Index, Eleventh Edition.
Merck and Company Inc. Rahway, NJ.
Briggs, Shirley. 1992. Basic Guide to Pesticides, Hemisphere
Publishing. Washington, DC.
Hayes Jr., Wayland, and E.R. Laws, Jr., (eds.) 1991. Handbook of
Pesticide Toxicology Volume 1. Academic Press, Inc., NY, NY.
Walker, M.M. and L.H. Keith. 1992. EPA Fact Sheet Database.
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Edwards, Dennis, U.S. EPA Product Manager. July 25, 1994. Phone
conversation. U.S. EPA. Washington, DC.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
1993. Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS). NIOSH.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Toxic
Substances and Disease Registry. 1990. Draft Health Assessment
Guidance Manual. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.