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Sulfuryl fluoride

Publication Date: 9/93

TRADE OR OTHER NAMES

Vikane

REGULATORY STATUS

All formulations of sulfuryl fluoride are Restricted Use Pesticides (RUP) and must bear the signal word "Danger" on the product label, because it poses an inhalation hazard (1, 4). RUPs may be purchased and used only by certified applicators.

INTRODUCTION

Sulfuryl fluoride is a gas fumigant used in structures, vehicles and wood products for control of drywood termites, wood-infesting beetles and certain other insects (1, 5). There are no registered uses for sulfuryl fluoride on food or feed crops (4).

TOXICOLOGICAL EFFECTS

ACUTE TOXICITY

Sulfuryl fluoride is a toxic gas which acts as a central nervous system depressant (2). Symptoms of poisoning include depression, slowed gait, slurred speech, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, drunkenness, itching, numbness, twitching, and seizures (2, 6). Inhalation may be fatal due to respiratory failure (1). Inhalation of high concentrations may cause respiratory tract irritation (2). Individuals with a history of chronic respiratory disease are at increased risk from exposure to sulfuryl fluoride (2). Skin contact with sulfuryl fluoride normally poses no hazard, but contact with liquid sulfuryl fluoride can cause pain and frostbite due to rapid vaporization (2).

Sulfuryl fluoride gas is odorless, colorless, does not cause tears or immediately noticeable eye irritation, and lacks any other property which would serve to warn persons of its presence (4). Chloropicrin is added to products containing sulfuryl fluoride to serve as a warning indicator.

Chloropicrin is a gas which causes eye and respiratory irritation and vomiting.

The oral LD50 for sulfuryl fluoride in rats and guinea pigs is 100 mg/kg (2). The 4-hour inhalation LC50 in rats is 991 ppm (2). The 1-hour LC50 in mice is 1,200 ppm, and in rabbits is 5,000 ppm (b). Concentrations of 1,000 ppm are immediately threatening to life and health (2).

CHRONIC TOXICITY

Long term exposure to high levels of sulfuryl fluoride may cause blood and bone effects (2). Repeated or prolonged exposure to sulfuryl fluoride may cause injury to lungs and kidneys, weakness, weight loss, anemia, bone brittleness, stiff joints, and general ill health (2). Long-term effects from sulfuryl fluoride may be due to the formation of fluoride ions (3, 4).

Rats, rabbits, guinea pigs and female rhesus monkeys tolerated air concentrations of 100 ppm (417 mg/m3) for 7 hours per day, 5 days a week for 6 months with no apparent adverse effects (3).

Reproductive Effects

Two generations of rats were exposed to air concentrations of 0, 5, 20 or 150 ppm. No adverse effects on reproduction or fertility were seen at any dose. Toxic effects on the mother were accompanied by reduced pup weight at the 150 ppm exposure level (7).

Teratogenic Effects

There were no birth defects in the offspring of pregnant rabbits and rats exposed to air concentrations of 255 ppm, the highest dose tested, during days 6-18 (rabbits) or days 6 through 15 (rats) of pregnancy for 6 hours/day. In rabbits, both the fetuses and the mothers exhibited decreased weight gain at 255 ppm (4).

Mutagenic Effects

Several tests have shown that sulfuryl fluoride is not mutagenic. It failed to produce unscheduled DNA synthesis in rat liver cells exposed to concentrations between 204 and 1,020 ppm (8). Examination of bone marrow from mice exposed to air concentrations of 50, 175 or 520 ppm sulfuryl fluoride for 4 hours showed no mutagenic effects (9). When sulfuryl fluoride was assayed with the Ames test for mutagenic effects in bacterial cell cultures, the results were negative (10).

Carcinogenic Effects

Tests for carcinogenicity are currently being conducted.

Organ Toxicity

No information was found.

Fate in Humans and Animals

No information was found.

ECOLOGICAL EFFECTS

Effects on Birds

Sulfuryl fluoride is a gas under normal conditions. It dissipates extremely rapidly after release into the environment. Exposure to birds is expected to be only at very low concentrations and of short duration.

Effects on Aquatic Organisms

Because use of sulfuryl fluoride is permitted only indoors, compliance with label directions will prevent exposure of aquatic organisms.

Effects on Other Animals (Nontarget species)

No information was found.

ENVIRONMENTAL FATE

Environmental effects from sulfuryl fluoride are expected to be negligible because this fumigant is applied only indoors or in sealed structures (4).

Breakdown of Chemical in Soil and Groundwater

Sulfuryl fluoride is a gas. It will not leach or contaminate groundwater.

Breakdown of Chemical in Surface Water

Sulfuryl fluoride is not readily hydrolyzed by water (3). The products of hydrolysis are sulfate and fluoride.

Breakdown of Chemical in the Atmosphere

Sulfuryl fluoride dissipates quickly in the atmosphere and is broken down through hydrolysis and photodegradation.

PHYSICAL PROPERTIES AND GUIDELINES

Sulfuryl fluoride is a colorless, odorless, compressed gas (1). It is stable under normal temperatures and pressures, but containers may rupture in the heat of a fire. Keep containers away from heat and flame and avoid breathing the gas or contact of the gas with eyes, skin and clothing. Use only where there is adequate ventilation (2). Thermal decomposition may release toxic and corrosive fumes of hydrogen fluoride and oxides of sulfur (2). Fire causes the product Vikane to break down to a very corrosive substance (6).

Persons handling sulfuryl fluoride should not work alone (6).

Exposure Guidelines:

OSHA TWA: 5 ppm (21 mg/m3) (2)
OSHA STEL: 10 ppm (42 mg/m3) (2)
ACGIH TWA: 5 ppm (21 mg/m3) (2)
ACGIH TWA: 10 ppm (42 mg/m3) (2)
NIOSH Recommended TWA: 5 ppm (21 mg/m3) (2)
NIOSH Recommended STEL: 10 ppm (42 mg/m3) (2)
TLV: 5 ppm (1)
STEL: 10 ppm (1)

Physical Properties:

CAS #: 2699-79-8
Chemical name: sulfuryl fluoride
Chemical Class/Use: inorganic fumigant
Specific gravity: 1.8 at -80 degrees C (2)
Vapor density: 3.72 g/l (2, 4); 3.95 lb/cu ft.
H20 solubility: practically insoluble (1); 10% at 9{C (2); 0.75 g/kg at 25 degrees C (3)
Solubility in other solvents: soluble in alcohol, toluene, carbon tetrachloride (2); low solubility in most organic solvents, miscible with methyl bromide (3).
Melting point: -214 degrees F (-137 degrees C) (2)
Boiling point: -67-68{F (-55{C) (2)
Vapor pressure: 9150 mm Hg at 50 degrees F (10 degrees C) (1); > 760 mm Hg at 20 degrees C (2)

BASIC MANUFACTURER

DowElanco
9002 Purdue Rd.
Indianapolis IN 46268-1189

Review by Basic Manufacturer:

Comments solicited: April, 1993
Comments received: April, 1993

REFERENCES

  1. Meister, R.T. (ed.). 1992. Farm Chemicals Handbook '92. Meister Publishing Company, Willoughby, OH.
  2. Occupational Health Services, Inc. 1992 (Nov. 24). MSDS for Sulfuryl Fluoride. OHS Inc., Secaucus, NJ.
  3. Hayes, W.J. and E.R. Laws (eds.). 1990. Handbook of Pesticide Toxicology, Classes of Pesticides, Vol. 3. Academic Press, Inc., NY.
  4. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. June 30, 1985. Pesticide Fact Sheet Number 51: Sulfuryl Fluoride. US EPA, Office of Pesticide Programs, Registration Div., Washington, DC.
  5. British Crop Protection Council. 1983. The Pesticide Manual: A World Compendium, 7th ed. Croydon, England.
  6. California Dept. of Food and Agriculture. Sept. 15, 1979. HS-599: Information on the Safe Handling of Pesticides Containing Sulfuryl Fluoride (Vikane). Div. of Pest Management, Environmental Protection and Worker Safety, California Dept. of Food and Agriculture, Sacramento, CA.
  7. Breslin, W.J., et al. Sulfuryl Fluoride: Two generation inhalation reproduction study in Sprague-Dawley rats, Summary. DowElanco, Indianapolis, IN.
  8. Gollapudi, B.B., et al. Oct. 7, 1991. Evaluation of sulfuryl fluoride in the rat hepatocyte unscheduled DNA synthesis (UDS) assay, Summary (Study ID TXT: K-016399-043). DowElanco, Indianapolis, IN.
  9. Gollapudi, B.B., et al. Feb. 16, 1990. Evaluation of sulfuryl fluoride in the mouse bone marrow micronucleus test, Summary Study ID TXT: K-016399-033). DowElanco, Indianapolis, IN.
  10. Gollapudi, B.B., et al. Aug. 17, 1990. Evaluation of sulfuryl fluoride in the Ames salmonella/mammalian-microsome bacterial mutagenicity assay, Summary (Study ID TXT: K-016399-037). DowElanco, Indianapolis, IN.