cacodylic acid (Rad-E-Cate) Herbicide Profile 3/85
CHEMICAL NAME: Hydroxydimethylarsine oxide (58)
TRADE NAME(S): Rad-E-Cate 25, Phytar 560, Bolls-Eye (58).
FORMULATION(S): 3.25, 2.48 and 5.7 lb active liquid/gal, 65% water
soluble powder (8b).
TYPE: Organic arsenical herbicide
BASIC PRODUCER(S): Vertac Chemical Corp. Vineland Chemical Co., Inc.
5100 Poplar 1611 W. Wheat Rd.
Memphis, TN 38137 Vineland, NJ 08360
STATUS: General use
PRINCIPAL USES: Cacodylic acid is a contact herbicide which will
defoliate or desiccate a wide variety of plant species. The phytotoxic
properties of this herbicide are quickly inactivated on contact with
the soil. Current experimental uses include: weed control in crops
and in nut, fruit, and citrus orchards, and weed control in new
seedling areas. Commercial uses include: cotton defoliation, lawn
renovation, general weed control in noncrop areas such as around
buildings, near perennial ornamentals, along fence runs, and spot
control of noxious weeds and forest management practices (58).
APPLICATION METHOD(S): Used as a directed spray, postemergence (58).
Important Weeds Controlled: Nutgrass, dallisgrass, crabgrass,
Johnsongrass, Bermudagrass, spurge, pigweed, purslane, lambsquarters,
morningglory, Russian thistle, puncture vine, dodder, and many others.
Effectively used to kill grass under trees since it is not
root-absorbed. The higher the temperatures, the greater the activity
II. PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
MOLECULAR FORMULA: C2 H7 AS O2 (62)
MOLECULAR WEIGHT: 138.0 (62)
PHYSICAL STATE: Colorless crystals (pure compound). The technical
grade is 65% pure, sodium chloride being one
MELTING POINT: 192-198 C (pure compound) (62); 200 C (pure
SOLUBILITY: 2 kg/kg water at 25 C (pure compound) (62).
III. HEALTH HAZARD INFORMATION
OSHA STANDARD: None established
NIOSH RECOMMENDED LIMIT: None established
ACGIH RECOMMENDED LIMIT: None established
A. ACUTE TOXICITY
DERMAL: Primary dermal irritation index-rabbits-0.3.
Essentially nonirritating to the skin when
accidently applied topically. The skin irritation
of these various arsenicals vary from very mild to
none, depending on the acidity or alkalinity of
each formulation, and the skin sensitivity of the
exposed individual (58).
ORAL: LD50 = 1350 mg tech./kg (62); 830 mg/kg (young male
and female albino rats) (58).
EYES: Ocular irritation score-rabbits-2.0. Essentially
nonirritating to the eye when accidently exposed (58).
B. SUBACUTE AND CHRONIC TOXICITY:
Ten rats each at 226, 118, and 54 mg/kg over a feeding period of 3
weeks. The 226-mg/kg level showed evidence of reduced activity of
spermatogenia cells with some atrophic changes of the seminiferous
tubules. The findings were observed in animals of this group and not
in the control or 118-mg/kg group (58).
IV. ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS
Behavior In Or On Soils
1. Adsorption and leaching characteristics in basic soil types:
Almost completely inactivated in soil by surface adsorption and
2. Loss from photodecomposition and/or volatilization: None.
3. Resultant average persistence at recommended rates: The
phytotoxic properties of this herbicide are quickly inactivated on
contact with the soil (58).
V. EMERGENCY AND FIRST AID PROCEDURES
The chemical information provided below has been condensed from
original source documents, primarily from "Recognition and Management
of Pesticide Poisonings", 3rd ed. by Donald P. Morgan, which have been
footnoted. This information has been provided in this form for your
convenience and general guidance only. In specific cases, further
consultation and reference may be required and is recommended. This
information is not intended as a substitute for a more exhaustive
review of the literature nor for the judgement of a physician or other
If poisoning is suspected, do not wait for symptoms to develop.
Contact a physician, the nearest hospital, or the nearest Poison
SYMPTOMS: The symptoms of subacute poisoning with arsenicals are
usually a salty taste, a burning in the throat, and colicky pains in
the stomach and intestines. A garlicky odor of the breath and skin is
frequently present. The symptoms of acute poisoning are headache,
vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, stupor, convulsions, general paralysis,
and death. The dose of arsenicals required to give these acute
symptoms is from about 30 to 450 g (1 oz to 1 lb) of active material for
a normal-sized adult (58).
SKIN CONTACT: Flush contaminated HAIR and SKIN with copious
amounts of fresh water. WASH SKIN and HAIR with soap and water (25).
INGESTION: If accidental oral ingestion occurs, the stomach
should be emptied by vomiting and lavage with water, followed by a
saline cathartic, such as sodium sulfate (58).
EYE CONTACT: Flush contaminated EYES with copious amounts of
fresh water (25).
NOTES TO PHYSICIAN:
1. In poisonings by INGESTED ARSENICALS
A. INTUBATE the stomach, ASPIRATE, and LAVAGE with 3 liters of
isotonic saline or 5% sodium bicarbonate. Use all possible
precautions to avoid aspiration of vomitus:
(1) If victim is unconscious or obtunded, insert an
ENDOTRACHEAL TUBE (cuffed, if available) prior to
(2) Keep victim's HEAD BELOW LEVEL OF THE STOMACH during
intubation (Trendelenburg, or left lateral decubitus,
with head of table tipped downward). Keep victim's head
turned to the left.
(3) ASPIRATE pharynx as regularly as possible to remove
gagged or vomited stomach contents.
B. After lavage, INSTILL 30-50 gm ACTIVATED CHARCOAL in the
smallest amount of water necessary to deliver the charcoal
through the tube.
C. If diarrhea or colic has not ensued within an hour of gastric
lavage and charcoal administration, give SODIUM SULFATE as a
carthartic 0.25 gm/kg body weight in 1-6 ounces of water.
2. An ABDOMINAL X-RAY film is useful in detecting concretions of the
less soluble arsenicals (As2O3 and lead arsenate) in the gut. If
not removed these may become a repository of slowly absorbed
3. Administer INTRAVENOUS ELECTROLYTE and GLUCOSE solutions to
maintain hydration and to accelerate toxicant excretion, COMBAT
SHOCK with TRANSFUSIONS of WHOLE BLOOD, and by inhalation of 100%
CAUTION: Monitor urine flow via catheter. Monitor fluid balance,
body weight, and/or central venous pressure to guard
against fluid overload that may result if tubular
necrosis (anuria) supervenes.
4. Administer DIMERCAPROL (BAL) and PENICILLAMINE to accelerate
A. Give dimercaprol, 3-5 mg/kg q4h intramuscularly until
abdominal pain and diarrhea subside and patient is regularly
passing administered charcoal in the feces. IF victim is
ALLERGIC to PENICILLIN, continue dimercaprol therapy at 3-5
mg/kg q6h x 4 doses, then q12h x 2 doses, then q24h x 10
doses, monitoring urine arsenic excretion periodically to
CAUTION: DIMERCAPROL can cause troublesome side effects
(hypertension, tachycardia, nausea, headache,
paresthesiae and pain, lacrimation, sweating,
anxiety, and restlessness). Although usually not
so severe as to preclude treatment, they may
require antihistaminic therapy.
B. IF victim is NOT ALLERGIC to PENICILLIN, oral d-PENICILLAMINE
is the therapy of choice and should REPLACE dimercaprol
treatment as soon as the feces are laden with charcoal,
limiting gut absorption of arsenic. Adult dosage is 0.5 gm
four times daily (2 gm/day), given before meals, for 5 days.
Dosage for children is 0.025 gm/kg four times daily, not to
exceed 2 gm/day for 5 days.
CAUTION: Although oral d-penicillamine therapy is usually
better tolerated than intramuscular dimercaprol,
serious reactions to it have occurred: the most
common has been maculopapular rash, with fever,
leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, eosinophilia,
arthralgia and lymphadenopathy. It has also
induced the nephrotic syndrome on occasion, and has
caused thrombophlebitis, cheilosis, angioneurotic
edema, and even fatal agranulocytosis in particular
patients given the drug over long periods for
conditions unrelated to arsenic poisoning.
Penicilin sensitive individuals are likely to be
sensitive to d-penicillamine.
(a) A single 5-day course of d-penicillamine therapy is
usually sufficient. However, if symptoms recur after
treatment, additional d-penicillamine should be given at
a dosage just sufficient to abolish symptoms.
5. Intense abdominal pain may require morphine (adults, 12 years and
older: 4-15 mg; children under 12 years: 0.1 - 0.2 mg/kg).
6. Severe poisoning (especially when renal function is impaired) may
require HEMODIALYSIS to remove arsenic combined with dimercaprol
from the blood, and to control extracellular fluid composition.
HEMOPERFUSION may be useful, but its effectiveness has not been
VI. FIRE AND EXPLOSION INFORMATION
Compatible with hard waters. Mildly corrosive (58).
VIII. PROTECTIVE MEASURES
STORAGE AND HANDLING: Completely stable in storage (58). Keep out of
reach of children. Harmful if swallowed. Avoid inhalation of spray
mist. Avoid spray drift to desirable plants. Do not store near
fertilizers, seeds, insecticides, or fungicides (56).
PROTECTIVE CLOTHING: Rubber gloves, goggles or face shield for eye
protection, rubber apron (56).
IX. PROCEDURES FOR SPILLS AND LEAKS
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, CALL, DAY OR NIGHT
PESTICIDE TEAM SAFETY NETWORK/CHEMTREC
X. LITERATURE CITED
8b. Thomson, W.T. 1981. Agricultural chemicals - book 2:
herbicides. Revised ed. Thomson Publications, Fresno, CA.
25. Morgan, D.P. 1982. Recognition and management of pesticide
poisonings, 3rd ed. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
Washington, DC. 120 pp.
56. Farm Chemicals Handbook, 70th ed. 1984. R. T. Meister, G. L.
Berg, C. Sine, S. Meister, and J. Poplyk, eds. Meister
Publishing Co., Willoughby, OH.
58. Weed Science Society of America, Herbicide Handbook Committee.
1983. Herbicide handbook of the weed science society of
America, 5th ed. Weed Science Society of America, Champaign,
IL. 515 pp.
62. The Pesticide Manual: A World Compendium, 7th ed. 1983. C.R.
Worthing, ed. The British Crop Protection Council, Croydon,
England. 695 pp.