fenitrothion (Sumithion) Chemical Profile 4/85
CHEMICAL NAME: O,O-Dimethyl O-(3-methyl-4-nitrophenyl) phosphoro-
DEC INGRED. CODE:
TRADE NAME(S): Sumithion, Accothion, Agrothion, Cytel, Dybar,
Folithion, Novathion, Nuvanol (56)
FORMULATION(S): Emulsifiable concentrate, ULV, wettable powder,
granules, dust. Oil-based liquid spray (56).
TYPE: Organophosphate insecticide-miticide
BASIC PRODUCER(S): Sumitomo Chemical Co., LTD.
15 5-chome, Kitahama
Higashi-ku, Osaka, Japan
STATUS: General use
PRINCIPAL USES: For controlling chewing and sucking insects on rice,
orchard fruits, vegetables, cereals, cotton, and forest. Also fly,
mosquito, and cockroach control on farms and in public health programs
by residual contact sprays (56).
Important Pests Controlled: Aphids, leafhoppers, plant hoppers, rice
borers, mites, armyworms, bollworm, bollweevils, cockroaches, bedbugs,
mosquitoes, flies, gnats, whiteflies, scale, thrips, codling moths, mealy
bugs, pear psylla, stem borers, spruce budworm, lygus bugs and many
Gives a fast clean-up with long residual effectiveness. Somewhat
effective against mites. Most effective against sucking and biting
insects. Good penetrative action. Expressed ovicidal activity. Non-
systemic. Considered as effective as parathion but much safer to handle
II. PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
MOLECULAR FORMULA: C9 H12 NO5 P S (62)
MOLECULAR WEIGHT: 277.2 (62)
PHYSICAL STATE: Yellow-brown liquid (technical grade) (62)
BOILING POINT: 140-145 C (decomp.)/0.1 mmHg (technical grade) (62)
VAPOR PRESSURE: 18 mPa at 20 C (technical grade) (62)
SOLUBILITY: 14 mg/l water at 30C (technical grade) (62)
III. HEALTH HAZARD INFORMATION
OSHA STANDARD: None established
NIOSH RECOMMENDED LIMIT: None established
ACGIH RECOMMENDED LIMIT: None established
A. ACUTE TOXICITY
DERMAL: LD50 = 1300 mg/kg (rat) (56)
LD50 (rat) = 890 mg/kg (male), 1200 mg/kg (female)
No irritation (39)
ORAL: LD50 = 800 mg/kg (female rat) (62)
EYES: No eye irritation (39)
B. SUBACUTE AND CHRONIC TOXICITY:
Rats (15 males and 15 females per group) were orally administered at
doses of 0, 2.5, 5 and 10 ppm dietary level of Sumithion for 92 weeks to
check cholinesterase activity. No depression of cholinesterase activity
of plasma and red blood cell was observed throughout the experimental
period by the feeding of 2.5 ppm Sumithion. Plasma (but not red blood
cell) cholinesterase activity showed a slight decrease at 5 ppm level
during the early period of feeding, but it recovered to the same level as
the control group. At 10 ppm level the depression of plasma and red
blood cell cholinesterase was more significant but again they tended to
recovery with the longer feeding. No reduction was observed in the brain
cholinesterase activity in any dosage group at the termination of
feeding. The maximum no-effect level Sumithion estimated from the effect
of cholinesterase activity was to be 5 ppm. No adverse effects were
observed histopathologically on all tissues examined (39).
Technical Sumithion was administered to pregnant albino rabbits at
daily rates of 0.3 mg/kg and 1.0 mg/kg of body weight for 13 days early
in gestation. Pregnant rabbits of the positive control group were given
daily an oral dose of Thalidomide (37.5 mg/kg/day), and the results
obtained demonstrated susceptibility of this strain to teratogenic
agents. No adverse effects on body weight gain were noted which could
be attributed to fenitrothion. No deaths or unusual reactions were
noted among females. Fetal mortality was not affected by the treatment
with Sumithion nor were any external and skeletal abnormalities
observed among the fetuses obtained from dams treated with Sumithion
IV. ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS
Some hazard to birds, fish, and beneficial insects. Hazardous to
honey bees. Biological magnification unlikely. Certain fruit and
vegetable crops have been injured by high rates. Check label (1).
LC50 (48 hr) for carp is 4.1 mg/l (62).
Test Fish Formulation TLM (ppm) Exposure Time (hr)
_________ ___________ _________ __________________
Cyprinus carpio Tech. grade 4.4 48
Cyprinus auratus Tech. grade 3.4 48
Orizias latipes Tech. grade 3.8 48
Eel 2% Dust >10 24
Eel 2% dust >10 48
Rainbow trout 50% EC 3.2 48
Toxicity to Honey Bees:
No initial or residual fumigant toxicity level.
Equivalent full rate of application
Insecticides Formulation (kg-active ingredient per ha)
____________ ___________ _____________________________
Bromophos 20% EC 0.50
DDT 20% EC 1.00
Malathion 50% EC 1.25
Sumithion 60% EC 1.13
Fate of Residue in Soil and Water:
Sumithion was very stable under sterile acidic conditions at 37 C,
while under alkaline conditions it was hydrolyzed rapidly with a
half-life of 3 days and less than 24 hours at pH 11 and pH 13,
Fate of Sumithion in river water with sediment was demonstrated
by using actual river water containing 2.5, 5.0 and 10.0 mg per liter
of Sumithion. The half-life of Sumithion in river water was
approximately 50 hours in aerated sample and 30-40 hours in the
non-aerated samples because of aerophobic bacteria (39).
Decomposition and leaching of Sumithion in four different types of
soil were studied under laboratory conditions. C-14 labeled Sumithion
at 10 ppm was added to 2 kinds of silty loam, sandy loam and sandy
soil, and kept at 25 C in the dark under upland or submerged
conditions. Under upland conditions Sumithion was decomposed with
half-lives of 12-28 days depending on the types of soil. Major
decomposition products were 3-methyl-4-nitrophenol and carbon dioxide.
3-methyl-4-nitrophenol formed during early period of incubation,
amounted to 10-20%, while the amount of carbon dioxide reacted
approximately 40% after 60 day incubation in the silty loam and the
sandy soil. Under submerged conditions decomposition of Sumithion was
even more rapid in comparison with upland condition and
amino-Sumithion, the major metabolite was produced quite rapidly; in
the silty and sandy loam 50-70% of Sumithion was converted to amino
Sumithion in approximately 10 days. Since Sumithion was stable in
sterilized soil, microorganisms might play a major role in the
decomposition, fungi being likely to be more active than bacteria. In
the leaching study, Sumithion and its radioactive decomposition
products were hardly eluted from three types of soil and remained at or
near the top. Only in sandy soil with low organic matter and clay
content, these compounds were loosely bound to the soil and migrated
easily with moving water. The soil bacteria Bacillus subtilis,
converted more than half of P-32 labeled Sumithion to the amino
analogue under aerobic conditions at 37 C in 24 hours. Sumithion is
gradually inactivated by other bacterial species including
gram-positive and gram-negative ones, but not by fungi and yeasts (39).
Approximate Residual Period: 1-3 weeks on plants and inert surfaces (1).
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 sub-
stitute for a more exhaustive review of the literature nor for the
judgement of a physician or other trained professional.
If poisoning is suspected, do not wait for symptoms to develop.
Contact a physician, the nearest hospital, or the nearest Poison
FREQUENT SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS OF POISONING BY ORGANOPHOSPHATE PESTICIDES
Symptoms of acute poisoning develop during exposure or within 12
hours (usually within four hours) of contact. HEADACHE, DIZZINESS,
WEAKNESS, INCOORDINATION, MUSCLE TWITCHING, TREMOR, NAUSEA, ABDOMINAL
CRAMPS, DIARRHEA, and SWEATING are common early symptoms. Blurred or
dark vision, confusion, tightness in the chest, wheezing, productive
cough, and PULMONARY EDEMA may occur. Incontinence, unconsciousness
and convulsions indicate very severe poisoning. SLOW HEARTBEAT,
salivation, and tearing are common. TOXIC PSYCHOSIS, with manic or
bizarre behavior, has led to misdiagnosis of acute alcoholism. Slowing
of the heartbeat may rarely progress to complete sinus arrest.
RESPIRATORY DEPRESSION may be fatal. Continuing daily absorption of
organophosphate at intermediate dosage may cause an INFLUENZA-LIKE
ILLNESS characterized by weakness, anorexia, and malaise (25).
SKIN CONTACT: Bathe and shampoo victim with soap and water if
there is any chance that skin and hair are contaminated (25).
INGESTION: If victim is alert and respiration is not depressed,
give Syrup of Ipecac, followed by 1-2 glasses of water to induce
vomiting. Adults (12 years and over): 30 ml; children under 12 years: 15
NOTES TO PHYSICIAN:
Administer ATROPINE SULFATE intravenously, or intramuscularly, if IV
injection is not possible.
In MODERATELY SEVERE poisoning: Adult dosage: 0.4-2.0 mg repeated
every 15 minutes until atropinization is achieved: tachycardia (pulse
of 140 per minute), flushing, dry mouth, dilated pupils. Maintain
atropinization by repeated doses for 2-12 hours or longer depending on
severity of poisoning.
Dosage for children under 12 years: 0.05 mg/kg body weight, repeated
every 15 minutes until atropinization is achieved. Maintain
atropinization with repeated dosage of 0.02-0.05 mg/kg.
SEVERELY POISONED individuals may exhibit remarkable tolerance to
atropine; two or more times the dosages suggested above may be needed.
Administer PRALIDOXIME (Protopam (TM)-Ayerst, 2-PAM) in cases of severe
poisoning in which respiratory depression, muscle weakness and
twitchings are severe.
Adult dosage: 1.0 gm intravenously at no more than 0.5 gm per minute.
Child's dose (under 12 years): 20-50 mg/kg (depending on severity of
poisoning) intravenously, injecting no more than half the total dose
Dosage of pralidoxime may be repeated in 1-2 hours, then at 10-12 hour
intervals if needed. In very severe poisonings, dosage rates may be
VI. FIRE AND EXPLOSION INFORMATION
To be developed.
Generally compatible with most orchard pesticides (1). Compatible
with most conventional insecticides and fungicides. However, when
mixed with alkaline materials, Sumithion should be used as soon as
VIII. PROTECTIVE MEASURES
STORAGE AND HANDLING: Do not store near feed or feed products. Keep
container closed. Keep out of reach of children. Decontaminate,
destroy and do not reuse empty containers. Do not get in eyes, on
skin, or on clothing. Do not breathe vapor or mist. Keep away from
heat, sparks, and open flame (39).
PROTECTIVE CLOTHING: While handling, wear protective gloves and goggles
or full face shield (56).
IX. PROCEDURES FOR SPILLS AND LEAKS
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, CALL, DAY OR NIGHT
PESTICIDE TEAM SAFETY NETWORK/CHEMTREC
X. LITERATURE CITED
1. Harding, W.C. 1979. Pesticide profiles, part one: insecticides
and miticides. Univ. Maryland, Coop. Ext. Serv. Bull. 267.
8a. Thomson, W. T. 1976. Agricultural chemicals - book 1:
insecticides, acaricides, and ovicides. Revised ed. Thomson
Publ., Indianapolis, IN. 232 pp.
25. Morgan, D.P. 1982. Recognition and management of pesticide
poisonings, 3rd ed. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
Washington, DC. 120 pp.
39. Sumitomo Chemical Co., LTD. 1977. Technical manual: Sumithion.
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.
62. The Pesticide Manual: A World Compendium, 7th ed. 1983. C.R.
Worthing, ed. The British Crop Protection Council, Croydon,
England. 695 pp.