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Carbophenothion is an organophospate insecticide and an acaricide classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as a Restricted Use Pesticide (RUP) (#EXTOXNET PIP).

Just the facts

Physical Information

Name: Carbophenathion

Use: insecticide and acaricide

Source: synthetic chemistry

Recommended daily intake: none

Absorption: ingestion

Sensitive individuals: workers and homeowners who employ bensulide

Toxicity/symptoms: slightly toxic

Regulatory facts: General Use Pesticide

Environmental: toxic to aquatic organisms, bees, and slightly toxic to birds

Recommendations: use sparingly

Chemical Structure

Structure received from

Chemical Description

Pure carbophenthion is a yellow-brown liquid with a "mild mercaptan-like odor" and is stable, but soluble in most industrial solvents (#EXTOXNET PIP).

Uses and Benefits

It is applied on citrus fruits and cotton to control aphids and spider mites and is often combined with petroleum to neutralize numerous other pests as well (#EXTOXNET).

Health Effects

"Carbophenothion affects the nervous system by inhibiting chlolinesterase. Symptoms of poisoning include headache, blurred vision, weakness, nausea, discomfort in the chest, abdominal cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, salivation, sweating and pinpoint pupils (12, 16). It is highly toxic when eaten and nearly as toxic when absorbed through the skin."

There is no evidence of its chronic health effects.

Environmental Effects

Carbophenthion is highly toxic to birds, aquatic organisms, bees, and even certain citrus fruits including grapefruits (#EXTOXNET PIP).

It is not terribly persistent in the environment, leaving residues in soil for up to six months after application.


The EPA has classified carbophenothion as Category I - highly toxic. Products containing the active ingredient bear the SIGNAL WORD: DANGER (#EXTOXNET PIP).

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