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Fonofos is a highly toxic organophosphate insecticide whose use has been discontinued in both the USA and Canada (#PMRA, 2000). It was used primarily on corn, but was also applied to sugar cane, peanuts, tobacco, turf, and some vegetable crops to controls aphids, corn borer, corn rootworm, corn wireworm, cutworms, white grubs, and some maggots (#EXTOXNET). It was discontinued in Canada in 2000 and the at the end of 2001 in the USA (#PMRA).


  1. #Chemical Description
  2. #Uses
  3. #Health Effects
  4. #Environmental Effects
  5. #Precautions
  6. #Current Events
  7. #Regulation
  8. #Advocacy and Opinion
  9. #External Links
  10. #References



    Just the facts

    Physical Information

    Name: Fonofos

    Use: insecticide

    Source: synthetic chemistry

    Recommended daily intake: none

    Absorption: dermal inhalation, ingestion

    Sensitive individuals: children

    Regulatory facts: discontinued

    Chemical Structure

Chemical Description

It is a light yellow liquid at room temperature (#OSHA).


It is an organophosphate insecticide that was used primarily on corn (#EXTOXNET).

Health Effects

Fonofos is highly toxic via the oral route while inhalation of fonofos is moderately toxic and symptoms may be delayed until 12 hours after exposure (#EXTOXNET). The symptoms of fonofos exposure are similar to that of other Organophosphates. Because of the high toxicity of fonofos, smaller exposures to fonofos may still result in symptoms.

Acute Effects
Fonofos is an [organophosphate insecticide|organophosphates} and is, therefore, a Cholinesterase Inhibitor. Symptoms of acute exposure include:
* blurred vision
* headache
* dizziness
* sweating and muscle twitching (skin contact)
* tearing, pain, and blurring in the eyes
* nausea
* abdominal cramps
* diarrhea
* death from respiratory arrest is possible

Chronic Toxicity
Symptoms of chronic toxicity of fonofos are similiar to the acute symptoms highlighted above though the toxicity is debatable (#EXTOXNET).

Environmental Effects

Fonofos is highly toxic to birds, aquatic organisms and fish, and honey bees (#EXTOXNET).


Fonofos is discontinued in the USA and Canada (#PMRA).



Health Canada Pest Management Regulatory Agency. "Re-evaluation Note: Discontinuation of the Organophosphate Insecticide Fonofos". Accessed 6-19-07.

Extension Toxicology Network. Pesticide Information Profile - Fenofos. Accessed 6-19-07.

Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). Chemical Sampling Information - Fonofos. Accessed 6-19-07.

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