Toxno Substance Profile
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Substance Name

Dimethoate
Identification Number: CASRN | 60-51-5

  Substance Attributes


  • Neurotoxic Properties

    Negative impact on brain and nervous system.

  • Metabolic Interference or Disruption

    Interferes with human metabolism. This can be a very serious thing. Some of these interference mechanics are well established. However, often long term effects and health consequences remain largely unknown. Additionally an emerging area of concern and one that is not currently studied, is the combined synergistic effects these metabolically disrupting chemicals have on human health.


    Metabolic interference happens when the substance produces highly reactive and often damaging intermediates during detoxification or when the substance binds to specific enzymes, important structural groups on molecules, receptors and membranes or targets DNA or mimics key nutrients.

  • Exposure Produces Health Symptoms

    Symptoms maybe short term or long term depending on the exposure duration and intensity and effects areas like Cardiovascular, Gastrointestinal, Cognition, Fatigue. A substance with this attribute may cause an allergic skin reaction, serious eye irritation, allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled.

  • Serious Acute Effects

    This is a serious nasty substance. Effects are Acute (seen immediately). Substances in this category may be FATAL or acutely toxic if inhaled, skin contact or swallowed. See further details.

  • Toxic to Bees

    Bees pollinate plants. No pollination no plants. No plants no food. We go hungry or starve.

These attributes are ONLY based on peer-reviewed evidence. See link to Data Sources below. Everyone benefits from knowing this stuff. Please Share.



  • CATEGORIES: Pesticide | Household Toxin | Synthetic Toxin | PESTICIDE active ingredient | organic | insecticide | acaricide | Pesticide or Plant Growth Regulator Approved in Australia | Pesticide approved in USA (California) | Pesticide approved or pending approval in EU | Highly Toxic and Dangerous to bees. Currently used in USA | Australia as a pesticide | A Hazardous Substance that may be found in the Australian Workplace
  • SUBSTANCE LINEAGE: Organic Compounds | Organophosphorus Compounds | Organothiophosphorus Compounds | Organic Dithiophosphoric Acids and Derivatives | Thia Fatty Acids
  • SYNONYMS: 2-Dimethoxyphosphinothioylthio-N-methylacetamide | Cygon | Cygon 2-E | Cygon 400 | Cygon 4E | Cygon insecticide | Daphene | De-fend | Demos-L40 | Devigon | Dimate 267 | Dimetate | Dimethoate 30 EC | Dimethoate solution | Dimethogen | Dimethoic acid | Dimethyl S-((methylcarbamoyl)methyl) phosphorodithioate | Dimethyl S-(N-(methylcarbamoyl)methyl) phosphorodithioate | Dimeton | Dimevur | Ferkethion | Fortion NM | Fosfamid | Fosfatox R | Fosfotox | Fosfotox R | Fosfotox R 35 | Fostion MM | Lurgo | Maxima phlanzenschutz | O,O-dimethyl methylcarbamoylmethyl phosphorodithioate | O,O-dimethyl S-((methylcarbamoyl)methyl)phosphorodithioate | O,O-dimethyl S-(N-methylcarbamoylmethyl) dithiophosphate | O,O-dimethyl S-(N-methylcarbamoylmethyl) phosphorodithioate | O,O-dimethyl S-(N-methylcarbamylmethyl) thiothionophosphate | O,O-dimethyl S-methylcarbamoylmethyl phosphorodithioate | O,O-Dimethyl S-[2-(methylamino)-2-oxoethyl] dithiophosphate | O,O-Dimethyl-S-(2-oxo-3-aza-butyl)-dithiophosphate | Perfecthion | Perfekthion | Phosphamid | Phosphamide | Phosphorodithioic acid | O,O-dimethyl S-(2-(methylamino)-2-oxoethyl) ester | Racusan | Rebelate | Rogodan | Rogor | Rogor 20L | Rogor 40 | Rogor l | Rogor p | Roxion | Roxion ua | S-methylcarbamoylmethyl O,O-dimethyl phosphorodithioate | Sevigor | Sinoratox | Sistemin | Solut | Systemic insecticide | Systemin | Systoate | Trimetion | Turbair
  • DESCRIPTION: Dimethoate is an organophosphate insecticide used to kill mites and insects systemically and on contact. It is used against a wide range of insects, including aphids, thrips, planthoppers and whiteflies on ornamental plants, alfalfa, apples, corn, cotton, grapefruit, grapes, lemons, melons, oranges, pears, pecans, safflower, sorghum, soybeans, tangerines, tobacco, tomatoes, watermelons, wheat and other vegetables. It is also used as a residual wall spray in farm buildings for house flies. Dimethoate has been administered to livestock for control of botflies. Dimethoate is moderately toxic and severe poisoning affects the central nervous system. (L1188)
  • COMMENTS: Residues of this pesticide are tested for on Australian Foods | Pesticide approved in Australia Dangerous to bees. DO NOT spray any plants in flower where bees are foraging.

    From Safe Work Australia and the Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) in Australia:

    Fatal if swallowed. Toxic in contact with skin . Harmful if inhaled. May cause an allergic skin reaction. Causes damage to the nervous system through prolonged or repeated exposure if swallowed | Chronic Health Hazard Acutely Toxic | A Hazardous Substance that may be found in the Australian Workplace. Check with your employer or health and safety officer. Stay informed and become aware of the dangers that surround you. This chemical is included on the list of recognised hazardous chemicals from the Safe Work Australia - Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) that is based on the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)

    Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations are the basis for hazardous chemicals regulations in Commonwealth, State and Territory jurisdictions in Australia. Under the model WHS Regulations, manufacturers and importers of substances, mixtures and articles supplied for use in workplaces are required to determine whether they are hazardous to health and safety before supply. The model WHS Regulations mandate that the hazards of a chemical as determined by the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) must be included in safety data sheets and on labels. There are transitional arrangements in place for moving to the GHS-based system.

    The GHS Hazardous Chemical Information List contains chemicals classified by an authoritative source (such as the European Commission or NICNAS) in accordance with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (the GHS). This list contains the vast majority of chemicals currently in HSIS. This list and its detail are regularly updated by Work Safe Australia. The model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations require chemicals to be classified in accordance with the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). However transitional arrangements allow use of classification information in HSIS derived from the Approved Criteria until the 31 December 2016.
  • toxin chemical structure pubchem
  • FORMULA: C5H12NO3PS2
  • DATA SOURCES: DATA SOURCES: T3DB | PubChem | Consolidated Pesticide Information Dataset (CPI) from the USA EPA | Compendium of Pesticide Common Names | APVMA | DPR | EU Pesticides | Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation; Honeybee pesticide poisoning: a risk management tool for Australian farmers and beekeepers 2012 | Beekeeping -Department of Entomology - PROTECTING HONEY BEES FROM PESTICIDES, Christian H. Krupke et al.; www.extension.purdue.edu | Safe Work Australia - Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS)
  • LAST UPDATE: 28/04/2018

  Health Associations

Mostly focused on Health Implications of Long Term Exposure to this substance

  • SYMPTOMS: The first symptoms include bloody or runny nose, coughing, chest discomfort, difficult or short breath, and wheezing due to constriction or excess fluid in the bronchial tubes. Skin contact may cause localized sweating and involuntary muscle contractions. Eye contact will cause pain, bleeding, tears, pupil constriction, and blurred vision. Other symptoms following any way of exposure may include pallor, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, dizziness, eye pain, blurred vision, constriction or dilation of the eye pupils, tears, salivation, sweating, and confusion. Severe poisoning will affect the central nervous system, producing incoordination, slurred speech, loss of reflexes, weakness, fatigue, involuntary muscle contractions, twitching, tremors of the tongue or eyelids, and eventually paralysis of the body extremities and the respiratory muscles. In severe cases there may also be involuntary defecation or urination, psychosis, irregular heart beats, unconsciousness, convulsions and coma. Death may be caused by respiratory failure or cardiac arrest. (L1188)
  • POSSIBLE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES: Acute exposure to cholinesterase inhibitors can cause a cholinergic crisis characterized by severe nausea/vomiting, salivation, sweating, bradycardia, hypotension, collapse, and convulsions. Increasing muscle weakness is a possibility and may result in death if respiratory muscles are involved. Accumulation of ACh at motor nerves causes overstimulation of nicotinic expression at the neuromuscular junction. When this occurs symptoms such as muscle weakness, fatigue, muscle cramps, fasciculation, and paralysis can be seen. When there is an accumulation of ACh at autonomic ganglia this causes overstimulation of nicotinic expression in the sympathetic system. Symptoms associated with this are hypertension, and hypoglycemia. Overstimulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the central nervous system, due to accumulation of ACh, results in anxiety, headache, convulsions, ataxia, depression of respiration and circulation, tremor, general weakness, and potentially coma. When there is expression of muscarinic overstimulation due to excess acetylcholine at muscarinic acetylcholine receptors symptoms of visual disturbances, tightness in chest, wheezing due to bronchoconstriction, increased bronchial secretions, increased salivation, lacrimation, sweating, peristalsis, and urination can occur. Certain reproductive effects in fertility, growth, and development for males and females have been linked specifically to organophosphate pesticide exposure. Most of the research on reproductive effects has been conducted on farmers working with pesticides and insecticdes in rural areas. In females menstrual cycle disturbances, longer pregnancies, spontaneous abortions, stillbirths, and some developmental effects in offspring have been linked to organophosphate pesticide exposure. Prenatal exposure has been linked to impaired fetal growth and development. Neurotoxic effects have also been linked to poisoning with OP pesticides causing four neurotoxic effects in humans: cholinergic syndrome, intermediate syndrome, organophosphate-induced delayed polyneuropathy (OPIDP), and chronic organophosphate-induced neuropsychiatric disorder (COPIND). These syndromes result after acute and chronic exposure to OP pesticides. | Metabolism of organophosphates occurs principally by oxidation, by hydrolysis via esterases and by reaction with glutathione. Demethylation and glucuronidation may also occur. Oxidation of organophosphorus pesticides may result in moderately toxic products. In general, phosphorothioates are not directly toxic but require oxidative metabolism to the proximal toxin. The glutathione transferase reactions produce products that are, in most cases, of low toxicity. Paraoxonase (PON1) is a key enzyme in the metabolism of organophosphates. PON1 can inactivate some organophosphates through hydrolysis. PON1 hydrolyzes the active metabolites in several organophosphates insecticides as well as, nerve agents such as soman, sarin, and VX. The presence of PON1 polymorphisms causes there to be different enzyme levels and catalytic efficiency of this esterase, which in turn suggests that different individuals may be more susceptible to the toxic effect of organophosphate exposure.
  • ACTION OF TOXIN: Dimethoate is a cholinesterase or acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitor. A cholinesterase inhibitor (or 'anticholinesterase') suppresses the action of acetylcholinesterase. Because of its essential function, chemicals that interfere with the action of acetylcholinesterase are potent neurotoxins, causing excessive salivation and eye-watering in low doses, followed by muscle spasms and ultimately death. Nerve gases and many substances used in insecticides have been shown to act by binding a serine in the active site of acetylcholine esterase, inhibiting the enzyme completely. Acetylcholine esterase breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is released at nerve and muscle junctions, in order to allow the muscle or organ to relax. The result of acetylcholine esterase inhibition is that acetylcholine builds up and continues to act so that any nerve impulses are continually transmitted and muscle contractions do not stop. Among the most common acetylcholinesterase inhibitors are phosphorus-based compounds, which are designed to bind to the active site of the enzyme. The structural requirements are a phosphorus atom bearing two lipophilic groups, a leaving group (such as a halide or thiocyanate), and a terminal oxygen. |
  • TOXIN SITES OF ACTION IN CELL: "Cytoplasm", "Extracellular"
  • Additional Exposure Routes: Dimethoate is an organophosphate insecticide used to kill mites and insects systemically and on contact. It is used against a wide range of insects, including aphids, thrips, planthoppers and whiteflies on ornamental plants, alfalfa, apples, corn, cotton, grapefruit, grapes, lemons, melons, oranges, pears, pecans, safflower, sorghum, soybeans, tangerines, tobacco, tomatoes, watermelons, wheat and other vegetables. It is also used as a residual wall spray in farm buildings for house flies. Dimethoate has been administered to livestock for control of botflies. (L1188)

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  Exposure Routes

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