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Hexaconazole — toxicity, side effects, diseases and environmental impacts

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 by

Hexaconazole is a broad spectrum systematic fungicide used to treat seed-borne and soil-borne diseases caused by ascomycetes, basidiomycetes, and imperfect fungi. It is a white crystalline solid applied via foliar methods on apples, grapes, bananas, and other fruits and vegetables. This chemical is sometimes used in formulas for wood preservatives. Hexaconazole acts by disrupting the membrane function and is a sterol biosynthesis inhibitor. It eradicates powdery mildew, rust, scab, brown blotch, anthracnose, and sheath blight in paddy rice.

This fungicide is not registered for use in the U.S., but is supplied by the Santa Cruz Biotechnology Incorporation in Santa Cruz, California. Human toxicity of hexaconazole has not been fully tested yet. It is harmful via the oral, dermal, and inhalation routes of exposure. Hexaconazole is toxic to aquatic life (fathead minnow, bobwhite quail, rainbow trout, water flea, mallard duck) with long-lasting residual and accumulative effects.

Chemical names for hexaconazole may include: (±)-a-Butyl-a-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-1H-1,2,4-triazole-1-ethanol; 1H-1,2,4-Triazole-1-ethanol, α-butyl-α-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-; alpha-butyl-alpha-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-1H-1,2,4-triazole-1-ethanol; C14-H17-Cl2-N3-O; 1H-1, 2, 4-triazole-1-ethanol, alpha-butyl-alpha-(2, 4-dichlorophenyl)-; alpha-butyl-alpha-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-1H-1, 2, 4-triazole-1-ethanol; (RS)-2-(2, 4-dichlorophenyl)-1-(1H-1, 2, 4-triazol-1-yl)hexan-2-ol; and azole pesticide/ fungicide.

Trade names include but are not limited to: Anvil, Blin, Contaf Plus, Blin Exa 5 SC, Canvil, Ranvil, Contaf, and Hexastar.

List of known side effects

Hexaconazole has been tested on laboratory animals. Experiments showed resulting side effects from toxicity from the said chemical.

Exposure to hexaconazole is accumulative, especially in occupational or long-term, repeated exposure. It may produce eye irritation, inflammation, and discomfort. It may also cause skin sensitization. There is limited evidence of a carcinogenic effect and is teratogenic (affecting embryo or fetus). A patient who ingested 500 milliliters of Hexastar (5.5 percent EC) experienced central nervous system depression and generalized trembling.

Animal experiments indicate that ingestion of less than 150 grams is fatal or may produce serious damage to the health of the specimen. Aromatase (enzyme that synthesizes estrogen) inhibitors can cause mood swings, weight gain, depression, vaginal dryness, hot flushes, and early menopause.

Long-term or repeated exposure may result in weakness of the bones, an increased risk of blood clots, gastrointestinal disturbances, and profuse sweating. Dermal exposure does not show signs of absorption, but wounds, cuts, abrasions, and lesions may be prone to hexaconazole contamination, causing systemic harm to the blood stream.

Individuals with respiratory problems may experience further disability if exposed to excessive amounts of hexaconazole.

Body systems affected by hexaconazole

In lab tests, hexaconazole exposure may result in central nervous system breakdown. It may also have carcinogenic effects. Hexaconazole cannot be absorbed through the skin, but may enter cuts or wounds and enter the blood stream from there. Lab tests show hexaconazole lowers chances of reproduction (reproductive system), and may be teratogenic (affects the embryo or fetus). Hexaconazole is also slightly carcinogenic. It may affect the liver and the thyroid.

Further testing and assessment is needed in order to identify its toxicity in humans.

Items that may contain hexaconazole

Food items that may contain hexaconazole are apples, grapes, bananas, melons, peppers, peanuts, coffee, cereal crops, and ornamental plants.

How to avoid hexaconazole

Avoid using chemical pesticides, especially at home. These pesticides and fungicides may contain hexaconazole which are acutely toxic.

When unavoidable (occupational), always wear protective gear, such as chemical gloves, boots, long-sleeved coveralls, full-head respirator and goggles. In foliar applications, make sure that the area is well-ventilated. Prevent the chemical from concentrating in hollows, ground holes, and sumps. Hexaconazole is accumulative, non-soluble, and is highly toxic to aquatic life forms. Empty containers must be transported to chemical waste facilities for proper disposal.

If swallowed, immediately contact emergency medical services or transport victim to the nearest emergency department. In instances of eye exposure, wash the affected eye with clean, running water. On skin exposure, wash the affected area immediately with soap and water. If the dust is inhaled, transfer victim to fresh air and seek immediate medical attention. While hexaconazole can be excreted through the urines, accumulation may occur in the bloodstream and in open wounds on the skin.

Where to learn more


Hexaconazole can cause central nervous sytem breakdowns, respiratory malfunction, and reproductive health issues.

Hexaconazole is teratogenic and is slightly carcinogenic.

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