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Phosmet – toxicity, side effects, diseases and environmental impacts

Saturday, November 18, 2017 by

An entry posted on the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry website classifies phosmet as a non-systemic insecticide and acaricide. According to the article, the insecticide is commonly used to control a wide array of pests such as aphids, mites, fruit flies and codling moth. The organothiophosphorus compound is also used to effectively address pig mange. Phosmet is first introduced in 1962, and is applied to various crops, vines and ornamental plants. It is off-white crystalline solid in appearance and emits a foul odor.

List of known side effects

Phosmet is a highly carcinogenic compound that causes reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity and acute toxicity, an article featured on the Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) website reveals. The entry stresses that exposure to the harmful pesticide is known to target the central nervous system  and cause systemic depression, excessive sweating and salivation, unconsciousness and seizures.

Phosmet exposure is also shown to negatively impact muscle health. According to the PANNA article, exposure to the harmful insecticide may lead to malaise, tremors and general muscle weakness. In addition, phosmet poisoning may trigger headache, fatigue and dizziness. The hazardous compound may also increase the odds of developing severe respiratory irritation, pulmonary edema and slowed heart beat. Phosmet exposure may result in chest discomfort and tightness, incontinence and lung fluid accumulation as well.

Furthermore, the hazardous insecticide is found to trigger a plethora of digestive system disorders. Phosmet poisoning is known to cause bowel incontinence, nausea, stomach cramps and diarrhea. The non-systemic insecticide is detrimental to eye health as well. Data show that direct eye contact may lead to blurred vision, excessive tearing and pupil contraction.

Pub Chem entry has also revealed that the selective insecticide may contaminate waterways and negatively affect aquatic ecosystems and animals. Likewise, phosmet is recognized as highly toxic to birds and other beneficial insects such as honeybees.

Body systems affected by phosmet

Phosmet is particularly harmful to the central nervous system. Likewise, the hazardous substance may negatively affect the heart, muscles and the respiratory system. The toxic compound is also known to target the digestive tract, the eyes and the urinary system.

Items that can contain phosmet

The Extension Toxicology Network website reveals that many trade name insecticides – such as Appa, Decemthion, Fesdan, Imidan, Kemolate, Prolate, PMC and Safidon – contain phosmet as a key ingredient. The chemical can also be used in combination with other insecticides including carbophenothion.

How to avoid phosmet

A safety data sheet released by Chem Service recommends wearing protective clothing, gloves and respiratory equipment to lower the odds of chemical exposure. The data sheet also suggests that workplaces install adequate ventilation to reduce the risk of exposure. The guidelines note that people exposed to the harmful chemical should contact a poison control center or seek immediate medical attention. The safety guidelines also suggest that people immediately evacuate the area to avoid direct contact if an accidental spill occurs.

Where to learn more


Phosmet causes reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity and acute toxicity.

Phosmet triggers central nervous system depression, unconsciousness and seizures.

Phosmet raises the odds of muscle conditions, digestive issues and eye disorders.

Phosmet targets the central nervous system, the heart, muscles and the respiratory system.

Phosmet is detrimental to the digestive tract, the eyes and the urinary system.


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