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Triazophos – toxicity, side effects, diseases and environmental impacts

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 by

Triazophos is an organophosphorus compound most commonly used in insecticides, nematicides, and acaricides. It appears as an oily, yellow-brown liquid in its pure form, but is usually supplied as a wettable powder, emulsifiable concentrate, or granules.

Although its intended applications are against the insects, mites, and nematodes that target plant crops and ornamentals, triazophos is known to be harmful to other animals too. Most notably, triazophos is dangerous to bees and harmful to fish, livestock, and birds. Its toxicological effects can negatively impact the health of humans as well, hence why triazophos has been classified as a highly hazardous pesticide by the World Health Organization (WHO).

List of known side effects

Triazophos is particularly dangerous when inhaled or ingested. If mild to moderate poisoning or exposure occurs, then an individual will typically display any of the following symptoms:

  • Diaphoresis (Profuse sweating)
  • Diarrhea
  • Hypertension
  • Lacrimation (Tearing of the eyes)
  • Muscle cramps
  • Mydriasis (Pupil dilation)
  • Salivation
  • Vomiting

If more severe poisoning or inhalation of triazophos happens, then the affected person will show these signs:

  • Acute lung injury
  • Bronchorrhea
  • Bronchospasms
  • Central nervous system depression
  • Delirium and confusion
  • Hypotension (Low blood pressure)
  • Metabolic acidosis
  • Respiratory failure
  • Ventricular dysrhythmias (Abnormal heartbeat between 100 to 250 beats per minute)

Many of these symptoms are due to triazophos being an organophosphorus compound. As an organophosphate, triazophos is a cholinesterase inhibitor. This means that triazophos binds to and impedes the function of the enzyme cholinesterase, an important enzyme produced by the liver and known to play a role in nervous system function.

Triazophos is a dermal irritant, and can enter the body through the skin.

Triazophos should never be exposed to high heat or allowed to burn. Doing either causes triazophos to break down and emit toxic fumes that can contain oxide sulfur, oxide phosphorus, nitrogen oxide, and carbon monoxide, all of which are gases that can yield all sorts of health and environmental effects.

Unlike many other insecticides, triazophos can be broken down by the environment and is not known to bioaccumulate. However, it remains a substance dangerous to aquatic organisms and can leave long-lasting effects.

Body systems affected by triazophos

Triazophos has the potential to cause great damage to the skin, gastrointestinal tract, and respiratory system. Apart from being an irritant to all the aforementioned body systems, triazophos is absorbable by all three systems.

Items that can contain triazophos

The most prominent use of triazophos is in Hostac and Hostathion, insecticides that are being produced by:

  • Bayer
  • Cheminova
  • Hoechst
  • Sigma-Aldrich

How to avoid triazophos

Steer clear of Hostac and Hostathion to avoid exposure to triazophon. For those who already have either products in their home, be sure to keep these insecticides in cool and dry places, and to keep them in their original containers to ensure that cross-contamination doesn’t occur.

Workers should adhere to these storage practices as well. Moreover, they should only handle triazophos when wearing the necessary protective equipment and clothing, and in a well-ventilated area free from sources of fire.

Where to learn more


Triazophos is a toxic substance that can cause a wide range of health issues, primarily caused by its being a cholinesterase inhibitor. These health problems include but aren’t limited to vomiting, diarrhea, hypotension, delirium, and respiratory failure.

Moreover, triazophos is a dermal, respiratory, and gastrointestinal irritant that can be absorbed into the body through these systems.

Triazophos can release oxide sulfur, oxide phosphorus, and carbon monoxide when exposed to extreme heat or flames.

Though not known to accumulate in the environment, triazophos is harmful to fish, mammals, birds, and livestock.

Sources include:


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