Dithiocarbamates — toxicity, side effects, diseases and environmental impacts

Tuesday, December 05, 2017 by

Dithiocarbamates are a group of chemicals mainly used in agriculture as insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides. Other applications of dithiocarbamates include formulation of biocides for industrial and other commercial applications, as well as household products. There are more than 15 dithiocarbamates known, most of which were developed during and after World War II. Because of its high biological activity, dithiocarbamates are also used in medicine, the rubber industry, and in the treatment of chronic alcoholism.

Other names and synonyms of dithiocarbamates include CAS-8065-67-6; Carbamic acid,ethylenebis{dithio-},manganese zinc complex; Carbamodithioic acid; 1,2-ethanediylbis-, manganous zinc salt; Dithane (mancozeb) M-45 technical premix; Dithane M-45; Mancozeb Zinc; Mancozebe; {{1,2-ethanediylbis{carbamodithioato}}(2-)}-, mixt. with {{1,2-ethanediylbis{carbamodithioato}}(2-)}Zinc; and [N-[2-[(Dithiocarboxy)amino]ethyl]carbamodithioato(2-)-kappaS,kappaS’]manganese mixt. with [N-[2-[(dithiocarboxy)amino]ethyl]car.

Dithiocarbamates are known to be neurotoxic, teratogenic, and cytotoxic, but not enough evidence shows the possibility of carcigenocity. Widely used dithiocarbamates has been shown to cause hypothyroxinemia (presence of abnormal concentrations of thyroxin in the blood) in laboratory animal tests and other adverse effects on the thyroid hormone system.

List of known side effects

Long-term or prolonged exposure to dithiocarbamate-based products may result in a variety of negative side effects. These include dermatitis, skin sensitization, allergic reactions in both the dermal and respiratory system, increased salivation and perspiration, narrowing of the pupils, nausea, diarrhea, decrease in blood pressure, muscle weakness, and fatigue. Other side effects may include convulsions, coma, and death, especially when exposed to large doses of dithiocarbamates.

Results of animal lab tests show that dithiocarbamates and other related chemicals may cause rapid weight loss and transient paralysis of hind limbs. Other notable effects include demyelination and degeneration of peripheral nerve cells.

Body systems affected by dithiocarbamates

Dithiocarbamates exposure may affect the liver, kidneys, thyroid gland, and reproductive system. Consequences of initial exposure may result in nervous system breakdown and respiratory failure.

Items that may contain dithiocarbamates

There are over 200 products that contain dithiocarbamates. Some product names included are Acrobat mz wdg fungicide; Agway potato seed treatment 8d; Bountiful harvest fungicide; Cuprofix mz disperss; Dithane f-45 flowable mancozeb agricultural fungicide; Duosan broad spectrum contact ornamental fungicide; and Formec 80 turf & ornamental fungicide.

Food items that contain dithiocarbamates include tomatoes, carrots, and spinach.

How to avoid dithiocarbamates

Dithiocarbamates include a variety of chemicals included in pesticides. Use of chemical pesticides with dithiocarbamates should then be avoided, or minimized in occupational situations. Protective gear must be worn at all times when in proximity of or when handling toxic chemicals. Gear examples include chemical gloves, boots, chemical suit, goggles and/or full-face respirator.

Accidental exposure to dithiocarbamate products must be treated as soon as possible. When skin contact occurs, wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water. In case of eye contact, flush the affected eye with clean, running water for at least 10 minutes. In cases of inhalation, move the victim to an open area with fresh air. In case of accidental ingestion, deliver the victim to the nearest emergency department as soon as possible.

Where to learn more

Summary

Dithiocarbamates is a group of chemicals mostly used in agricultural products like pesticides.

Dithiocarbamates are known to be toxic to humans, animals, and other life forms.

Severe dithiocarbamate poisoning may result in convulsions, coma, and death.

Source include:

PesticideInfo.org

InChem.org



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