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Pirimicarb — toxicity, side effects, diseases and environmental impacts

Thursday, November 16, 2017 by

Pirimicarb is classified as a selective insecticide that is used to specifically target various species of aphids including the blue alfalfa aphids, pea aphids and spotted alfalfa aphids. An AgChem Access entry shows that pirimicarb belongs to the same chemical make up as carbamates, salts, and esters as well as isomers and other derivative products. The insecticide is commonly applied as a foliar spray to affected plants and works by disrupting the neural pathways of target pests.

List of known side effects

An entry published on the Pesticide Action Network North America website reveals that pirimicarb is a highly carcinogenic compound that causes reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, and acute toxicity. According to the article, exposure to the harmful pesticide is known to cause central nervous system depression. Likewise, pirimicarb poisoning is found to trigger the onset of excessive sweating and salivation, unconsciousness, and seizures.

Pirimicarb poisoning is also found to negatively affect the muscular system. Exposure to the harmful insecticide may result in malaise, tremors and general muscle weakness. In addition, pirimicarb may induce headache, fatigue, and dizziness. The toxic chemical is also known to cause severe respiratory irritation, pulmonary edema, and slowed heart beat. Pirimicarb exposure may also lead to chest discomfort and tightness, urinary incontinence, and difficulties in walking.

Furthermore, the toxic insecticide is found to wreak havoc on the digestive system. Pirimicarb poisoning is shown to trigger the onset of various digestive conditions such as bowel incontinence, nausea, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. The hazardous compound is found to target eye health as well. Direct eye contact may result in blurred vision, excessive tearing, and pupil contraction.

An article featured on the open chemistry database Pub Chem has also revealed that the selective insecticide may contaminate waterways and negatively impact aquatic ecosystems and animals.

Body systems affected by pirimicarb

Pirimicarb is particularly detrimental to the central nervous system. Likewise, the harmful chemical may negatively affect the heart, muscles, and the respiratory tract. The toxic compound is known to target the digestive tract and eye health as well. The chemical is found to affect the urinary system too.

Items that can contain pirimicarb

Pirimicarb is the key ingredient in many commercial insecticides. The chemical is applied to a variety of crops including:

  • Apples
  • Barley
  • Blackcurrants
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbages
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cherries
  • Collard
  • Cucumbers
  • Durum wheat
  • Gooseberries
  • Kale
  • Lettuces
  • Oats

How to avoid pirimicarb

A safety data sheet published by Herbi Guide suggests wearing protective clothing, gloves, and respiratory equipment in order to reduce the risk of chemical exposure. The guidelines also recommend that workplaces install adequate ventilation to lower the odds of harmful chemical exposure. According to the guidelines, people exposed to the hazardous compound should contact a poison control center or seek immediate medical attention. At the event of an accidental spill, the safety guidelines also recommend that people immediately evacuate the area in order to avoid direct contact with the toxic chemical.

Where to learn more


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

Pirimicarb triggers central nervous system depression, unconsciousness, and seizures.

Pirimicarb exposure leads to severe respiratory irritation, pulmonary edema, and slowed heart beat.

Pirimicarb raises the odds of malaise, tremors, general muscle weakness, and eye conditions.

Pirimicarb is particularly detrimental to both the central nervous system and the muscular system.

Pirimicarb negatively impacts heart health, the respiratory tract and the digestive profile.

Pirimicarb exposure may affect both eye health and the urinary system.

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