Thiometon – toxicity, side effects, diseases and environmental impacts

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 by

Thiometon, a systemic organophosphorus insecticide-acaricide, is a toxic chemical with residues that remain active up to three weeks. Some synonyms of thiometon are: 2-Ethylthioethyl O,O-dimethyl phosphorodithioate; 456300 (US EPA PC Code Text); 640-15-3 (CAS number); 640153 (CAS number without hyphens); Bay 23129; Compound M-81; Dithiometon; Ekatin; Ekatin Aerosol; Ekatin ULV; Ekatin-25; Ethanethiol; 2-(ethylthio)-; and S-ester with O,O-dimethyl phosphorodithioate. Heating can decompose the chemical, but creates noxious fumes including phosphorous oxides and sulfur oxides.

When metabolized, thiometon converts into a potent cholinesterase inhibitor that is effective against insects such as aphid, psyllids, sawflies, jassids, and thrips. Similar to diethyl ester and disulfoton, it is an alkyl thioether dimethyl organophosphorus ester of acute toxicity. Thiometon is used on a wide range of crops, but is mostly used on corn, cotton, and potatoes. It is tagged as having acute toxicity levels for humans and the natural environment, especially aquatic species. This toxic chemical can be absorbed through the skin. Proper usage of the chemical should be practiced to avoid inhalation, ingestion, or absorption through the eyes and skin. Apart from it being toxic to humans, this chemical is incredibly harmful in the environment as well, due to its widespread use in agriculture. Thiometon is a colorless liquid with a characteristic odor.

List of known side effects

Thiometon has a plethora of negative side effects, especially when inhaled, ingested, or when contact is made on skin. These effects include excretory symptoms like drooling, sweating, rhinorrhea, and tearing up; skeletal muscle issues including twitching, cramps, weakness, tremors and non-coordination; and digestive tract effects like vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Severe cases may cause some of the following: hypoventilation, phlegmatic cough, miosis, skin swelling and rashes, seizures, urinary incontinence, and loss of consciousness.

Body systems harmed by thiometon

Thiometon is a cholinesterase inhibitor. Cholinesterase is an important enzyme which is needed for the functions of the human nervous system, vertebrates, and insects. Thiometon therefore targets the nervous system of a person, and is acutely toxic. There may be delayed reactions when exposed to the chemical, but are damaging nonetheless. Extreme care must be exercised when handling poisonings due to it being an anti-cholinesterase (targeting the nervous system).

Items that contain thiometon

  • Pesticides, insecticides, acaricides
  • Traces may be found in commercially-produced strawberries, citrus, olives, beet crops, tobacco, cereals, and cotton.

How to avoid thiometon

One way to avoid encountering thiometon is to avoid using chemical pesticides on your crops. If using it is unavoidable, workers handling organophosphate pesticides must wear protective equipment like gloves, rubber boots, and eyes should be protected by safety goggles.

Untrained individuals and children must not handle highly toxic chemicals like thiometon.

Where to learn more

Summary

Thiometon is an acaricide, insecticide, and pesticide that is commonly used in commercial agriculture. It is highly toxic to the environment and to the human nervous system. Thiometon can cause respiratory, muscular, digestive, and nervous system disorders, and can be fatal if untreated. Water environments can be easily contaminated by thiometon, and prove fatal for aquatic animals. During severe cases of poisoning, contact the nearest emergency service available.

Sources include:
PrimaryInfo.com
ChemicalBook.com
PubChem.NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov
CDC.gov



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