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Citronella oil
Last updated: 31/03/2021
(Also known as: citronella terpene ; essential oil of cymbopogon nardus)

GENERAL INFORMATION
Description
A natural plant extract which exhibits fungicidal, insecticidal and herbicidal activity
Example pests controlled
-
Example applications
-
Efficacy & activity
-
Appearance and life cycle
-
Availability status
Current
Introduction & key dates
1948, USA registered; 1901, discovered
Taxonomic classification
-
UK regulatory status
UK COPR regulatory status
Approved
Date COPR inclusion expires
31/08/2025
UK LERAP status
None
EC Regulation 1107/2009 (repealing 91/414)
EC Regulation 1107/2009 status
Approved
Dossier rapporteur/co-rapporteur
France/UK
Date EC 1107/2009 inclusion expires
31/08/2022
EU Candidate for substitution (CfS)
No
Listed in EU database
Yes
Approved for use (✓) under EC 1107/2009 in the following EU Member States
ATAustria
BEBelgium
BGBulgaria
CYCyprus
CZCzech Republic
DEGermany
DKDenmark
EEEstonia
ELGreece
                 
ESSpain
FIFinland
FRFrance
HRCroatia
HUHungary
IEIreland
ITItaly
LTLithuania
LULuxembourg
               
LVLatvia
MTMalta
NLNetherlands
PLPoland
PTPortugal
RORomania
SESweden
SISlovenia
SKSlovakia
                 
Additional information
Known to be used in the following countries
USA
Chemical structure
Isomerism
-
Chemical formula
C₁₀H₁₈O main component (~₃₈%)
Canonical SMILES
-
Isomeric SMILES
-
International Chemical Identifier key (InChIKey)
-
International Chemical Identifier (InChI)
-
2D structure diagram/image available?
Yes
General status
Biopesticide type
Herbicide, Insecticide, Fungicide, Repellent
Substance group
Plant derived
Minimum active substance purity
-
Known relevant impurities
-
Substance origin
Natural
Mode of action
Broad spectrum, repellent and contact action. Its strong, distinctive odour makes it difficult for some pests to locate a host.
Substance source
A plant essential oil obtained from the leaves and stems of different species of Cymbopogon
Substance production
Various techniques used including steam distillation of the grass of Cymbopogon nardus
Uses
Public hygiene applications; public and amenity grass management
Target pests
Various insects including body lice, gnats, flies, wasps and dengue fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti); Ragwort
Target host
Grass, rough areas, greencover
Farming system suitability
-
CAS RN
8000-29-1
EC number
289-753-6
CIPAC number
-
US EPA chemical code
021901
PubChem CID
-
Molecular mass
154.25
PIN (Preferred Identification Name)
-
IUPAC name
citronellal (3,7-dimethyl-6-octenal) + geraniol ((E)-3,7-dimethyl-2,6-octadien-1-ol) + citronellol (3,7-dimethyl-6-octan-2-ol) + geranyl acetate (3,7-dimethyl-6-octen-1yl acetate)
CAS name
citronella oil Java type
Other status information
-
Relevant Environmental Water Quality Standards
-
Herbicide Resistance Classification (HRAC)
None
Herbicide Resistance Classification (WSSA)
-
Insecticide Resistance Classification (IRAC)
None
Fungicide Resistance Classification (FRAC)
Not applicable
Examples of recorded resistance
-
Physical state
Colourless or light yellow liquid
Formulations
Property
Product
Manufacturer
Example products
Barrier H Barrier Biotech Ltd
Citronella Sticks PIC Corporation
OFF! Citronella candle S.C. Johnson and Son Ltd
Formulation and application details
Available in a variety of formulations including ready to use sprays and spot-on products, candles, impregnated fabrics and lotions
ENVIRONMENTAL FATE
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Solubility - In water at 20 °C (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Solubility - In organic solvents at 20 °C (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Melting point (°C)
na
A4 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
4 = Verified data
-
Boiling point (°C)
200
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
-
Degradation point (°C)
- - -
Flashpoint (°C)
77
E3 E = Manufacturers safety data sheets
3 = Unverified data of known source
(closed cup)
-
Octanol-water partition coefficient at pH 7, 20 °C
P
- - -
Log P
- - -
Bulk density (g ml⁻¹)
0.885
Q3 Q = Miscellaneous internet resources
3 = Unverified data of known source
-
Dissociation constant pKa) at 25 °C
- - -
-
Vapour pressure at 20 °C (mPa)
1.31
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Low volatility
Henry's law constant at 25 °C (Pa m³ mol⁻¹)
- - -
Maximum UV-vis absorption L mol⁻¹ cm⁻¹
- - -
Surface tension (mN m⁻¹)
- - -
Degradation
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
General biodegradability
-
Soil degradation (days) (aerobic)
DT₅₀ (typical)
- - -
DT₅₀ (lab at 20 °C)
- - -
DT₅₀ (field)
- - -
DT₉₀ (lab at 20 °C)
- - -
DT₉₀ (field)
- - -
DT₅₀ modelling endpoint
- - -
Note
-
Dissipation rate RL₅₀ on plant matrix
Value
- - -
Note
-
Dissipation rate RL₅₀ on and in plant matrix
Value
- - -
Note
-
Aqueous photolysis DT₅₀ (days) at pH 7
Value
- - -
Note
-
Aqueous hydrolysis DT₅₀ (days) at 20 °C and pH 7
Value
- - -
Note
-
Water-sediment DT₅₀ (days)
- - -
Water phase only DT₅₀ (days)
- - -
Soil adsorption and mobility
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Linear
Kd
- - -
Koc
-
Notes and range
-
Freundlich
Kf
- - -
Kfoc
-
1/n
-
Notes and range
-
pH sensitivity
-
ECOTOXICOLOGY
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Bio-concentration factor
BCF (l kg⁻¹)
- - -
CT₅₀ (days)
- -
Mammals - Acute oral LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
> 4380
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Rat
Low
Mammals - Short term dietary NOEL
(mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
(ppm diet)
- -
Mammals - Chronic 21d NOAEL (mg kg⁻¹ bw d⁻¹)
- - -
Birds - Acute LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
> 2250
F4 F = U.S. EPA ECOTOX database / U.S. EPA pesticide fate database / Miscellaneous WHO documents (US EPA Databases Related to Pesticide Risk Assessment )
4 = Verified data
Colinus virginianus
Low
Birds - Short term dietary (LC₅₀/LD₅₀)
- - -
Birds - Chronic 21d NOEL (mg kg⁻¹ bw d⁻¹)
- - -
Fish - Acute 96 hour LC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
17.3
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Oncorhynchus mykiss
Moderate
Fish - Chronic 21 day NOEC (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Aquatic invertebrates - Acute 48 hour EC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
26.4
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Daphnia magna
Moderate
Aquatic invertebrates - Chronic 21 day NOEC (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Aquatic crustaceans - Acute 96 hour LC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Sediment dwelling organisms - Acute 96 hour LC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Sediment dwelling organisms - Chronic 28 day NOEC, static, water (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Sediment dwelling organisms - Chronic 28 day NOEC, sediment (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Aquatic plants - Acute 7 day EC₅₀, biomass (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Non-target plants
- - -
- - -
Algae - Acute 72 hour EC₅₀, growth (mg l⁻¹)
3.65
A3 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
3 = Unverified data of known source
Selenastrum capricornutum for geraniol fraction
Moderate
Algae - Chronic 96 hour NOEC, growth (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Honeybees (Apis spp.)
Contact acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
Oral acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
Unknown mode acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
> 100
Q2 Q = Miscellaneous internet resources
2 = Unverified data of unknown source
Expert judgement
Low
Bumblebees (Bombus spp.)
Contact acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
-
Oral acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
-
Mason bees (Osmia spp.)
Contact acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
Oral acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
Other pollinators (1)
Acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg insect⁻¹)
- - -
Mode of exposure
-
Other pollinators (2)
Acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg insect⁻¹)
- - -
Mode of exposure
-
Earthworms - Acute 14 day LC₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
> 1000
Q2 Q = Miscellaneous internet resources
2 = Unverified data of unknown source
Expert judgement
Low
Earthworms - Chronic NOEC, reproduction (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Other soil macro-organisms
Acute LC₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Chronic NOEC (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Other arthropod (1)
LR₅₀ g ha⁻¹
- - -
% Effect
- - -
Other arthropod (2)
LR₅₀ g ha⁻¹
- - -
% Effect
- - -
Soil micro-organisms
- - -
Mesocosm study data
NOEAEC mg l⁻¹
- - -
NOEAEC mg l⁻¹
- - -
HUMAN HEALTH AND PROTECTION
General
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Threshold of Toxicological Concern (Cramer Class)
- - -
Mammals - Acute oral LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
> 4380
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Rat
Low
Mammals - Dermal LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹ body weight)
2000
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Rat
-
Mammals - Inhalation LC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
> 3.1
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Rat
-
Other Mammal toxicity endpoints
Intraperitoneal LD₅₀ = 713 mg kg⁻¹
V3 V = ChemID online databases / IPCS INCHEM (ChemID; IPCS INCHEM )
3 = Unverified data of known source
Rat
-
ADI - Acceptable Daily Intake (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
0.5
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
-
ARfD - Acute Reference Dose (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
None allocated
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
-
AAOEL - Acute Acceptable Operator Exposure Level (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
- - -
AOEL - Acceptable Operator Exposure Level - Systemic (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
0.05
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
-
Dermal penetration studies (%)
100
A3 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
3 = Unverified data of known source
default
-
Dangerous Substances Directive 76/464
- - -
Exposure Routes
Public
-
Occupational
-
Health issues
Specific human health issues
Carcinogen
Genotoxic
Endocrine disruptor
XNo, known not to cause a problem
A0 A = Chromosome aberration (EFSA database)
0 = No data
;
B0 B = DNA damage/repair (EFSA database)
0 = No data
;
C0 C = Gene mutation (EFSA database)
0 = No data
;
D0 D = Genome mutation (EFSA database)
0 = No data
;
E3 E = Unspecified genotoxicity type (miscellaneous data source)
3 = Negative
XNo, known not to cause a problem
Reproduction / development effects Acetyl cholinesterase inhibitor Neurotoxicant
XNo, known not to cause a problem
XNo, known not to cause a problem
XNo, known not to cause a problem
Respiratory tract irritant Skin irritant Skin sensitiser
No data found
Yes, known to cause a problem
Yes, known to cause a problem
Eye irritant Phototoxicant  
Yes, known to cause a problem
No data found  
General human health issues
A weak dermal sensitiser, may cause allergic dermatitis
Low acute toxicity
Handling issues
Property
Value and interpretation
General
Flammable
Not explosive or oxidising
IMDG Transport Code 9
CLP classification 2013
Health: H315, H318, H334, H335
Environment: H411
EC Risk Classification
N - Dangerous for the environment: R52, R53
EC Safety Classification
S35, S57
WHO Classification
NL (Not listed)
UN Number
3082
Waste disposal & packaging
Packaging Group III (minor danger)
TRANSLATIONS
Language
Name
English
citronella oil
French
-
German
Zitronell oel
Danish
-
Italian
-
Spanish
-
Greek
-
Polish
-
Swedish
citronellaolja
Hungarian
-
Dutch
-

Record last updated: 31/03/2021
Contact: aeru@herts.ac.uk
Please cite as: Lewis, K.A., Tzilivakis, J., Warner, D. and Green, A. (2016) An international database for pesticide risk assessments and management. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal, 22(4), 1050-1064. DOI: 10.1080/10807039.2015.1133242