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Magnesium phosphide
Last updated: 18/08/2021
(Also known as: phosphine; trimagnesium phosphorus(-3) anion )

SUMMARY
Data alerts

The following alerts are based on the data in the tables below. An absence of an alert does not imply the substance has no implications for human health, biodiversity or the environment but just that we do not have the data to form a judgement.

Environmental fate Ecotoxicity Human health
Environmental fate
Low alert:
Non-persistent; Potential for particle bound transport: Low
Warning:
Significant data are missing
Ecotoxicity
High alert:
Birds acute ecotoxicity: High; Fish acute ecotoxicity: High
Human health
High alert:
Mammals acute toxicity: High
GENERAL INFORMATION
Description
A phosphine generating compound used against vertebrates and grain store pests
Example pests controlled
Burrowing rodents and moles; Grain insect pests
Example applications
Animal feeds; Tobacco; Processed food commodities; Indoor areas and uncropped land; Bulked grain
Efficacy & activity
-
Availability status
Current
Introduction & key dates
1979, first registered USA
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
Austria/Estonia
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
Also used in
Australia
Chemical structure
Isomerism
None
Chemical formula
Mg₃P₂
Canonical SMILES
[Mg+2].[Mg+2].[Mg+2].[P-3].[P-3]
Isomeric SMILES
No data
International Chemical Identifier key (InChIKey)
VUBDMGXNLNDGIY-UHFFFAOYSA-N
International Chemical Identifier (InChI)
InChI=1S/3Mg.2P/q3*+2;2*-3
2D structure diagram/image available?
Yes
General status
Pesticide type
Insecticide, Rodenticide
Substance group
Inorganic compound
Minimum active substance purity
880 g kg⁻¹
Known relevant impurities
EU dossier - None declared
Substance origin
Synthetic
Mode of action
Nerve toxin with respiratory action - reacts with stomach acids to produce phosphine
CAS RN
12057-74-8
EC number
235-023-7
CIPAC number
228
US EPA chemical code
066504
PubChem CID
magnesium phosphide
Molecular mass
134.86
PIN (Preferred Identification Name)
magnesium phosphide
IUPAC name
magnesium phosphide
CAS name
magnesium phosphide
Other status information
PAN listed Highly Hazardous Chemical; Subject to the provisions of the UK Poisons Act 1972
Relevant Environmental Water Quality Standards
-
Herbicide Resistance Classification (HRAC)
Not applicable
Herbicide Resistance Classification (WSSA)
Not applicable
Insecticide Resistance Classification (IRAC)
24C
Fungicide Resistance Classification (FRAC)
Not applicable
Examples of recorded resistance
-
Physical state
Grey solid
Formulations
Property
Value
Example manufacturers & suppliers of products using this active now or historically
  • Detia Degesch GmbH
  • Rentokil
Example products using this active
  • Degesch Plates
Formulation and application details
Formulated as a phosphine gas generating product
ENVIRONMENTAL FATE
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Solubility - In water at 20 °C (mg l⁻¹)
No data
A2 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 )
2 = Unverified data of unknown source
- rapid hydrolysis
No data
Solubility - In organic solvents at 20 °C (mg l⁻¹)
Insoluble
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
Most organic solvents
-
Melting point (°C)
Decomposes before melting
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
-
Boiling point (°C)
Decomposes before boiling
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)
500
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
-
Flashpoint (°C)
- - -
Octanol-water partition coefficient at pH 7, 20 °C
P
- - -
Log P
- - -
Density (g ml⁻¹)
1.47
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
-
Dissociation constant pKa) at 25 °C
No data
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
-
Can not determine due to rapid hydrolysis
Vapour pressure at 20 °C (mPa)
1.0 X 10-05
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
Low volatility
Henry's law constant at 25 °C (Pa m³ mol⁻¹)
No data
A2 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 )
2 = Unverified data of unknown source
- rapid hydrolysis
No data
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)
0.24
Q3 Q = Miscellaneous internet resources
3 = Unverified data of known source
Non-persistent
DT₅₀ (lab at 20 °C)
0.22
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
Non-persistent
DT₅₀ (field)
- - -
DT₉₀ (lab at 20 °C)
0.69
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
Non-persistent
DT₉₀ (field)
- - -
DT₅₀ modelling endpoint
- - -
Note
EU dossier lab studies DT₅₀ range 0.22-0.24 days, DT₉₀ estimated range 0.66-0.72 days
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
Very rapid
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
Very rapid
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
-
Fate indices
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
GUS leaching potential index
- - -
SCI-GROW groundwater index (μg l⁻¹) for a 1 kg ha⁻¹ or 1 l ha⁻¹ application rate
Value
Cannot be calculated - -
Note
-
Potential for particle bound transport index
Low Calculated -
Potential for loss via drain flow
Calculated -
Bio-concentration factor
BCF (l kg⁻¹)
- - -
CT₅₀ (days)
- -
Key metabolites
Metabolite
Formation medium
Estimated maximum occurrence fraction
1107/2009 relevancy
phosphane
Soil 1.00 Major fraction, Relevant
ECOTOXICOLOGY
Terrestrial ecotoxicology
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Mammals - Acute oral LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
10.4
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
Rat
High
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)
49
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
Coturnix japonica
High
Birds - Short term dietary (LC₅₀/LD₅₀)
- - -
Birds - Chronic 21d NOEL (mg kg⁻¹ bw d⁻¹)
- - -
Earthworms - Acute 14 day LC₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
> 663.5
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
for aluminium phosphide
Moderate
Earthworms - Chronic NOEC, reproduction (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Soil micro-organisms
Nitrogen mineralisation: No significant adverse effect
Carbon mineralisation: No significant adverse effect
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

Dose: 56% AIP/kg soil 28 days
-
Collembola
Acute LC₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Chronic NOEC (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Non-target plants
- - -
- - -
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)
- - -
Chronic
- - -
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
-
Beneficial insects (Ladybirds)
- - -
Beneficial insects (Lacewings)
- - -
Beneficial insects (Parasitic wasps)
- - -
Beneficial insects (Predatory mites)
- - -
Beneficial insects (Ground beetles)
- - -
Aquatic ecotoxicology
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Fish - Acute 96 hour LC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
0.0093
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
Oncorhynchus mykiss calculated from phosphine
High
Fish - Chronic 21 day NOEC (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Aquatic invertebrates - Acute 48 hour EC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
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)
- - -
Algae - Acute 72 hour EC₅₀, growth (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Algae - Chronic 96 hour NOEC, growth (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
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)
High (class III) - -
Mammals - Acute oral LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
10.4
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
Rat
High
Mammals - Dermal LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹ body weight)
460
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)
> 11
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
- - -
ADI - Acceptable Daily Intake (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
0.022
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 SF=100
-
ARfD - Acute Reference Dose (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
0.038
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 SF=100
-
AAOEL - Acute Acceptable Operator Exposure Level (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
- - -
AOEL - Acceptable Operator Exposure Level - Systemic (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
0.022
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 SF=100
-
Dermal penetration studies (%)
- - -
Dangerous Substances Directive 76/464
- - -
Exposure Routes
Public
Acceptable risk for bystanders
Occupational
Acceptable risk for workers
Acceptable risk for operators for the control of rodents, PPE required for insect control
MRLs
European
EU MRL pesticide database 
Great Britain
GB MRL Register 
Notes
-
Drinking Water Standards
- - -
Drinking Water MAC (μg l⁻¹)
- - -
Mammalian dose elimination route and rate
- - -
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
;
C3 C = Gene mutation (EFSA database)
3 = Negative
;
D0 D = Genome mutation (EFSA database)
0 = No data
;
E3 E = Unspecified genotoxicity type (miscellaneous data source)
3 = Negative
No data found
Reproduction / development effects Acetyl cholinesterase inhibitor Neurotoxicant
?Possibly, status not identified
XNo, known not to cause a problem
XNo, known not to cause a problem
Respiratory tract irritant Skin irritant Skin sensitiser
Yes, known to cause a problem
XNo, known not to cause a problem
No data found
Eye irritant Phototoxicant  
?Possibly, status not identified
No data found  
General human health issues
Moderately toxic
Handling issues
Property
Value and interpretation
General
Reacts with water to produce toxic phosphine (hydrogen phosphide, PH3 )
No explosive or oxidising; IMDG Transport Code is usually 4.3
CLP classification 2013
Health: H300, H311
Handling: H260
Environment: H400
WHO Classification
NL (Not listed)
UN Number
Usually 2011
Waste disposal & packaging
Packaging Group I (great danger)
TRANSLATIONS
Language
Name
English
magnesium phosphide
French
diphosphure de trimagnésium
German
Trimagnesiumdiphosphid
Danish
-
Italian
-
Spanish
difosfuro de trimagnesio
Greek
-
Polish
fosforek magnezu
Swedish
-
Hungarian
-
Dutch
-

Record last updated: 18/08/2021
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