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Phosphine
Last updated: 29/10/2019
(Also known as: phosphamine; phosphorus trihydride; phosphane)

GENERAL INFORMATION
Description
The major uses of phosphine are as a fumigant during the storage of agricultural products and against vertebrates. Often generated via the breakdown of other substances such as aluminium phosphide.
Example pests controlled
Bean weevil; Fruit moth; Grain beetle; Meal moth; Tobacco moth; Meal worm; Leaf beetle; Flour beetle; Pink bollworm; Maize weevil
Example applications
Stored grain; Stored animal feed; Leaf-stored tobacco; Cotton seed
Efficacy & activity
-
Availability status
Current
Introduction & key dates
circa 1780
UK regulatory status
UK approval status
Not approved
EC Regulation 1107/2009 (repealing 91/414)
EC Directive 91/414 Status
Approved
Dossier rapporteur/co-rapporteur
Germany/Denmark
Date inclusion expires
31/03/2023
EU Candidate for substitution (CfS)
No
Listed in EU database
Yes
Approved for use (✓) or known to be used (#) in the following EU-27 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
                 
Also used in
Also used in
-
Chemical structure
Isomerism
-
Chemical formula
PH₃
Canonical SMILES
P
Isomeric SMILES
No data
International Chemical Identifier key (InChIKey)
XYFCBTPGUUZFHI-UHFFFAOYSA-N
International Chemical Identifier (InChI)
InChI=1S/H3P/h1H3
2D structure diagram/image available?
Yes
General status
Pesticide type
Insecticide, Metabolite, Fumigant
Metabolite Type
Soil
Substance group
Unclassified
Minimum active substance purity
994 g kg⁻¹
Known relevant impurities
EU dossier - arsane <0.023 g kg⁻¹
Substance origin
Synthetic
Mode of action
Nerve toxin with respiratory action, mitochondrial complex IV electron transport inhibitor
CAS RN
7803-51-2
EC number
232-260-8
CIPAC number
127
US EPA chemical code
066500
PubChem CID
24404
Molecular mass
34.0
PIN (Preferred Identification Name)
-
IUPAC name
phosphane
CAS name
phosphorus trihydride
Other status information
-
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
Colourless, flammable gas
Related substances & organisms
Can be a metabolite of:
Parent
Formation medium
Estimated maximum occurrence fraction
1107/2009 relevancy
magnesium phosphide Soil 1.00 Major fraction, Relevant
aluminium phosphide Soil 1.00 Major fraction, Relevant
calcium phosphide Soil 1.000 Major, Relevant
zinc phosphide Soil 1.00 Major fraction, Relevant
Formulations
Property
Value
Example manufacturers & suppliers of products using this active now or historically
  • Fosfina
  • Gas EX-B
  • Detia Gas Ex-B
Example products using this active
  • Excel
  • Rentokil
  • Detia Degesch
  • Young II
UK LERAP status
None
Formulation and application details
Fumigant
ENVIRONMENTAL FATE
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Solubility - In water at 20 °C (mg l⁻¹)
371
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
Moderate
Solubility - In organic solvents at 20 °C (mg l⁻¹)
695
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
Ethanol
-
2780
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
Ether
-
3970
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
Cyclohexanol
-
Melting point (°C)
-134
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)
-87.7
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)
-15
V3 V = ChemID online databases / IPCS INCHEM (ChemID; IPCS INCHEM )
3 = Unverified data of known source
(Ignition is due to presence of diphosphane)
-
Octanol-water partition coefficient at pH 7, 20 °C
P
5.37 X 10-01 Calculated -
Log P
-0.27
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
Bulk density (g ml⁻¹)
1.512
L3 L = Pesticide manuals and hard copy reference books / other sources
3 = Unverified data of known source
-
Dissociation constant pKa) at 25 °C
- - -
-
Vapour pressure at 20 °C (mPa)
1.06 X 1006
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
Highly volatile
Henry's law constant at 25 °C (Pa m³ mol⁻¹)
33269
L3 L = Pesticide manuals and hard copy reference books / other sources
3 = Unverified data of known source
Volatile
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 -
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)
0.2
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
Non-persistent
DT₅₀ (lab at 20 °C)
0.23
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
Non-persistent
DT₅₀ (field)
- - -
DT₉₀ (lab at 20 °C)
0.69
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
Non-persistent
DT₉₀ (field)
- - -
DT₅₀ modelling endpoint
- - -
Note
EU dossier lab studies DT₅₀ 0.22-0.24 days, sand, n=2; DT₉₀ estimated between 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
-
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
-
Note
Not relevant
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
1 to 1.5 days at pH 4, 7 and 9, 20 °C
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
-
Other known metabolites
Metabolite name and reference
Aliases
Formation medium / Rate
Estimated maximum occurrence fraction
Metabolising enzymes
orthophosphate - Soil ~0.07 -
ECOTOXICOLOGY
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Bio-concentration factor
BCF (l kg⁻¹)
1.16
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
(Whole fish)
Low potential
CT₅₀ (days)
- -
Mammals - Acute oral LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Mammals - Short term dietary NOEL
(mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
(ppm diet)
- -
Birds - Acute LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Birds - Short term dietary (LC₅₀/LD₅₀)
- - -
Fish - Acute 96 hour LC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
0.007
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 mean value
High
Fish - Chronic 21 day NOEC (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Aquatic invertebrates - Acute 48 hour EC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
0.2
L3 L = Pesticide manuals and hard copy reference books / other sources
3 = Unverified data of known source
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)
- - -
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)
- - -
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)
- - -
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)
High (class III) - -
Mammals - Acute oral LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Mammals - Dermal LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹ body weight)
- - -
Mammals - Inhalation LC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
> 11.0
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)
0.011
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)
0.019
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)
0.011
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
EU 2008
-
Dermal penetration studies (%)
10
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
-
Dangerous Substances Directive 76/464
- - -
Exposure Routes
Public
-
Occupational
May be fatal if inhaled, swallowed or absorbed through skin.
European MRLs
EU MRL pesticide database 
Drinking Water Standards
- - -
Drinking Water MAC (μg l⁻¹)
- - -
Health issues
Specific human health issues
Carcinogen
Genotoxic
Endocrine disruptor
XNo, known not to cause a problem
A2 A = Chromosome aberration (EFSA database)
2 = Mixed/ambiguous results
;
B3 B = DNA damage/repair (EFSA database)
3 = Negative
;
C2 C = Gene mutation (EFSA database)
2 = Mixed/ambiguous results
;
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
XNo, known not to cause a problem
XNo, known not to cause a problem
No data found
Respiratory tract irritant Skin irritant Skin sensitiser
No data found
?Possibly, status not identified
No data found
Eye irritant Phototoxicant  
Yes, known to cause a problem
No data found  
General human health issues
Inhalation may result in weakness, chest pain and tightness, dry mouth, cough, sickness
May cause pulmonary oedema
Handling issues
Property
Value and interpretation
General
Extremely flammable
Corrosive
Reacts violently with air, oxygen, halogens and other oxidants causing fire and explosion hazard
CLP classification 2013
Health: H300
Handling; H260
EC Risk Classification
T+ - Very Toxic: R26
H - Handling issues: R12, R17, R34
Dangerous for the environment: R50
EC Safety Classification
S1/2, S28, S36/37, S45, S61, S63
WHO Classification
FM (Fumigant, not classified)
UN Number
2199
Waste disposal & packaging
-
TRANSLATIONS
Language
Name
English
phosphine
French
-
German
Phosphorwasserstoff
Danish
-
Italian
-
Spanish
-
Greek
-
Polish
fosforowodor
Swedish
-
Hungarian
-
Dutch
-

Record last updated: 29/10/2019
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