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Acephate
Last updated: 02/03/2020
(Also known as: orthene)

SUMMARY
Acephate is an organophosphate insecticide that does not have approval for use in the EU. It is highly soluble in water and most organic solvents, and is volatile. It is not expected to leach to groundwater. Whilst it is mobile, it tends not to be persistence in soil or aquatic systems. It is moderately toxic to mammals and has a low potential for bioaccumulation. Acephate is also a recognised irritant. It is has a moderate to low toxicity to birds, honeybees, earthworms and most aquatic organisms.
GENERAL INFORMATION
Description
An organophosphate insecticide used normally as a foliar spray to control chewing and sucking insects
Example pests controlled
Aphids; Leaf miners; Lepidopterous larvae; Sawflies; Thrips
Example applications
Fruit; Vegetables; Potatoes; Sugarbeet; Vines; Rice; Hops; Ornamentals; Greenhouse crops including peppers, cucumbers
Efficacy & activity
-
Availability status
Current
Introduction & key dates
circa 1970
UK regulatory status
UK approval status
Not approved
EC Regulation 1107/2009 (repealing 91/414)
EC Directive 91/414 Status
Not approved
Dossier rapporteur/co-rapporteur
Italy
Date inclusion expires
Expired
EU Candidate for substitution (CfS)
Not applicable
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
Australia, USA
Chemical structure
Isomerism
Chiral, existing in the S- and R-forms
Chemical formula
C₄H₁0NO₃PS
Canonical SMILES
CC(=O)NP(=O)(OC)SC
Isomeric SMILES
No data
International Chemical Identifier key (InChIKey)
YASYVMFAVPKPKE-UHFFFAOYSA-N
International Chemical Identifier (InChI)
InChI=1S/C4H10NO3PS/c1-4(6)5-9(7,8-2)10-3/h1-3H3,(H,5,6,7)
2D structure diagram/image available?
Yes
Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre diagrams
Common Name Relationship Link
acephate -
General status
Pesticide type
Insecticide
Substance group
Organophosphate
Minimum active substance purity
-
Known relevant impurities
-
Substance origin
Synthetic
Mode of action
Broad-spectrum, contact and ingestion systemic action. Weak acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitor.
CAS RN
30560-19-1
EC number
250-241-2
CIPAC number
338
US EPA chemical code
103301
PubChem CID
1982
Molecular mass
183.17
PIN (Preferred Identification Name)
(E)-(O,S-dimethyl acetylphosphoramidothioate)
IUPAC name
(RS)-N-[methoxy(methylthio)phosphinoyl]acetamide
CAS name
O,S-dimethyl acetylphosphoramidothioate
Other status information
Potential groundwater contaminant; Chemical subject to PIC regulations
Relevant Environmental Water Quality Standards
-
Herbicide Resistance Classification (HRAC)
Not applicable
Herbicide Resistance Classification (WSSA)
Not applicable
Insecticide Resistance Classification (IRAC)
1B
Fungicide Resistance Classification (FRAC)
Not applicable
Examples of recorded resistance
Adoxophyes orana,Aphis gossypii, Myzus persicae, Phorodon humuli, Trialeurodes vaporariorum, Lygus lineolaris, plus others
Physical state
Colourless/white solid
Related substances & organisms
Formulations
Property
Value
Example manufacturers & suppliers of products using this active now or historically
  • Tornado
  • Ortril
  • Cekucefate
  • Sunphate
  • Orthene
  • Ortran
Example products using this active
  • Cheminova
  • King Tech Corp
  • United Phorsporus
  • Valent
  • Chevron
UK LERAP status
No UK approval for use as a pesticide under EC Regulation 1107/2009
Formulation and application details
Usually supplied as a soluble powder or granules.
ENVIRONMENTAL FATE
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Solubility - In water at 20 °C (mg l⁻¹)
790000
W4 W = French database provided by ARVALIS-Institut du Végétal
4 = Verified data
High
Solubility - In organic solvents at 20 °C (mg l⁻¹)
151000
L3 L = Pesticide manuals and hard copy reference books / other sources
3 = Unverified data of known source
Acetone
-
100000
L3 L = Pesticide manuals and hard copy reference books / other sources
3 = Unverified data of known source
Ethanol
-
35000
L3 L = Pesticide manuals and hard copy reference books / other sources
3 = Unverified data of known source
Ethyl acetate
-
100
L3 L = Pesticide manuals and hard copy reference books / other sources
3 = Unverified data of known source
Hexane
-
Melting point (°C)
89
L3 L = Pesticide manuals and hard copy reference books / other sources
3 = Unverified data of known source
-
Boiling point (°C)
Decomposes before boiling
L3 L = Pesticide manuals and hard copy reference books / other sources
3 = Unverified data of known source
-
Degradation point (°C)
- - -
Flashpoint (°C)
- - -
Octanol-water partition coefficient at pH 7, 20 °C
P
1.41 X 10-01 Calculated -
Log P
-0.85
R3 R = Peer reviewed scientific publications
3 = Unverified data of known source
Low
Bulk density (g ml⁻¹)
1.35
L3 L = Pesticide manuals and hard copy reference books / other sources
3 = Unverified data of known source
-
Dissociation constant pKa) at 25 °C
8.35
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
-
Weak acid
Vapour pressure at 20 °C
0.226
L3 L = Pesticide manuals and hard copy reference books / other sources
3 = Unverified data of known source
Low volatility
Henry's law constant at 25 °C
5.15 X 10-08
H4 H = The US ARS pesticide properties database (click here )
4 = Verified data
Non-volatile
GUS leaching potential index
1.14 Calculated Low leachability
SCI-GROW groundwater index (μg l⁻¹) for a 1 kg ha⁻¹ or 1 l ha⁻¹ application rate
Value
2.54 X 10-03 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)
3
H4 H = The US ARS pesticide properties database (click here )
4 = Verified data
Non-persistent
DT₅₀ (lab at 20 °C)
- - -
DT₅₀ (field)
3
H4 H = The US ARS pesticide properties database (click here )
4 = Verified data
Non-persistent
DT₉₀ (lab at 20 °C)
- - -
DT₉₀ (field)
- - -
DT₅₀ modelling endpoint
- - -
Note
Best available data
Dissipation rate RL₅₀ on plant matrix
Value
4.8
R4 R = Peer reviewed scientific publications
4 = Verified data
-
Note
Published literature RL₅₀ range 0.7-8.5 days, 8 field & undercover grown crops, various matrices, n=11
Dissipation rate RL₅₀ on and in plant matrix
Value
5.8
R4 R = Peer reviewed scientific publications
4 = Verified data
-
Note
Published literature RL₅₀ range 1.0-12.4 days, 12 field & undercover grown crops, various matrices, n=18
Aqueous photolysis DT₅₀ (days) at pH 7
Value
2
L3 L = Pesticide manuals and hard copy reference books / other sources
3 = Unverified data of known source
Moderately fast
Note
-
Aqueous hydrolysis DT₅₀ (days) at 20 °C and pH 7
Value
50
CA3 CA = Medical and toxicological databases and information systems e.g. TOXNET (click here )
3 = Unverified data of known source
Moderately persistent
Note
Hydrolysis data applies for pH range 5-7
Water-sediment DT₅₀ (days)
- - -
Water phase only DT₅₀ (days)
- - -
Soil adsorption and mobility
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Linear
Kd
1.6
R4 R = Peer reviewed scientific publications
4 = Verified data
Moderately mobile
Koc
302
Notes and range
Literature data: Kd range 0.54-4.98 mL g⁻¹, Koc range 24.4-545 mL g⁻¹, Soils = 19
Freundlich
Kf
0.21
R4 R = Peer reviewed scientific publications
4 = Verified data
Mobile
Kfoc
40.3
1/n
1.81
Notes and range
Literature data: Kf range 0.01-0.90 mL g⁻¹, Kfoc range 1.9-188 mL g⁻¹, 1.n range 1.43-2.08, Soils = 19
pH sensitivity
-
Key metabolites
Metabolite
Formation medium
Estimated maximum occurrence fraction
1107/2009 relevancy
methamidophos (Ref: ENT 27396)
Soil - -
ECOTOXICOLOGY
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Bio-concentration factor
BCF (l kg⁻¹)
0.03
J4 J = Pesticide Action Network database (click here )
4 = Verified data
Low potential
CT₅₀ (days)
Not available -
Mammals - Acute oral LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
945
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
Rat
Moderate
Mammals - Short term dietary NOEL
(mg kg⁻¹)
0.25
L2 L = Pesticide manuals and hard copy reference books / other sources
2 = Unverified data of unknown source
Rat
High
(ppm diet)
- -
Birds - Acute LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
350
F3 F = U.S. EPA ECOTOX database / U.S. EPA pesticide fate database / Miscellaneous WHO documents (US EPA Databases Related to Pesticide Risk Assessment )
3 = Unverified data of known source
Anas platyrhynchos
Moderate
Birds - Short term dietary (LC₅₀/LD₅₀)
- - -
Fish - Acute 96 hour LC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
110
F3 F = U.S. EPA ECOTOX database / U.S. EPA pesticide fate database / Miscellaneous WHO documents (US EPA Databases Related to Pesticide Risk Assessment )
3 = Unverified data of known source
Oncorhynchus mykiss
Low
Fish - Chronic 21 day NOEC (mg l⁻¹)
4.7
F2 F = U.S. EPA ECOTOX database / U.S. EPA pesticide fate database / Miscellaneous WHO documents (US EPA Databases Related to Pesticide Risk Assessment )
2 = Unverified data of unknown source
Galaxias maculatus 20 day
Moderate
Aquatic invertebrates - Acute 48 hour EC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
67.2
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)
43
L3 L = Pesticide manuals and hard copy reference books / other sources
3 = Unverified data of known source
Daphnia magna
Low
Aquatic crustaceans - Acute 96 hour LC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
7.3
F3 F = U.S. EPA ECOTOX database / U.S. EPA pesticide fate database / Miscellaneous WHO documents (US EPA Databases Related to Pesticide Risk Assessment )
3 = Unverified data of known source
Americamysis bahia
Moderate
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)
980
L2 L = Pesticide manuals and hard copy reference books / other sources
2 = Unverified data of unknown source
Unknown species
Low
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)
1.78
R3 R = Peer reviewed scientific publications
3 = Unverified data of known source
Apis mellifera
Moderate
Oral acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
> 0.23
R3 R = Peer reviewed scientific publications
3 = Unverified data of known source
Apis mellifera
High
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)
3.99
R3 R = Peer reviewed scientific publications
3 = Unverified data of known source
Bombus terrestris 72 hr
Moderate
-
Oral acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
7.37
R3 R = Peer reviewed scientific publications
3 = Unverified data of known source
Bombus terrestris 72 hr
Moderate
Literature LD₅₀ varies 3.93-135.5 µg bee⁻¹ depending on test duration 24-72 hrs
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)
> 22974
L3 L = Pesticide manuals and hard copy reference books / other sources
3 = Unverified data of known source
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
Harmful
Q2 Q = Miscellaneous internet resources
2 = Unverified data of unknown source
Parasitoids
-
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)
945
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
Rat
Moderate
Mammals - Dermal LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹ body weight)
10000
L3 L = Pesticide manuals and hard copy reference books / other sources
3 = Unverified data of known source
Rat
-
Mammals - Inhalation LC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
15.0
L3 L = Pesticide manuals and hard copy reference books / other sources
3 = Unverified data of known source
Rat
-
Other Mammal toxicity endpoints
- - -
ADI - Acceptable Daily Intake (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
0.03
F5 F = U.S. EPA ECOTOX database / U.S. EPA pesticide fate database / Miscellaneous WHO documents (US EPA Databases Related to Pesticide Risk Assessment )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
JMPR 2005
-
ARfD - Acute Reference Dose (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
0.1
F5 F = U.S. EPA ECOTOX database / U.S. EPA pesticide fate database / Miscellaneous WHO documents (US EPA Databases Related to Pesticide Risk Assessment )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
JMPR 2005
-
AAOEL - Acute Acceptable Operator Exposure Level (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
- - -
AOEL - Acceptable Operator Exposure Level - Systemic (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
- - -
Dermal penetration studies (%)
- - -
Dangerous Substances Directive 76/464
List I; List II - -
Exposure Routes
Public
Dermal route highest risk
Minimal risk of dietary exposure
Small risk of exposure in food and water from metabolite methamidophos
Source: US EPA
Occupational
Possible exposure via inhalation and dermal contact
Source: US EPA
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
?Possibly, status not identified
A3 A = Chromosome aberration (EFSA database)
3 = Negative
;
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
Yes, known to cause a problem
Reproduction / development effects Acetyl cholinesterase inhibitor Neurotoxicant
No data found
Yes, known to cause a problem
Yes, known to cause a problem
Respiratory tract irritant Skin irritant Skin sensitiser
No data found
?Possibly, status not identified
No data found
Eye irritant Phototoxicant  
No data found No data found  
General human health issues
USEPA - possible human carcinogen
Endocrine issues - Disruption of hormone expression in the hypothalamus
Handling issues
Property
Value and interpretation
General
IMDG Transport Code is 6.1
CLP classification 2013
Health: H302
EC Risk Classification
Xn - Harmful: R22
EC Safety Classification
S2, S36
WHO Classification
II (Moderately hazardous)
UN Number
Active 2783, liquid products usually 3018
Waste disposal & packaging
-
TRANSLATIONS
Language
Name
English
acephate
French
acéphate
German
Acephat
Danish
acephat
Italian
acefate
Spanish
acefato
Greek
-
Polish
acefat
Swedish
-
Hungarian
acefat
Dutch
-

Record last updated: 02/03/2020
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