Fenitrothion; a Broad-Spectrum Organophosphate Insecticide with Low Mammalian
Fenitrothion is a phosphorothioate insecticide used in agriculture, forestry, horticulture, and public
health against chewing and sucking insects on cereals, cotton, stored grains, vegetables, fruits, rice,
etc., for agriculture and cockroaches, mosquitoes, and flies in public health use. In agriculture,
Fenitrothion is widely used to control insects in different crops. This insecticide has been used in
several countries, but it is not registered for use in the United States against stored-product insects.
Fenitrothion is a commonly used, inexpensive insecticide and varroa control that has been tested in
the field for its efficacy against several broad spectrum and specific pests. It is made from a
combination of two compounds, thiophanate and cysteine.
It was initially tested as an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and antitussives agent. A method was
subsequently developed for simultaneous determination of Fenitrothion and chlorpyrifos using an
optical cell based on quartz crystal silicate. They were coded with characteristic reflectivity peak
originating from the interior stop-bands of chlorpyrifos. The new method showed that Fenitrothion
had a competitive effect when measured against chlorine. When Fenitrothion was introduced in
water, it produced hydrogen peroxide. The concentration of this hydrogen peroxide was found to be
lower in drinking water than that of chlorinated water. Therefore, Fenitrothion is considered safer
than chlorinated standards.
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