PAN Pesticides Database - Chemicals

Methyl isothiocyanate - Identification, toxicity, use, water pollution potential, ecological toxicity and regulatory information

Note: See Working with the Information on this Page section below for important notes about this data.

This database and website are updated and enhanced by Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA). The project is made possible by our Sponsors and by PANNA general funds. We need your support to maintain and improve this system. Please support the database and website — donate to PANNA.

Identifying information, including synonyms, ID numbers, use type, chemical classification, a link to a list of all products containing this chemical and a list of the top crops this pesticide is used on in California.
Signs and symptoms of poisoning, first aid, and links to treatment information for this chemical.
Link to information on toxicity to humans, including carcinogenicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, and acute toxicity.
Links to world-wide registration status as well as regulatory information for the U.S. and California.
Water quality standards and physical properties affecting water contamination potential.
Toxicity to aquatic organisms.
List of chemicals in the same family, including breakdown products, salts, esters, isomers, and other derivatives.
 

Chemical Identification and Use for Methyl isothiocyanate

Basic Identification Information About This Chemical
Chemical Name: Methyl isothiocyanate
CAS Number: 556-61-6
U.S. EPA PC Code: 068103
CA DPR Chem Code: 392
Molecular Weight: 73.11
Use Type: Breakdown product , Fumigant , Herbicide , Insecticide , Nematicide
Chem Class: Unclassified
View Related Chemicals
 
Additional Resources About This Chemical Class and Use Type
Historical Use of this Chemical
Top five crops and sites for this pesticide in California
Right of Way  
View All Crops and Sites
 
Other Names for this Chemical
About Chemical Synonyms
(US EPA PC Code ) , 068103 (US EPA PC Code Text ) , 392 (CA DPR Chem Code) ) , 556-61-6 (CAS number) , 556616 , 556616 (CAS number without hyphens) , Biomet 33 , Dazomet breakdown product , Isothiocyanatomethane , Isothiocyanic acid, methyl ester , MeNCS , Metam potassium breakdown product , Metam sodium breakdown product , Methane, isothiocyanato- , Methyl isothiocya. , Methyl isothiocyanate , METHYL ISOTHIOCYANATE (CA DPR Chem Code Text ) , Methyl mustard oil , Methylisothiocyanate , MITC , MITC-1 , MITC-2 , MITC-3 , MITC-4 , SN-32866 , Trapex , Vorlex, component of (with 029001 and 029002) , Vorlex, component of (with 029001 and 029002)
 
Products Containing This Chemical
Current and historic U.S. registered products
View U.S. Products All Products Currently Registered Products
 

Signs and Symptoms of Methyl isothiocyanate Poisoning

NOTE! There may be other diseases and chemicals that have similar symptoms.

If you have a poisoning emergency in the United States call 1-800-222-1222.
If the victim has collapsed or is unconscious, call 911.

Methyl isothiocyanate is a Methyl Isothiocyanate (MITC)-generating compound.

Report a Poisoning

Symptoms of Poisoning with Methyl Isothiocyanate (MITC)-generating Compounds
Find Products Containing this Chemical

- Headache, dizziness
- Irritation of eyes, nose and throat
- Nausea, diarrhea
- Shortness of breath, chest tightness
- Symptoms delayed a week or more may include: weakness, diarrhea, cough, and rash

Source for Group Symptoms: Kreutzer, R. (1992). Acute health effects of the Cantara Metam-Sodium spill: An epidemiologic assessment, Environmental Health Investigations Branch, California Department of Health Services.

Treatment for Methyl Isothiocyanate (MITC)-generating Poisoning

See: Recognition and Management of Pesticide Poisoning, 5th edition, U.S. EPA, Chapter 15, page 141.

 
Symptoms of Methyl isothiocyanate Exposure

- HIGH irritation to skin, eyes and mucous membranes.
- Can cause pulmonary edema.
- Irritation of lungs and the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Irritation of the nose and throat, cough, laryngitis, chest pain, and asthmatic syndrome (chemical bronchitis with severe bronchospasm).
- Headache, vomiting, abdominal pain, insomnia, and anxiety neurosis with depression, or paranoid tendencies may be produced.

Source for Symptoms: Emergency First Aid Treatment Guide, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C. July 2003. (US EPA Other)

First Aid for Methyl isothiocyanate Poisoning

For Inhalation
- Move victims to fresh air. Emergency personnel should avoid self-exposure to methyl isothiocyanate.
- Evaluate vital signs including pulse and respiratory rate and note any trauma. If no pulse is detected, provide CPR. If not breathing, provide artificial respiration. If breathing is labored, administer 100% humidified oxygen or other respiratory support.
- Obtain authorization and/or further instructions from the local hospital for administration of an antidote or performance of other invasive procedures.
- Transport to a health care facility.
For Skin and Eyes
- Remove victims from exposure. Emergency personnel should avoid self-exposure to methyl isothiocyanate.
- Evaluate vital signs including pulse and respiratory rate and note any trauma. If no pulse is detected, provide CPR. If not breathing, provide artificial respiration. If breathing is labored, administer 100% humidified oxygen or other respiratory support.
- Remove contaminated clothing as soon as possible.
- If eye exposure has occurred, eyes must be flushed with lukewarm water for at least 15 minutes.
- Wash exposed skin areas thoroughly with soap and water.
- Obtain authorization and/or further instructions from the local hospital for administration of an antidote or performance of other invasive procedures.
- Transport to a health care facility.
For Ingestion
- Evaluate vital signs including pulse and respiratory rate and note any trauma. If no pulse is detected, provide CPR. If not breathing, provide artificial respiration. If breathing is labored, administer 100% humidified oxygen or other respiratory support.
- DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING.
- Obtain authorization and/or further instructions from the local hospital for administration of an antidote or performance of other invasive procedures.
- Give the victims water or milk: children up to 1 year old, 125 mL (4 oz or 1/2 cup); children 1 to 12 years old, 200 mL (6 oz or 3/4 cup); adults, 250 mL (8 oz or 1 cup). Water or milk should only be given if victims are conscious and alert.
- Activated charcoal may be administered if victims are conscious and alert. Use 15 to 30 gm (1/2 to 1 oz) for children, 50 to 100 gm (1-3/4 to 3-1/2 oz) for adults, with 125 to 250 mL (1/2 to 1 cup) of water.
- Promote excretion by administering a saline cathartic or sorbitol to conscious and alert victims. Children require 15 to 30 gm (1/2 to 1 oz) of cathartic; 50 to 100 gm (1-3/4 to 3-1/2 oz) is recommended for adults.
- Transport to a health care facility.

Source for First Aid: Emergency First Aid Treatment Guide, U.S. Enviromental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C. July 2003. ()

 
 

Toxicity Information for Methyl isothiocyanate

  Note: Information for many chemicals is incomplete and may not be fully representative of effects on humans. Why?

Summary Toxicity Information

PAN Bad Actor
Chemical
1
Acute
Toxicity
2
Carcinogen Cholinesterase
Inhibitor
Ground
Water Contaminant
Developmental or
Reproductive Toxin
Endocrine
Disruptor
Unclassifiable No Potential
 
Indicates high toxicity in the given toxicological category. Indicates no available weight-of-the-evidence summary assessment. For additional information on toxicity from scientific journals or registration documents, see the "Additional Resources for Toxicity " section of the chemical detail page.
1. PAN Bad Actors are chemicals that are one or more of the following: highly acutely toxic, cholinesterase inhibitor, known/probable carcinogen, known groundwater pollutant or known reproductive or developmental toxicant. NOTE! Because there are no authoritative lists of Endocrine Disrupting (ED) chemicals, EDs are not yet considered PAN Bad Actor chemicals.
2. The acute toxicity reported on this page is of the pure chemical ingredient only and may not reflect the acute toxicity of individual pesticide products. To view acute toxicity of individual products, click on 'View Products' link in the 'Chemical Identification' section above.

Detailed Toxicity Information

This Chemical
Parent Chemical 
Acute Toxicity 2
Methyl isothiocyanate Metam-sodium
WHO Acute Hazard
TRI Acute Hazard
Material Safety Data Sheets
Acute rating from U.S. EPA product label
U.S. NTP Acute Toxicity Studies
      View Studies
Cholinesterase Inhibitor
II, Moderately Hazardous
Not Listed
Not Available
Highly Toxic
No NTP Studies

No
II, Moderately Hazardous
Not Listed
Not Available
Highly Toxic
No NTP Studies

No
2. The acute toxicity reported on this page is of the pure chemical ingredient only and may not reflect the acute toxicity of individual pesticide products. To view acute toxicity of individual products, click on 'View Products' link in the 'Chemical Identification' section above.
 
Cancer Information
Methyl isothiocyanate Metam-sodium
IARC Carcinogens
U.S. NTP Carcinogens
California Prop 65 Known Carcinogens
U.S. EPA Carcinogens
TRI Carcinogen
Not Listed
Not Listed
Not Listed
Unclassifiable, inadequate data
Not Listed
Not Listed
Not Listed
Yes
B2, Probable
Not Listed
 
Endocrine Disruption
Methyl isothiocyanate Metam-sodium
Illinois EPA list
Keith list
Colborn list
Benbrook list
Danish Inert list
EU list
Not Listed
Not Listed
Not Listed
Not Listed
Not Listed
Not Listed
Not listed
Not listed
Not listed
Not listed
Not listed
Yes
 
Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity
Methyl isothiocyanate Metam-sodium
CA Prop 65 Developmental Toxin
U.S. TRI Developmental Toxin
CA Prop 65 Female Reproductive Toxin
CA Prop 65 Male Reproductive Toxin
U.S. TRI Reproductive Toxin
Not Listed
Not Listed
Not Listed
Not Listed
Not Listed
Yes
Yes
Not Listed
Not Listed
Not Listed
 
Chemicals of Special Concern
Methyl isothiocyanate Metam-sodium
PAN Bad Actors
PAN Dirty Dozen list
Yes
Not Listed
Yes
Not Listed
 

Water Pollution Potential and Criteria for Methyl isothiocyanate

Water Pollution Potential

This Chemical
Parent Chemical
  Methyl isothiocyanate Metam-sodium
PAN Ground Water Contaminant Rating Potential Insufficient Data
 
Physical Property Data Related to Water Contamination Potential
Water Solubility (Avg, mg/L)
Adsorption Coefficient (Koc)
Hydrolysis Half-life (Avg, Days)
Aerobic Soil Half-life (Avg, Days)
Anaerobic Soil Half-life (Avg, Days)
8,230
-
20.0
1.00
-
 
 

Sorry, no water quality standards or criteria have been established for this chemical by the U.S. or Canadian governments; however, there may be criteria established for related chemicals.

 

Regulatory Information for Methyl isothiocyanate

International Regulatory Status

This Chemical
Parent Chemical 
 
UNEP Persistent Organic Pollutant (POP)
UNEP Prior Informed Consent Chemical (PIC)
WHO Obsolete Pesticide
Not Listed
Not Listed
Not Listed
Not Listed
Not Listed
Not Listed
 

U.S. and California Regulatory Status

U.S. EPA Registered
U.S. EPA Hazardous Air Pollutant
U.S. EPA Minimum Risk Pesticide (25b list)

CA Registered
CA Groundwater Contaminant
CA Toxic Air Contaminant
Yes
Not Listed
No

Yes
Potential
TAC
Yes
Not Listed
No

Yes
Not Listed
TAC
 

Maximum Tolerance and Residue Levels

Codex Alimentarius
   (UN FAO Maximum Residue Limits)
U.S. Maximum Tolerance Levels
European Union Maximum Residue Levels
Go to web site

Go to web site

Go to web site
 

Ecotoxicity for Methyl isothiocyanate

Note! Information for many chemicals is incomplete and may not be fully representative of effects on the environment. Why? Click on underlined terms for definitions and additional information.

Aquatic Ecotoxicity

All Toxic Effects for Organism Group
Organism Group Effects Noted
Amphibians Mortality
Fish Development, Mortality
Insects Mortality
Phytoplankton Population
Zooplankton Intoxication, Mortality
View All Aquatic Ecotoxicity Studies and References
 
Summary of Acute Toxicity for Organism Group
Organism Group Average Acute Toxicity Acute Toxicity Range
Fish Highly Toxic High to Very High Toxicity
Insects Moderately Toxic Moderate Toxicity
Zooplankton Highly Toxic Highly Toxic
View All Acute Summaries
 

Terrestrial Ecotoxicity

Summary of Acute Toxicity for Organism Group

Sorry, no honeybee acute toxicity data available for this chemical. Try related chemicals.

Note: Population-level effects on honeybees may occur even if a pesticide has low acute toxicity. For example, certain pesticides interfere with honeybee reproduction, ability to navigate, or temperature regulation, any of which can have an effect on long-term survival of honeybee colonies. The neonicotinoids, pyrethroids and keto-enol pesticides are some types of pesticides causing one or more of these effects.
Honeybee Chronic Toxicity

Sorry, no honeybee chronic toxicity data available for this chemical. Try related chemicals.

Related Chemicals for Methyl isothiocyanate

CAS Number Relation Reason Chemical Name Chem Detail Symptoms California Use Chem Use Type U.S. EPA Reg PAN Bad Actor
6734-80-1, 137-42-8 Parent P Metam-sodium View View View Fumigant, Herbicide, Fungicide, Microbiocide, Algaecide Yes Yes
144-54-7 Related 1 Metam acid View View View Fumigant No Yes
39680-90-5 Related 1 Metam ammonium View View View Fumigant No Not Listed
137-41-7 Related 1 Metam potassium View View View Fumigant, Fungicide, Microbiocide, Algaecide, Nematicide Yes Yes
624-83-9 Related 5a Methyl isocyanate View View View Breakdown product No Yes
556-61-6 Related 5a Methyl isothiocyanate View View View Fumigant, Insecticide, Herbicide, Nematicide, Breakdown product Yes Yes
21160-95-2 Related 1 Methylammonium N-methyldithiocarbamate View View View Fumigant, Herbicide, Nematicide, Fungicide No Yes
 
Working with the Information on this Page

Click on underlined terms for definitions or go to the Pesticide Tutorial overview page.

Any underlined term with a book icon has additional information.

* Data marked with an asterisk indicates that this chemical is not explicitly listed on the corresponding list. Instead, it belongs to a group of chemicals that IS designated on the list. For example, if an agency assigns a classification of reproductive toxicant to "mercury compounds", that classification is applied to all mercury compounds in the PAN Pesticide database, which are then marked with an asterisk.

To print this page, choose Print. To export this data, choose Save As 'HTML Source' and open it in Excel or equivalent program.