Drinking Water Treatability Database

Local Navigation


Treatment Processes
Fate and Transport
CAS Number: 114-26-1
Synonyms: Arprocarb, Baygon , Blattanex, Bolfo, Propyon, Rhoden, Sendran, Suncide, Tendex, Unden
Contaminant Type: Chemical

Propoxur is an N-methyl carbamate pesticide used to control ants, fleas, flies, ticks, mosquitos, apids, roaches and hornets in and around residences and commercial food handling establishments.  It is available in many formulations including aerosols, baits, emulsifiable concentrates, wettable powders, dusts and powders, etc [2122, 2116].  Its IUPAC name is 2-isopropoxyphenyl methylcarbamate. 


Propoxur was first registered as a pesticide in the U.S. in 1963. EPA issued a Reregistration Eligibility Decision document for propoxur in 1997 and it is currently registered as a general use pesticide [2122], but not permitted on food crops [2116]. 


The mechanism of toxicity for propoxur is to inhibit the production of cholinesterase, an enzyme necessary for transmission of nerve impulses.  Symptoms of propoxur poisoning include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, sweating, diarrhea, amongst others [2123].  It is not considered mutagenic, teratogenic or embryotoxic [2126].   It is a B2 probable human carcinogen [2122].  Propoxur has been shown to have moderate acute toxicity and has been classified in the second of four toxicity categories for oral route exposure and in the third of four toxicity categories for dermal and inhalation routes.  


Propoxur is not sorbed strongly to soils and sediments [2124, 2126].  With a high solubilty, it has potential for being mobile in ground waters [2126].  It has a low Henry's constant so is not subject to volatilization [2124].  It is hydrolytically stable at acid to neutral pHs (pH between 3 and 7) and degrades rapidly at increasing alkaline pH [2122].  It is photodegradable, especially in upper strata of surface waters [2124, 2126].  It is rarely detected in surface or ground waters [2126]. 


Two transformation products are reported: N-methylformamide and 2-isopropoxyphenol [2125].  The latter is also know as propoxur phenol.  pH-dependant basic hydrolysis and exposure to light promote transformation [2125]. 


It is not regulated in drinking water in the US. 


Date of Literature Search: March 2011

2113 Mahalakshmi, M., Priya, S., Arabindoo, B., Palanichamy, M. and Murugesan, V.; 2009; Photocatalytic degradation of aqueous propoxur solution using TiO2 and Hβ zeolite-supported TiO2; Journal of Hazardous Materials; 161:336
2116 United States National Library of Medicine; 2011; TOXNET - Toxicology Data Network; http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?HSDB; As posted on June 2011. United States National Library of Medicine
2122 USEPA; 1997; R.E.D. Facts: Propoxur; EPA-738-F-97-009;
2123 Cornell University; 2011; Pesticide Management Education Program - Extoxnet; http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/metiram-propoxur/propoxur-ext.html; As posted on June 15, 2011. Extension Toxicology Network
2124 Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency; 2011; Propoxur; http://www.eeaa.gov.eg/English/NIPP/substances/chlordane/propoxur.doc;
2125 Sun, L and Lee, H K; 2003; Stability studies of propoxur herbicide in environmental water samples by liquid chromatography-atmospheric pressure chemical ionization ion-trap mass spectrometry; Jour Chromatrography A; 1014(1-2):153-63
2126 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2010; Propoxur; http://www.cdc.gov/exposurereport/data_tables/Propoxur_ChemicalInformation.html ;