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CAS Number: 57-24-9
Synonyms: Certox, Dolco mouse cereal, Kwik-kil, Mole death, Mole-nots, Mouse-rid, Mouse-tox, Pied piper mouse seed, RCRA waste number P108, Rodex, Sanaseed, Strychnidin-10-one, Strychnos, UN 1692
Contaminant Type: Chemical

Strychnine (strychnine alkaloid) is a synthetic organic pesticide used to destroy rodents and predatory animals [2153, 2155]. Strychnine is currently registered for use only below-ground as a bait application to control pocket gophers. Above-ground uses of strychnine have been prohibited by a U.S. Court injunction since 1988. Most strychnine products are classified as restricted use pesticides by USEPA. The USEPA published its Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for strychnine in 1996 [2155]. Its IUPAC name is Strychnidin-10-one [2153].

Strychnine is not regulated by USEPA in drinking water.

USEPA placed strychnine in Toxicity Category I, indicating the greatest degree of acute toxicity for oral and ocular effects. Inhalation toxicity is also presumed to be high. Strychnine is a powerful convulsant which acts as a selective competitive antagonist to block the inhibitory effects of glycine [2155].

Neither groundwater nor surface water seem to be at risk from contamination of strychnine due to the following properties and phenomena. Strychnine is essentially immobile; the strychnine molecule (parent) is adsorbed to organic matter and clay. It is very insoluble in water (0.0115 g/100 mL). The parent does not hydrolyze at pH 5, 7, or 9. Parent is stable to soil photolysis. Current use pattern of strychnine involves application into specific below-ground burrows [2154].

Date of Literature Search: April 2012    

2153 Montgomery, J.H. (Ed.); 2000; Strychnine; Agrochemicals Desk Reference; Chapter Strychnine pp. 1, Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, New York.
2154 USEPA; 1996; Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) Strychnine; Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) Strychnine; EPA 738-R-96-33 pp.21-22. Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC.
2155 USEPA; 1996; Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) Facts Strychnine ; Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) Facts Strychnine; EPA 738-R-96-033 pp.1-8. Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC.