Fenthion is a broad spectrum organophosphorus (OP) insecticide. Fenthion is used to control insect pests in agricultural, commercial and domestic situations and external parasites on cattle. Fenthion is also used to control pest birds in and around buildings.
Status: Review in progress
Fenthion was nominated for review in 1994 because of concerns about public health, occupational health and safety, the environment and food residues.
The review of fenthion has been conducted in two parts:
- Part 1 is considering the active constituent fenthion and products that are used in non-food producing situations
- Part 2 is considering fenthion products used on food-producing plants and animals.
Fenthion review Part 1—non-food producing uses
In December 2005 the APVMA released the Fenthion Preliminary Review Findings Report: Part 1 (PDF, 543kb). Since this report was published, the more concentrated home garden products have been discontinued, labels have been voluntarily amended and the pest bird control products have been declared to be Restricted Chemicals (restricted to use by authorised and trained personnel only).
The APVMA has since received new dermal absorption data indicating that fenthion is more readily absorbed than previously understood. This data may lead to further regulatory action for Part 1 of the review.
Fenthion review Part 2—food-producing uses
Part 2 of the review is considering food producing uses of fenthion. The APVMA has now completed the assessment of residue data (PDF, 881kb) | (RTF, 1.85Mb) (provided by the registrant and by industry groups). This assessment found that use of fenthion on certain crops could lead to consumers being exposed to levels of fenthion above the public health standard (the Acute Reference Dose).
The APVMA has now suspended two fenthion products used on food producing plants and issued new instructions that prohibit or restrict the use of fenthion on certain crops,and prohibits use on all food-producing plants in the home garden, pending further consideration of the OHS and environment assessments leading to finalisation of the overall review.
These changes to the approved uses of fenthion may significantly affect current fruit-fly control methods and interstate trade arrangements for produce that may be a fruit-fly host. The Domestic Quarantine and Market Access Working Group (a state and federal government working group) has developed a National Response Plan (external site) to deal with the outcomes of both the fenthion and the dimethoate reviews (dimethoate is also used for fruit fly control).
Finalising the review
The findings of all the component assessments of fenthion (toxicology, revised OHS, horticultural residues, veterinary residues and Environment) will be considered and the APVMA will publish a Preliminary Findings report that will outline the proposed final regulatory actions for each registered use of fenthion. The APVMA will issue a final report for both parts of this review once the assessment of all available data is completed and a regulatory decision has been made for each product included in the review.
- View the list of suspended and allowed uses
- View the new instructions for use: PER13843 (home garden), PER13840 (WA Only) and PER13841 (All other jurisdictions)
- Frequently asked questions about the fenthion review and this action to change the approved uses
Fenthion review archive
|Media release: National regulator changes label instructions for the use of fenthion||Oct 2012|
|Gazette notice (page 11): Suspension of Certain Products Containing Fenthion, Suspension of Associated Label Approvals and Cancellation of Previous Label Approvals (PDF, 611kb) | (RTF, 500kb)||Oct 2012|
|Fenthion frequently asked questions||Oct 2012|
|Media release: Proposed suspension of some fenthion uses||Sep 2012|
|Fenthion Residues and Dietary Risk Assessment Report (Part 2):||Sep 2012|
|Review of the mammalian toxicology and metabolism/toxicokinetics of fenthion (Part 2) (PDF, 2.17Mb) | (RTF,5.1Mb)||Sep 2012|
Preliminary Review Findings Report – Part 1: Uses of fenthion in non-food-producing situations:
|Gazette Notice: Preliminary Review Findings Part 1 of the Review of Approvals & Registrations related to Fenthion used in Non-Food Producing Situations (PDF, 54kb)||Dec 2005|
|Gazette Notice: Chemicals for review in the third cycle – call for information||Apr 1998|
For more information contact:
Phone: +61 2 6210 4749
Fax: +61 2 6210 4874
Search the PUBCRIS database for registered products that contain fenthion.
Note: In the Active Constituent 1 field enter fenthion.