Extension Toxicology Network

Pesticide Information Profiles

A Pesticide Information Project of Cooperative Extension Offices of Cornell University, Oregon State University, the University of Idaho, and the University of California at Davis and the Institute for Environmental Toxicology, Michigan State University. Major support and funding was provided by the USDA/Extension Service/National Agricultural Pesticide Impact Assessment Program.

EXTOXNET primary files maintained and archived at Oregon State University

Revised 9/95.


TRADE OR OTHER NAMES: Acephate is found in a variety of commercial insecticides. Trade names for products containing acephate include Orthene,Asataf, Pillarthene, Kitron, Aimthane, Ortran, Ortho 12420,Ortril, Chrevron RE 12420, and Orthene 755 (116, 9).

REGULATORY STATUS: Acephate is considered a general use insecticide and is used on many crops inside and outside the U.S. (114). In Canada, maximum residue limits (MRL) have not been established under the Canadian Food and Drug Act and Regulations for acephate on any crop, and therefore only negligible residues (< 0.1 mg/kg) are permitted on any produce. MRLs have been established for acephate's transformation product, methamidophos, at 1.0 mg/kg for lettuce and peppers, and 0.5 mg/kg for tomatoes (118). Products containing acephate must bear the signal word "Caution" on their label (112). Check with specific state regulations for local restrictions which may apply.

CHEMICAL CLASS: organophosphate

INTRODUCTION: Acephate is an organophosphate foliar spray insecticide of moderate persistence with residual systemic activity of about 10-15 days at the recommended use rate. It is used for control of a wide range of biting and sucking insects, especially aphids, including resistant species, in fruit, vegetables (e.g. potatoes and sugar beets), vine, and hop cultivation and in horticulture (e.g. on roses and chrysanthemums grown outdoors) (13). It also controls leaf miners, lepidopterous larvae, sawflies and thrips in the previously stated crops as well as turf, mint and forestry (114). It is considered non-phytotoxic on many crop plants (111). Although, a marginal leaf-burn has occurred on Red Delicious apples (114). Acephate and its primary metabolite, methamidophos, are toxic to Heliothis spp. that are considered resistant to other organophosphate insecticides (118). Acephate emits toxic fumes of phosphorus, nitrogen, and sulfur oxides when heated to decomposition. Symptoms of exposure to acephate include a slight irritation of eyes and skin. Acephate comes in soluble powder, pressurized spray and granular formulations (111).





Physical Properties:

Exposure Guidelines:


Valent USA
1333 North California Blvd.
Suite 600
P. O. Box 8025
Walnut Creek, CA 94596-8025
Telephone: 510-256-2700
Emergency: 800-457-2022


References for the information in this PIP can be found in Reference List Number 5

DISCLAIMER: The information in this profile does not in any way replace or supersede the information on the pesticide product label/ing or other regulatory requirements. Please refer to the pesticide product label/ing.