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    WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION           FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION
    ORGANISATION MONDIALE DE LA SANTE   ORGANISATION POUR L'ALIMENTATION ET
                                        L'AGRICULTURE


                                                          VBC/DS/75.16
                                                          ORIGINAL: ENGLISH


   DATA SHEETS ON PESTICIDES No. 16

   June 1975


   SODIUM FLUOROACETATE

                                            

    It must be noted that the issue of a Data Sheet for a particular 
    pesticide does not imply endorsement of the pesticide by WHO or FAO for 
    any particular use, or exclude its use for other purposes not stated. 
    While the information provided is believed to be accurate according to 
    data available at the time when the sheet was compiled, neither WHO nor 
    FAO are responsible for any errors or omissions, or any consequences 
    therefrom. 
    

    The issue of this document does      Ce document ne constitue pas une
    not constitute formal publication.   publication.  Il ne doit faire  
    It should not be reviewed,           l'objet d'aucun compte rendu ou 
    abstracted or quoted without the     résumé ni d'aucune citation sans
    agreement of the World Health        l'autorisation de l'Organisation
    Organization.  Authors alone are     Mondiale de la Santé.  Les      
    responsible for views expressed      opinions exprimées dans les     
    in signed articles.                  articles signés n'engagent que  
                                         leurs auteurs.                   
   

                                                                             
                                                                         
                              SODIUM FLUOROACETATE
    

    Part 1 - General information

                                       CLASSIFICATION
                                       Primary use:  rodenticide
                                       Secondary use:  insecticide
                                       Chemical group:  fluorine-containing 
                                                        compound 
                                       Data sheet no. 16
                                       Date issued:  June 1975


                                       
    1.1   CHEMICAL NAME:  Sodium fluoroacetate.  As the chemical name is 
    short, no common name has been established. 

    Identity: Sodium fluoroacetate.

              F-CH2-OOO Na

    Synonyms:                            Local synonyms:  

    Sodium monofluoroacetate

    Compound 1080


    1.2   SYNOPSIS:  A water soluble salt of very high mammalian toxicity 
    which is used mainly as a rodenticide.  It is rapidly absorbed from the 
    gastrointestinal tract but is not readily absorbed through the intact 
    skin. 

    1.3   SELECTED PROPERTIES

    1.3.1 Physical characteristics:  a colourless, odourless salt, the
    technical material having a purity of about 95%.  It is hydroscopic and
    it decomposes on heating at about 200°C.

    1.3.2 Solubility:  water at 20°C very soluble; slightly soluble in 
    alcohol.

    1.3.3 Stability:  no information but the aqueous solution can be 
    expected to be stable at any pH. 

    1.3.4 Vapour pressure (volatility):  very low.

            
    1.4   AGRICULTURE, HORTICULTURE AND FORESTRY

    1.4.1 Common formulations:  usually marketed as an aqueous solution
    containing 0.5% nigrosine as a black warning colour, which is used to
    prepare baits.  In the United Kingdom it is formulated as a 5% solid
    concentrate and a 0.375% bait for dilution with water to 0.25%.  Sale
    and use are under strick control.

    1.4.2 Pests mainly controlled:  rats, mice, squirrels, prairie dogs,
    coyotes, rabbits.  Has also been used to control wallabies and rooks. 
    Has been used experimentally as an insecticide, herbicide and
    repellant, but is no longer used for these purposes.

    1.4.3 Use pattern:  in the United Kingdom, it is used only in
    sewers, ships and warehouses with restricted access.  In the United 
    States of America it is used for sewer, ship and warehouse treatment, 
    and in the field.  For field use small rodents are controlled by 
    permanent baiting throughout the winter and scattering poisoned grain 
    by plane at a rate of about 1 kg/ha of grain containing about 0.2% 
    active ingredient.  The grain is dyed to discourage birds and the 
    scattering is designed to prevent sheep, cattle or deer receiving a 
    lethal dose.  For coyote control, impregnated horse or sheep carcasses 
    are placed in "bait stations" during the winter. 

          In Australia rabbits and wallabies have been controlled with 
    apple and carrot baits.  A similar method has been used for rabbits in 
    New Zealand, where rooks have also been controlled by using a bread 
    bait. 
    
    1.4.4 Unintended effects:  very toxic to birds, domestic animals and
    wildlife.  High risk of secondary poisoning to carnivorous and 
    omnivorous species from eating poisoned carcasses. 


    1.5   PUBLIC HEALTH PROGRAMMES

          Used for commensal rat control aboard vessels, warehouses or 
    areas where risk of inadvertant poisoning of man or domestic animals is 
    minimal. 

    1.6   HOUSEHOLD USE

          The extremely toxic nature of sodium fluoroacetate renders its 
    household use highly inadvisable.  In many countries it is prevented by 
    strict control of sale and use of the compound. 

                    
                              SODIUM FLUOROACETATE


    Part 2 - Toxicology and risks

                                          Common name: sodium fluoroacetate
                                          Data sheet no. 2
                                          Date issued: June 1975


    2.1   TOXICOLOGY - MAMMALS

    2.1.1 Absorption:  rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract,
    the oral route being the most important in cases of poisoning.  Dust 
    formulations are easily absorbed by inhalation.  Not readily absorbed 
    through the intact skin but it may be absorbed in the presence of cuts 
    or dermatitis. 

    2.1.2 Mode of action:  blocks the Krebs cycle by the formation of
    fluorocitric acid which inhibits aconitase and results in the 
    accumulation of citric acid.  The fluorocitric acid is itself very 
    highly toxic, and therefore sodium fluoroacetate can cause secondary 
    poisoning, i.e., poisoning in an organism which has consumed a part of 
    an organism already poisoned. 

    2.1.3 Excretion products:  excreted in the urine probably as 
    fluorocitrate salts.

    2.1.4 Toxicity, single dose:  

          Oral:  LD50 rat, 0.22 mg/kg
          Dermal:  not known
          Inhalation:  not known
          Most susceptible species:  rodents are the most susceptible 
              species.

    2.1.5 Toxicity, repeated doses:  

          Oral:  no information
          Dermal:  no information.  Sodium fluoroacetate. is not absorbed
          to any significant extent through the intact skin.
          Inhalation:  no information
          Cumulation of compound:  cumulation of sodium fluoroacetate occurs
          to some extent and some tolerance can be demonstrated in the 
          mouse and rat and possibly in the rhesus monkey. 
          Cumulation of effect:  no information. 

    2.1.6 Dietary studies:

          Short-term:  no information
          Long-term:  no information.

    2.1.7 Supplementary studies of toxicity:  no information.

    2.1.8 Modifications of toxicity:  no information.


    2.2   TOXICOLOGY - MAN

    2.2.1 Absorption:  see 2.1.1.  The oral route is the most important in  
    cases of poisoning.

    2.2.2 Dangerous doses:

          Single:  judging from fatal and near-fatal cases, the dangerous
          dose for man is 0.5-2.0 mg/kg.  
          Repeated:  not known. 

    2.2.3 Observations of occupationally-exposed workers:  no information.

    2.2.4 Observations on exposure of the general population: if used
    correctly, sodium fluoroacetate should not represent a hazard to the
    general population.

    2.2.5 Observations of volunteers:  no information.

    2.2.6 Reported mishaps:  in one country in the Americas, there have 
    been 22 cases of poisoning by sodium fluoroacetate with 12 deaths.  In 
    one instance, four men died from consumption of the compound which had 
    been stored in soft drink or whisky bottles. 


    2.3   TOXICITY TO NON-MAMMALIAN SPECIES

          The entries in these sections are intended to draw attention to
    special risks and to give warnings of any needs for special 
    precautions. 

    2.3.1 Fish: fairly low toxicity to fish.  No risk from rat baits used
    in sewers discharging into natural waters.

    2.3.2 Birds: very toxic to birds.  Hazard from eating grain baits seems 
    to be low, but there   have been many deaths from eating coyote baits 
    and from secondary poisoning. 

    2.3.3 Other species:  it is toxic to bees, but there is no hazard under 
    proper conditions of use. Very toxic to wildlife generally. 

    
                              SODIUM FLUOROACETATE


    Part 3 - For regulatory authorities

                                         Common name:  sodium fluoroacetate 
                                         Data sheet no. 16 
                                         Date issued:  June 1975 


    RECOMMENDATIONS ON REGULATION OF COMPOUND


    3.1   RECOMMENDED RESTRICTIONS ON AVAILABILITY (for definition of
    categories, see introduction) Solid formulations over 10% category 1,
    liquid formulations over 1% category 1, solid formulations over 0.5%
    category 2, over 5% category 3.  No formulations in category 4 or 5.


    3.2   TRANSPORTATION AND STORAGE

    All formulations

          Should be stored in clearly labelled impermeable containers under 
    lock and key secure from access by unauthorized persons and children. 
    No food or drink should be stored in the same compartment. 

    3.3  HANDLING

    All formulations

          Since sodium fluoroacetate in solution is colourless all 
    solutions should be coloured.  It is also advisable for dust 
    formulations to be coloured in order to avoid confusion with foodstuff.  
    Full protective clothing (see part 4) should be provided for all those 
    handling the compound.  Adequate washing facilities should be available 
    at all times during handling and should be close to the site of 
    handling.  Eating, drinking and smoking should be prohibited during 
    handling and before washing after handling.  Baits of sodium 
    fluoroacetate should be removed and the area thoroughly cleaned up 
    after the necessary purpose has been fulfilled. 


    3.4   DISPOSAL AND/OR DECONTAMINATION OF CONTAINERS

    All formulations

          Containers must either be burned or crushed and buried below
    topsoil.  Care must be taken to avoid subsequent contamination of water 
    sources.  Decontamination of containers in order to use them for other 
    purposes should not be permitted. 


    3.5   SELECTION, TRAINING AND MEDICAL SUPERVISION OF WORKERS
    
    All formulations

          Pre-employment and periodic medical examination of workers 
    desirable. Special account should be taken of the workers' mental 
    ability to comprehend and follow instructions.  Training of workers in 
    techniques to avoid contact essential. 


    3.6   ADDITIONAL REGULATIONS RECOMMENDED IF DISTRIBUTED BY AIRCRAFT 

          A specific permit for each operation should be required to avoid 
    any danger of contamination of water sources. 

    3.7   LABELLING

    All formulations

          Minimum cautionary statement

          "POISON"
          
    (Skull and crossbones insignia)

          "Sodium fluoroacetate is an extremely toxic substance.  
    Inhalation of dust or swallowing may be fatal.  The compound may also 
    be absorbed through cuts or abrasions in the skin and lead to 
    poisoning.  Wear protective gloves, clean protective clothing and a 
    respirator when handling this material.  Bathe immediately after work.  
    Ensure that containers are stored under lock and key.  Empty containers 
    must be disposed of in such a way as to prevent all possibility of 
    accidental contact with them.  Keep the material out of reach of 
    children and well away from foodstuffs, animal feed and their 
    containers."

          "In case of contact, immediately remove contaminated clothing and 
    wash the skin thoroughly with soap and water; for eyes, flush with 
    water for 15 minutes." 

          "If poisoning occurs, call a physician."


    3.8   RESIDUES IN FOOD

          If used correctly as a bait, residues of sodium fluoroacetate 
    will not appear in human food.  Levels have not been recommended by the 
    Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues. 


                              SODIUM FLUOROACETATE


    Part 4 - Prevention of poisoning in man and emergency aid

                                         Common name:  sodium fluoroacetate
                                         Data sheet no. 16                 
                                         Date issued:  June 1975           
    
        
    4.1   PRECAUTIONS IN USE

    4.1.1 General:  sodium fluoroacetate is a water soluble salt of very
    high toxicity which is used mainly as a rodenticide.  It is readily 
    absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract and dusts may be absorbed by 
    inhalation.  It is not readily absorbed through the intact skin. 
    
    4.1.2 Manufacture and formulation 
    
          T.L.V.

          ACGIH 0.05 mg/m3 

          Closed systems and forced ventilation may be required to reduce 
    as much as possible the exposure of workers to the chemical.  All 
    formulations should be coloured with a warning dye. 

    4.1.3 Mixers and applicators:  particularly when opening container and 
    when mixing protective impermeable boots, clean overalls, gloves and a 
    face mask should be worn.  Mixing, if not mechanical, should always be 
    carried out with a paddle of appropriate length.  The applicator should 
    avoid inhaling dust particles and avoid contact with the mouth.  
    Particular care is needed when the equipment is being washed after use.  
    All protective clothing should be washed immediately after use 
    including the insides of gloves.  Splashes must be washed immediately 
    from the skin or eyes with large quantities of water. Before eating, 
    drinking or smoking, hands and other exposed skin should be washed. 

          Sodium fluoroacetate should not be used in dwelling houses.  
    Baits should not be used where there is a risk of contaminating food, 
    animal feeding stuffs or drinking or washing water.  Exposed baits 
    should be laid in containers clearly marked "Poison".  Baits should not 
    be laid unless all access by children and animals other than rats and 
    mice can be prevented.  Except in locked unoccupied premises baits 
    should not remain down for more than 24 hours.  All exposed baits and 
    their containers should be removed after treatment and burned.  Rodent 
    bodies should be searched for and destroyed by burning. 

    4.1.4 Other associated workers (including flagmen in aerial 
    operations):  not applicable.

    4.1.5 Other populations likely to be affected:  with correct use as 
    described under mixers and applicators (4.1.3 above) other populations 
    should not be exposed to hazardous amounts of sodium fluoroacetate. 


    4.2   ENTRY OF PERSONS INTO TREATED AREAS

          The general public should be excluded from all access to premises 
    while baits are exposed.


    4.3   SAFE DISPOSAL OF CONTAINERS AND SPILLAGE

          Residues in containers should be emptied in a diluted form into a 
    deep pit taking care to avoid contamination of ground waters. 
    Decontamination of containers in order to use them for other purposes 
    should not be permitted.  Spillage should be removed as much as 
    possible into a deep dry pit and the remainder washed away with large 
    quantities of water. 
               

    4.4   EMERGENCY AID 

    4.4.1 Early symptoms of poison:  there is a variable latent period 
    ranging from 30 minutes to two hours or more between ingestion and the 
    appearance of symptoms.  The first indication of poisoning is nausea 
    and mental apprehension followed by epileptiform convulsions. 

    4.4.2 Treatment before person is seen by a physician, if these symptoms 
    appear following exposure:  if swallowed, vomiting should be induced
    if the person is conscious.  Complete rest and quiet are indicated. 
    Artificial respiration may be necessary. 


                              SODIUM FLUOROACETATE


    Part 5 - For medical and laboratory personnel

                                          Common name: sodium fluoroacetate
                                          Data sheet no. 16                   
                                          Date issued: June 1975              
        


    5.1   MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OF CASES OF POISONING

    5.1.1 General information:  sodium fluoroacetate is a water soluble
    salt of very high toxicity, which is used mainly as a rodenticide.  It 
    is readily absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract and may be absorbed 
    by inhalation if in the form of a dust.  Although it is not absorbed 
    through the unbroken skin, it may be absorbed through cuts or 
    abrasions.  It appears to interfere with acetate metabolism by blocking 
    the Krebs cycle leading to accumulation of citric acid. 

    5.1.2 Symptoms and signs:  there is a variable latent period ranging
    from 30 minutes to two hours between ingestion and appearance of 
    symptoms.  The first indication of poisoning is nausea and mental 
    apprehension with facial twitching and numbness, generally followed by 
    epileptiform convulsions.  After a period of several hours pulsus
    alternans may exist followed by ventricular fibrillation and death. 
    Children appear to be more subject to cardiac arrest than to 
    ventricular fibrillation. 

    5.1.3 Laboratory:  there do not appear to be any straightforward
    laboratory tests for diagnosing sodium fluoroacetate poisoning.  The 
    presence of the compound in blood and tissues is indicative of 
    absorption.  Based upon animal studies, there may be a two to three-
    fold elevation in citric acid in the blood 

    5.1.4 Treatment: treatment for sodium fluoroacetate poisoning is
    mainly symptomatic. If ingested, vomiting should be induced immediately
    followed by gastric lavage with two to four litres of tap water and
    instillation of 15-30 g of saline cathartic.  Monoacetin (glyceryl
    monoacetate) 0.5 mg/kg should be injected IM every half hour for 12
    hours varying the injection sites.  Artificial respiration with the
    assistance of oxygen may be required.  Calcium gluconate, 2-3 g per day
    in 10% solution may be given IV.  To control convulsions barbiturates
    (preferably phenobarbitone or pentobarbitone) should be given IM or IV
    in sufficient dosage.

    5.1.5 Prognosis:  if the patient survives the first 24 hours after
    ingestion of sodium fluoroacetate the chances of complete recovery are
    favourable.

    5.1.6 References of previously reported cases:  the following
    references give methods of treatment used in cases of poisoning:

          McTaggart, D. R. (1970) Med. J. Austr., 57(2), 641-642
          

          Hayes, W. J., jr (1963) Clinical Handbook on Economic Poisons,
          U.S. Publ. Hlth Ser. Publ., No. 476, pp. 81-82 

          Pattison, F. L. M. (1959) Toxic Aliphatic Fluorine Compounds,
          Elsevier Monographs, Amsterdam, London, New York, Princeton, 
          Appendix III, pp. 208-210. 


    5.2   SURVEILLANCE METHODS

          There are no readily available surveillance methods.

        
    5.3   LABORATORY METHODS

          References only are given,
          
    5.3.1 Detection and analysis:  a thin layer chromatographic method 
    capable of detecting 0.1 mg in animal tissue has been developed by 
    Perry (1970). 

    5.3.2 Other tests in cases of poisoning:  level of citric acid in
    blood may be elevated during poisoning by sodium fluoroacetate.  A
    rapid method for determining citric acid in serum is given; by Camp, 
    B.J. & Farmer, L. (1967). 


                                   REFERENCES

    Camp, B.J. & Farmer, L. (1967) Rapid spectrophotometric determination
    of citric acid in blood, Clin. Chem., 13, 501

    Perry, V. A. (1970) Thin layer chromatographic determination of sodium
    monofluoroacetate, J. Assoc. Off. Anal. Chem., 53, 737




    See Also:
       Toxicological Abbreviations
       Sodium fluoroacetate (ICSC)
       Sodium fluoroacetate (PIM 494)