Sulfuryl Fluoride

CAS No. 2699-79-8
For more abstracts search PubMed or Toxnet

Return to
Profume Index Page
Vikane Index Page
Adverse Effects Part 1
Adverse Effects Part 2

ACTIVITY: Fluorine fumigant (Inorganic)


1993: Rationale for US EPA to add Sulfuryl Fluoride to the Toxic Release Inventory

The primary effects of sulfuryl fluoride in humans are respiratory irritation and central nervous system depression, followed by excitation and possibly convulsions. Rabbits exposed via inhalation (6 hours/day, 5 days/week, for 2 weeks) to sulfuryl fluoride showed hyperactivity, convulsions and vacuolation of the cerebrum at 600 ppm (2.5 mg/L). Renal lesions were present in all rats exposed by inhalation (6 hours/day, 5 days/week, for 2 weeks) to 600 ppm (2.5 mg/ L) sulfuryl fluoride. Minimal renal changes were noted in rats exposed to 300 ppm (1252 mg/L), whereas no effects occurred at 100 ppm (4.2 mg/ L). Convulsions at near lethal concentrations were reported in rabbits, mice, and rats. In a 30-day inhalation study, loss of control, tremors of the hind quarters, and histopathological changes in the lung, liver, and kidney were reported in rabbits exposed to 400 ppm (1.6 mg/L) for 7 hours/day, 5 days/week for 5 weeks. The NOEL was 200 ppm (0.83 mg/L). Cerebral vacuolation and/or malacia and inflammation of nasal tissues were observed in rabbits exposed by inhalation to 100 or 300 ppm (0.4 or 1.25 mg/L) for 13 weeks. The NOEL was 30 ppm (0.125 mg/L). Rats exposed by inhalation to 100 to 600 ppm (0.4 to 0.25 mg/L) sulfuryl fluoride for 13 weeks developed mottled teeth (indicative of fluoride toxicity), renal and respiratory effects, and cerebral vacuolation. EPA believes that there is sufficient evidence for listing sulfuryl fluoride on EPCRA section 313 pursuant to EPCRA section 313(d)(2)(B) based on the available neurological, renal, and respiratory toxicity data for this chemical.

Ref: USEPA/OPP. Support Document for the Addition of Chemicals from Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Active Ingredients to EPCRA Section 313. U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC (1993).

As cited by US EPA in: Federal Register: January 12, 1994. Part IV. 40 CFR Part 372. Addition of Certain Chemicals; Toxic Chemical Release Reporting; Community Right-to-Know; Proposed Rule.

Reports available from
The National Technical Information Service

Order from NTIS by: phone at 1-800-553-NTIS (U.S. customers); (703)605-6000 (other countries); fax at (703)605-6900; and email at orders@ntis.gov. NTIS is located at 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA, 22161, USA.
Order No. Title Abstract



Available free online

1993 - RED Facts: Sulfuryl Fluoride.

Environmental Protection Agency, Arlington, VA. Special Review and Reregistration Div.

This decision document presents the Agency's decision regarding the reregistration eligibility of the registered uses of sulfuryl fluoride. The document consists of six sections. Section I is the introduction. Section II describes sulfuryl fluoride, its uses, data requirements and regulatory history. Section III discusses the human health and environmental assessment based on the data available to the Agency. Section IV presents the reregistration decision for sulfuryl fluoride. Section V discusses the reregistration requirements for sulfuryl fluoride. Finally, Section VI is the Appendices which support this Reregistration Eligibility Document. Fact sheet. See also PB86-173937 and PB94-140027.



Available free online

1993 - RED Facts: Sulfuryl Fluoride.

Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC. Office of Pesticide Programs.

Sulfuryl fluoride is an insecticide used to fumigate closed structures and their contents such as domestic dwellings, garages, barns, storage buildings, commercial warehouses, ships in port, and railroad cars. It controls numerous insect pests including termites, powder post beetles, old house borers, bedbugs, carpet beetles, clothes moths and cockroaches, as well as rats and mice. The end-use product is marketed as a liquid gas in pressurized steel containers. Fact sheet. See also PB87-124392.



1985 - Pesticide Fact Sheet Number 51: Sulfuryl Fluoride.

Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC. Office of Pesticide Programs.

The document contains up-to-date chemical information, including a summary of the Agency's regulatory position and rationale, on a specific pesticide or group of pesticides. A Fact Sheet is issued after one of the following actions has occurred. (1) Issuance or reissuance of a registration standard, (2) Issuance of each special review document, (3) Registration of a significantly changed use pattern, (4) Registration of a new chemical, or (5) An immediate need for information to resolve controversial issues relating to a specific chemical or use pattern.



1979 - Collection in Gas Sampling Bag, GC with Flame Photometric Detection (Analytical Method S245)

National Inst. for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, OH.

The NIOSH analytical method S245 for determining sulfuryl-fluoride (2699798) in air is described. Samples are collected in a gas sampling bag and are analyzed by gas chromatography with a flame photometric detector. The working range of the method is 2.54 to 10.29 parts per million, the coefficient of variance is 0.025, and the detection limit is 0.1 part per million. Analytical apparatus, reagents and procedures are described, and calculations are provided for determining sample concentrations. Data on recovery and stability rates is included.
Industrial medicine
Gas analysis
Sulfuryl fluoride
Analytical methods
Occupational safety and health
Air pollution detection
Air pollution sampling

Brief summary of Dow's efforts to use Sulfuryl fluoride on food commodities
March 23, 2004 Written Objections and Request for Hearing in the matter of: Sulfuryl fluoride; Temporary Pesticide Tolerances, Final Rule, published in the Federal Register, Jan 23, 2004. Submitted by FAN and Beyond Pesticides.
January 23, 2004
Federal Register

FINAL RULE. This regulation establishes the highest tolerances for residues of sulfuryl fluoride and inorganic fluoride from postharvest fumigation uses "in or on food" in US history. EPA sets a precedent by allowing a dosage of fluoride for infants that is five times higher than for adults.

Dow requested EPA to revoke its Experimental Use Permit for raisins and walnuts. In so doing FAN's April 2002 objections were rendered moot and denied on that ground. EPA released on this date 5 documents in response to FAN's objections and in support of this Final Rule:

1. October 31, 2003. MEMORANDUM. SUBJECT: SULFURYL FLUORIDE - Second Report of the Hazard Identification Assessment Review Committee. Docket No. OPP-2003-0373-0004 - 31 pages

November 18, 2003. A Preliminary Evaluation of Articles Related to Fluoride Cited by the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) as Objections to the Sulfuryl Fluoride Pesticide Tolerance Rule. Docket No. OPP-2003-0373-0003 - 55 pages

3. January 8, 2004. MEMORANDUM. SUBJECT: Review of Five Recent Papers on Fluoride Submitted by the Fluoride Action Network. Docket No. OPP-2003-0373-0005- 3 pages


5. January 20, 2004. MEMORANDUM. Subject: Human Health Risk Assessment for Sulfuryl Fluoride and Fluoride Anion Addressing the Section 3 Registration of Sulfuryl Fluoride Post-Harvest Fumigation of Stored Cereal Grains, Dried Fruits and Tree Nuts and Pest Control in Grain Processing Facilities. PP# 1F6312. Docket No. OPP-2003-0373-0002 - 51 pages

Sept 9, 2003 Switzerland: Dow AgroSciences replacement for methyl bromide, received its first ever full commercial approval. The Swiss authorities have cleared sulfuryl fluoride for use as a space fumigant in empty flour mills, food storage facilities and grain silos.
April 8, 2002 Written Objections and Request for Hearing from FAN in the matter of: Sulfuryl fluoride; Temporary Pesticide Tolerances, Final Rule, Feb 7, 2002, Federal Register.
March 18, 2002 Comments submitted to EPA from FAN on Dow's petition published in the FR, Feb 15, 2002. 
February 15, 2002
Federal Register
Dow AgroSciences petitions US EPA for tolerances of residues for over 40 food commodities.
February 7, 2002
Federal Register
US EPA approves Dow's petition with the first food use for sulfuryl fluoride in the US by issuing a 3-year Experimental Use Permit that allows Dow to use Sulfuryl fluoride as a fumigant on raisins and walnuts.
Inorganic fluroide levels approved:
Raisin - 30 ppm fluoride
Walnut - 12 ppm
January 5, 2002 Pittsburg, California: Dow Chemical is considering a $40 million to $50 million upgrade to its [sulfuryl fluoride] plant here, a move that could herald a tripling of its capacity to produce a pesticide used against termites and pests that attack strawberries...
Sept 29, 2001 Comments submitted to US EPA from Ellen Connett on the Proposed Pesticide Temporary Tolerances that appeared in the September 5, 2001, FR.
Sept 5, 2001
Federal Register

Dow AgroSciences: Proposed Pesticide Temporary Tolerances for fluoride and sulfuryl fluoride residues on walnuts and raisins from post harvest fumigation.

As the fluoride anion is the endpoint of toxicological concern for sulfuryl fluoride, EPA presents an updated tox profile on fluoride.

June 15, 2001
Federal Register

Dow AgroSciences petitions US EPA to establish a Tolerance for Fluoride and Sulfuryl fluoride on walnuts; also petitions for an Exemption for fluoride tolerances on raisins.

Sulfuryl fluoride: Comparisons of Residue Tolerances: Final vs. Proposed

Proposed Tolerances were petitioned for by Dow on Feb 15, 2002 - see Federal Register at

Final Rule was issued on January 23, 2004 - see Federal Register at


Final Rule
Jan 23, 2004

for tolerances of Inorganic Fluoride

Final Rule
Jan 23, 2004

for tolerances of Sulfuryl Fluoride

Feb 15, 2002
Inorganic Fluoride
Feb 15, 2002
Sulfuryl fluoride
FAN's Notes: Comparing Final Rule to the Proposed tolerances.
Barley, bran, postharvest 45.0 0.05 Not listed Not listed These tolerances were not petitioned for
Barley, flour, postharvest 45.0 0.05 Not listed Not listed
Barley, pearled, postharvest 45.0 0.05 Not listed Not listed
Corn, aspirated grain fractions, postharvest 55.0 0.05 Not listed Not listed 
Oat, flour, postharvest 75.0 0.05 Not listed Not listed 
Oat, rolled, postharvest 75.0 0.1 Not listed Not listed 
Corn, field, grits, postharvest 10.0 15.0 10 0.04

GREATLY Higher for Sulfuryl fluoride

Wheat, flour, postharvest 125.0 0.05 10 0.03 GREATLY Higher for Inorganic Fluoride
Wheat, milled byproducts, postharvest 130.0 0.05 35 0.01 GREATLY Higher for Inorganic Fluoride
Barley, grain, postharvest 15.0 0.1 10.0 0.01 Higher for both
Corn, field, grain, postharvest 10.0 0.05 7 0.04 Higher for both
Corn pop, grain, postharvest 10.0 0.05 7 0.04 Higher for both

Grape, raisin, postharvest

7.0 [0.05] 5 0.01 Higher for both
Millet, grain, postharvest 40.0 0.1 25 0.05 Higher for both
Oat, grain, postharvest 25.0 0.1 17 0.01 Higher for both
Sorghum, grain, postharvest 40.0 0.1 25 0.05 Higher for both
Triticale, grain, postharvest 40.0 0.1 25 0.05 Higher for both
Wheat, germ, postharvest 130.0 0.02 98 0.01 Higher for both
Wheat, grain, postharvest 40.04 [corrected to 40.0 on June 16, 2004] 0.1 25 0.05 Higher for both
Wheat, shorts, postharvest 40.0 0.05 38 0.01 Higher for both
Corn, field, flour, postharvest 35.0 0.01 26 0.01 Higher for F
Corn, field, meal, postharvest 30.0 0.01 28 0.01 Higher for F
Rice, grain, postharvest 12.0 0.04 10 0.04 Higher for F
Rice, polished, postharvest 25.0 0.01 18 0.01 Higher for F
Almond [10.0] [3.0]  10 0.2 Higher for SF
Date [3.0] [0.05] 5 0.03 Higher for SF
Pistachio, postharvest 10.0 3.0 18 0.5 Higher for SF
Plum, prune, dried [3.0] [0.05] 5 0.01 Higher for SF
Rice, hulls, postharvest 35.0 0.1 35 0.08 Higher for SF
Wheat, bran, postharvest 40.0 0.05 40 0.01 Higher for SF
Fruit, dried, postharvest


0.05 5 0.05 Lower for F
Date [3.0]   5 0.03 Lower for F
fig [3.0]   5 0.05 Lower for F
Pistachio, postharvest 10.0 3.0 18 0.5 Lower for F
Plum, prune, dried [3.0]   5 0.01 Lower for F
pecan [10.0] [3.0]   23 6.0 Lower for both
walnut [10.0] [3.0]   30 6.0 Lower for both
beechnut; butternut; cashew; chestnut; chinquapin; filbert; nut, brazil; nut, hickory; and nut, macadamia [10.0] [3.0]   30 6.0 Lower for all
Rice, bran, postharvest 31.0 0.01 31 0.01 SAME
Rice, wild, grain, postharvest 25.0 0.05 25 0.05 SAME
Corn, field, oil Not listed   Not listed   3 9.0 Not listed in Final Rule
Rice, brown Not listed  Not listed  14 0.01 Not listed in Final Rule

Federal Register: September 5, 2001. Sulfuryl Fluoride; Proposed Pesticide Temporary Tolerances. Volume 66, Number 172. Proposed Rules. Page 46415-46425.

Excerpt from Table 1.
Summary of Toxicological Doses and Endpoints for sulfuryl fluoride for Use in Human Risk Assessment

Exposure Scenario \1\ Dose (mg/kg/day) Endpoint Study
Chronic Dietary (General Population including Infants and Children) NOAEL = 8.5;
UF = 300;
FQPA Factor = 3
Vacuolation of white matter in the brain of females.
Chronic RfD = 0.028 mg/ kg/day
Chronic Population- Adjusted Dose (cPAD) = 0.0093 mg/kg/day
90-Day inhalation- rabbits
Inhalation Short-Term (Occupational) NOAEL = 30;
MOE = 100;
FQPA Factor = N/A
Malacia (necrosis) and vacuolation in the cerebrum, inflammation of nasal tissues and trachea. 2-Week inhalation- rabbits
Inhalation Short-Term (Residential) NOAEL = 30;
MOE = 300;
FQPA Factor = 3
Malacia (necrosis) and vacuolation in the cerebrum, inflammation of nasal tissues and trachea. 2-Week inhalation- rabbits
Inhalation Intermediate-Term (Occupational) NOAEL = 8.5;
MOE = 100;
FQPA Factor = N/A
Vacuolation of white matter in the brain of females. 90-Day inhalation- rabbits
Inhalation Intermediate-Term (Residential) NOAEL = 8.5;
MOE = 300;
FQPA Factor = 3
Vacuolation of white matter in the brain of females. 90-Day inhalation- rabbits
\*\ The reference to the FQPA Safety Factor refers to any additional safety factor retained due to concerns unique to the FQPA.
\1\ The only significant route of exposure for inorganic fluoride is dietary exposure, which includes residues in drinking water. This risk assessment uses the maximum concentration limit goal (MCLG) of 4.0 ppm for fluoride as the basis for a maximum allowable exposure to inorganic fluoride (see the Cryolite Reregistration Eligibility Decision, 8/96, EPA- 738-R-96-016). Using the Agency default values of body weight (70 kg) and water consumption (2 liters/day), the MCLG converts to an exposure limit of 0.114 mg/kg/day. This exposure is used as the cPAD for inorganic fluoride in this risk assessment.


Toxicol Sci. 2005 May 11; [Epub ahead of print]

Mendrala AL, Markham DA, Eisenbrandt DL.

Toxicology & Environmental Research and Consulting, 1803 Building, The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Michigan 48674.

Sulfuryl fluoride (SO2F2) is a structural fumigant gas to control drywood termites and wood-boring beetles. The pharmacokinetics and metabolism of inhaled SO2F2 were evaluated in male Fischer 344 rats exposed to 30 or 300 ppm (35)S-labeled SO2F2 for 4 h. Blood, urine and feces were collected during and after the exposures and analyzed for radioactivity, (35)S-labeled fluorosulfate and sulfate, and fluoride (urine and feces only). Selected tissues were collected 7 days post-exposure and analyzed for radioactivity. During and after unlabeled SO2F2 exposures, blood, brain and kidney were collected and analyzed for fluoride ion. SO2F2 was rapidly absorbed, achieving maximum concentrations of radioactivity in both plasma and red blood cells (RBC) near the end of the 4 h exposure period. Radioactivity was rapidly excreted, mostly via the urine. Seven days post-exposure, small amounts of radioactivity were distributed among several tissues, with the highest concentration detected in respiratory tissues. Radioactivity associated with the RBC remained elevated 7 days post-exposure and highly perfused tissues had higher levels of radioactivity than other non-respiratory tissues. Radioactivity cleared from plasma and RBC with initial half-lives of 2.5 h after 30 ppm and 1-2.5 h after 300 ppm exposures. The terminal half-life of radioactivity was 2.5-fold longer in RBC than plasma. Based on the radiochemical profiles, there was no evidence of parent (35)SO2F2 in blood. Identification of fluorosulfate and sulfate in blood and urine suggests that SO2F2 is hydrolyzed to fluorosulfate, with release of fluoride, followed by further hydrolysis to sulfate and release of the remaining fluoride.

PMID: 15888664 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]


Annu Rev Entomol 2002;47:331-59

Alternatives to methyl bromide treatments for stored-product and quarantine insects.

Fields PG, White ND.

Cereal Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 2M9; Canada. pfields@em.agr.ca

Methyl bromide is used to control insects as a space fumigant in flour and feed mills and ship holds, as a product fumigant for some fruit and cereals, and for general quarantine purposes. Methyl bromide acts rapidly, controlling insects in less than 48 h in space fumigations, and it has a wide spectrum of activity, controlling not only insects but also nematodes and plant-pathogenic microbes. This chemical will be banned in 2005 in developed countries, except for exceptional quarantine purposes, because it depletes ozone in the atmosphere. Many alternatives have been tested as replacements for methyl bromide, from physical control methods such as heat, cold, and sanitation to fumigant replacements such as phosphine, sulfuryl fluoride, and carbonyl sulfide, among others. Individual situations will require their own type of pest control techniques, but the most promising include integrated pest management tactics and combinations of treatments such as phosphine, carbon dioxide, and heat.

Publication Types:

  • Review
  • Review, Academic

PMID: 11729078 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


March 27, 2002. Federal Register. (Volume 67, Number 59)] [Notices] [Page 14713-14714]

US EPA Issues 3-Year Experimental Use Permit for "ProFume Gas Fumigant" on walnuts and raisins.


February 19, 2002. Fluoride Action Network Pesticide Project.

ACTION ALERT and UPDATE on Sulfuryl fluoride.

EPA's latest effort to set tolerances for inorganic Fluoride residues "in and on" a large number of raw and processed food products.


February 15, 2002. Federal Register (Volume 67, Number 32)] [Notices] [Page 7156-7159]

DowAgroSciences pesticide petition to establish Fluoride and Sulfuryl fluoride tolerances for a large number of raw and processed foods.

In or On Raw Commodity: Fluoride tolerances Sulfuryl fluoride tolerances
Almond 10 0.2
Barley, grain 10 0.01
Beechnut 30 6
Brazil (nut) 30 6
Butternut 30 6
Cashew 30 6
Chestnut 30 6
Chinquapin 30 6
Corn, field, grain 7 0.04
Corn, pop, grain 7 0.04
Date 5 0.03
Fig 5 0.05
Filbert 30 6
Fruit, dried 5 0.05
Grape, raisin 5 0.01
Hickory (nut) 30 6
Macadamia (nut) 30 6
Millet, grain 25 0.05
Oat, grain 17 0.01
Pecan 23 6
Pistachio 18 0.5
Plum, prune 5 0.01
Rice, grain 10 0.04
Rice, wild, grain 25 0.05
Sorghum, grain 25 0.05
Triticale, grain 25 0.05
Walnut 30 6
Wheat, grain 25 0.04
Tolerances: On the processed products
Corn, field, flour 26 0.01
Corn, field, grits 10 0.01
Corn, field, meal 28 0.01
Corn, field, oil * 3 *
Corn, field, refined oil 3 9
Rice, bran 31 0.01
Rice, brown 14 0.01
Rice, hulls 35 0.08
Rice, polished rice 18 0.01
Wheat, bran 40 0.01
Wheat, flour 10 0.03
Wheat, germ 98 0.01
Wheat milled by products 35 0.01
Wheat, shorts 38 0.01
* This is most likely an error, as levels are given for Corn, field, refined oil


September 5, 2001. Federal Register. (Volume 66, Number 172)] [Proposed Rules] [Page 46415-46425]

Dow AgroSciences proposed pesticide temporary tolerances for residues of Sulfuryl fluoride resulting from the post harvest treatment with sulfuryl fluoride:

Proposed first time use of the fumigant Sulfuryl fluoride on food:
FLUORIDE residues in or on raisins at 30 ppm Expiration date: April 1, 2006
FLUORIDE residues in or on walnuts at 12 ppm Expiration date: April 1, 2006
SULFURYL FLUORIDE residues in or on raisins at 0.004 ppm Expiration date: April 1, 2006
SULFURYL FLUORIDE residues in or on walnuts at 2.0 ppm Expiration date: April 1, 2006


2001. TEKTRAN, United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service

Toxicity of Sulfuryl fluoride (Vikane) to fruit flies in laboratory tests.

Interpretive Summary: Exotic quarantine pests like fruit flies represent one of the greatest threats to California agriculture if populations of these pests were to become established in the state. Quarantine security against these pests in a variety of agricultural commodities is presently ensured by 2 to 4 hr fumigation treatments using methyl bromide. Because methyl bromide production is being phased out, we tested the effectiveness of sulfuryl fluoride as an alternative treatment against the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata Wiedemann, the Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis, and the Melon fly, B. cucurbitae. Results of our laboratory tests showed that sulfuryl fluoride was very toxic to larval stages of each of the 3 species of fruit fly in 4 hr fumigations. Conversely, eggs of these fruit flies were relatively tolerant to sulfuryl fluoride in the short, 4-hr exposure periods. Effective control of the eggs would require exposures to sulfuryl fluoride of 24 to 48 hrs. These results indicate that sulfuryl fluoride is not an effective replacement of methyl bromide as a quarantine fumigant for these fruit flies because of the relative tolerance of the egg stage in short exposure periods.

2001. Dow AgroSciences

Update on the development of sulfuryl fluoride as an alternative to methyl bromide

Hindes, Welker, Schneider, and Drinkall.


November 2000

Sulfuryl Fluoride: The Postharvest Fumigant of the Future?

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service


Am J Public Health 1998 Dec;88(12):1774-80

Health effects associated with sulfuryl fluoride and methyl bromide exposure among structural fumigation workers.

Calvert GM, Mueller CA, Fajen JM, Chrislip DW, Russo J, Briggle T, Fleming LE, Suruda AJ, Steenland K

Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. jac6@cdc.gov

OBJECTIVES: This study assessed the health effects associated with occupational exposure to methyl bromide and sulfuryl fluoride among structural fumigation workers.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study of 123 structural fumigation workers and 120 referents in south Florida was conducted. Nerve conduction, vibration, neurobehavioral, visual, olfactory, and renal function testing was included.
RESULTS: The median lifetime duration of methyl bromide and sulfuryl fluoride exposure among workers was 1.20 years and 2.85 years, respectively. Sulfuryl fluoride exposure over the year preceding examination was associated with significantly reduced performance on the Pattern Memory Test and on olfactory testing. In addition, fumigation workers had significantly reduced performance on the Santa Ana Dexterity Test of the dominant hand and a nonsignificantly higher prevalence of carpal tunnel syndrome than did the referents.
CONCLUSIONS: Occupational sulfuryl fluoride exposures may be associated with subclinical effects on the central nervous system, including effects on olfactory and some cognitive functions. However, no widespread pattern of cognitive deficits was observed. The peripheral nerve effects were likely caused by ergonomic stresses experienced by the fumigation workers.

PMID: 9842373, UI: 99058513


November 17, 1998 (revised)

Summary of Toxicology Data for Sulfuryl fluoride

California Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Pesticide Regulation, Medical Toxicology Branch


Am J Ind Med 1997 Oct;32(4):364-8

Agreement between company-recorded and self-reported estimates of duration and frequency of occupational fumigant exposure.

Calvert GM, Mueller CA, O'Neill VL, Fajen JM, Briggle T, Fleming LE

Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA. jac6@cdc.gov

Investigators must often rely on self-reported work history information collected with questionnaires. However, little is known about the agreement between self-reported estimates of exposure and records kept by companies. As part of a cross-sectional medical study of structural fumigation workers, self-reported work history information was collected on both duration and frequency of exposure using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. All company records available on these workers were also collected. Only 15 of 81 structural fumigation companies identified by study participants as current or past structural fumigation employers had records suitable for comparison. These 15 companies employed 32 of the workers who participated in the cross-sectional medical study. The exposure information provided by the 32 workers was compared to information obtained from company records. By examining the agreement between these two data sources, potential limitations were identified in both the self-reported and company-recorded exposure data. By recognizing these limitations in the exposure data, we identified the most appropriate exposure measures to be used in subsequent data analyses. This exercise also demonstrated the difficulties in undertaking these exposure comparisons in an industry consisting of many small, independent companies. Similar difficulties with assessing exposures may be experienced by investigators studying other service industries consisting of many small, independent companies (e.g., dry cleaning, auto repair).

PMID: 9258390, UI: 97403012

by Caroline Cox
Abstract from Journal of Pesticide Reform 17 (2) 17-20 1997

(see full article)

The fumigant sulfuryl fluoride is widely used to kill termites and other unwanted insects in buildings, ships, railroad cars, and wood products. Sulfuryl fluoride is "an extremely hazardous gas". Typical symptoms of exposure include nose, eye, and throat irritation, weakness, nausea, difficult or painful breathing, seizures, and kidney injury. With repeated exposure or higher concentrations, breathing failure occurs. There is no known antidote for sulfuryl fluoride poisoning. Sulfuryl fluoride is also toxic to the nervous system. Neurological symptoms include muscle aching and fatigue, co-ordination problems, depression, slurred speech, dizziness, and stumbling, weaving, and staggering when walking. Sulfuryl fluoride has adversely affected reproduction in laboratory animals. When rats inhale sulfuryl fluoride for a period spanning two generations, the weight of the offspring was reduced in both the first and second generation. Sulfuryl fluoride was not tested for its ability to cause cancer as part of the registration process. All tests for effects on nontarget animals and plants, as well as all environmental fate tests were waived during the registration process. It is, however, clearly toxic to nontarget animals and plants. Regulatory agencies and the courts have found repeated violations of fumigation safety have occurred during sulfuryl fluoride treatments. According to one judge, the practices of a major extermination company was "nothing short of scary".

Reprints from: Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, PO Box 1393, Eugene, Oregon 97440, USA.


November 30, 1994. Federal Register.

Sulfuryl fluoride added to the list of toxic chemicals subject to reporting under section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA) and Section 6607 of the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 (PPA). Final Rule.


Noticias de Seguridad Mar. 1994, Vol.56, No.3. 3p. Insert.

Sulfuryl fluoride

Abstract: Chemical safety sheet published by the Consejo Interamericano de Seguridad, 33 Park Place, Englewood, NJ 07631, USA. Health hazards: irritation of the eyes and respiratory tract; neurotoxic effects (central nervous system).


Toxicologist 1993 Mar;13(1):368

Sulfuryl fluoride: two generation reproduction study in Sprague-Dawley rats.

Breslin WJ, Liberacki AB, Kirk HD, Bradley GJ, Crissman JW

Dow Chemical Company, Midland, MI.

Sulfuryl fluoride (SF) is a gas fumigant used to control structural pests such as drywood termites. This study was conducted to assess the potential reproductive and neonatal toxicity of SF following inhalation exposure in rats. Groups of 30 male and 30 female Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to 0, 5, 20 or 150 ppm SF via inhalation, for 6 hours/day, for two generations. Parental effects at 150 ppm SF included decreased body weight, dental fluorosis, an increased incidence of aggregates of alveolar macrophages in the lungs and an increased incidence of very slight to slight, bilaterally symmetrical, vacuolation of the caudate putamen myelinated fiber tracts in the brain. At 20 ppm SF, parental effects were limited to an increased incidence of aggregates of alveolar macrophages. No treatment-related effects on the reproductive or fertility indices, gross or histopathology of the reproductive organs, or pup survival were observed at any exposure level. The maternal toxicity observed at 150 ppm SF was, however, accompanied by decreased pup weights in both the F1 and F2 litters. The effect on pup weight in the high exposure group was less severe in the F2 litters and may have been secondary to decreased maternal growth. In conclusion, the parental no-observed-effect level (NOEL) was 5 ppm for males and females, the NOEL for neonatal growth was 20 ppm, and the NOEL for reproductive toxicity and fertility was 150 ppm, the highest exposure level tested.


September 1993.

Sulfuryl fluoride. Pesticide Information Profile from EXTOXNET.

From Dart Special at Toxnet

Chemically Induced Birth Defects 1993;2:675-721


Schardein JL

International Research and Development Corporation, Mattawan, MI.

Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
*Abnormalities, Drug-Induced
2,4,5-Trichlorophenoxyacetic Acid/TOXICITY

Substance (CAS Registry Number): [Too many to list]

Sodium fluoroacetate (62-74-8)

[Note: the following organofluorines were included]
Diflubenzuron (35367-38-5)
Ethalfluralin (55283-68-6)
Flusilazole (85509-19-9)
Gliftor (8065-71-2) - [Synonym: 1-Chloro-3-fluoro-2-propanol mixt. with 1,3-difluoro-2-propanol]
N-Methyl-N- 1-naphthyl fluoroacetamide [Nissol] (5903-13-9)
Sarin [Synonym: (+-)-Isopropyl methylphosphonofluoridate] (107-44-8)
Sodium fluoroacetate (62-74-8)
Sodium hexafluorosilicate [also known as Sodium fluorosilicate] (16893-85-9)
Soman [Synonym: 1,2,2-Trimethylpropyl methylphosphonofluoridate] (96-64-0)
Sulfuryl fluoride (2699-79-8)
Trifluralin (1582-09-8)

(Reregistration Eligibiity Decision)

US EPA. Office of Prevention, Pesticides And Toxic Substances
85 pages


Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 1992 Jun;48(6):821-7

Residues of methyl bromide and sulfuryl fluoride in manufacturer-packaged household foods following fumigation.

Scheffrahn RH, Bodalbhai L, Su NY

Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Ft. Lauderdale 33314-7700.

PMID: 1568058, UI: 92233101

1990. Journal of Economic Entomology. in press.

Fumigant efficacy of sulfuryl fluoride against four beetle pests of museums (Coleoptera: Dermestidae, Anobiidae).

Su, N.


Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 1989 Dec;43(6):899-903

Fluoride residues in frozen foods fumigated with sulfuryl fluoride.

Scheffrahn RH, Hsu RC, Su NY

Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center, University of Florida.

PMID: 2597795, UI: 90089619


J AGRIC FOOD CHEM; 37 (1). 1989. 203-206.

Fluoride and sulfate residues in foods fumigated with sulfuryl fluoride.




Fundam Appl Toxicol 1989 Jul;13(1):79-86

The effects of inhalation exposure to sulfuryl fluoride on fetal development in rats and rabbits.

Hanley TR Jr, Calhoun LL, Kociba RJ, Greene JA

Mammalian and Environmental Toxicology Research Laboratory, Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Michigan 48674.

Sulfuryl fluoride is a fumigant insecticide used for soils and permanent structures. Pregnant Fischer 344 rats and New Zealand White rabbits were exposed to 0, 25, 75, or 225 ppm of sulfuryl fluoride vapor via inhalation for 6 hr/day on Days 6-15 and 6-18 of gestation, respectively. Among rats, maternal water consumption was increased in the 225 ppm exposure group, but there were no indications of embryotoxicity, fetotoxicity, or teratogenicity in any of the exposed groups. Among rabbits, maternal weight loss during the exposure period (Days 6-18) was observed in the 225 ppm group. Decreased fetal body weights, considered secondary to maternal weight loss, were also observed at 225 ppm. However, no evidence of embryotoxicity or teratogenicity was observed among rabbits in any exposure group. Thus, inhalation exposure to sulfuryl fluoride was not teratogenic in either rats or rabbits exposed to levels of up to 225 ppm, and fetotoxic effects (reduced body weights) were observed among fetal rabbits only at an exposure level that produced maternal weight loss.

PMID: 2767363, UI: 89357331


Fundam Appl Toxicol 1989 Apr;12(3):540-57

Inhalation toxicity of sulfuryl fluoride in rats and rabbits.

Eisenbrandt DL, Nitschke KD

Mammalian and Environmental Toxicology Research Laboratory, Dow Chemical Company 48674.

The inhalation toxicity of the structural fumigant sulfuryl fluoride (SO2F2) was evaluated in rats and rabbits. Exposures for a preliminary 2-week study were 6 hr/day, 5 days/week, to 0, 100, 300, or 600 ppm SO2F2. Nine of ten rats at 600 ppm died or were moribund between the second and sixth exposures. Extensive kidney lesions were present in all rats exposed to 600 ppm, whereas only minimal renal changes were noted in rats at 300 ppm. Upper and lower respiratory tissues were inflamed in the single rat that survived the 2-week exposure to 600 ppm. Rabbits exposed to 600 ppm SO2F2 were hyperactive and one animal had a convulsion. Exposure to 300 or 600 ppm for 2 weeks resulted in vacuolation and/or malacia in the cerebrum of all rabbits and most of these rabbits also had moderate inflammation of nasal tissues; a few rabbits at 600 ppm had inflammation of the trachea or bronchi. A subsequent 13-week study evaluated rats and rabbits exposed to 0, 30, 100, or 300 ppm SO2F2 (337 ppm TWA for rabbits). Rabbits initially were exposed to a high concentration of 600 ppm; however, convulsions were noted in two animals after nine exposures and the concentration subsequently was reduced to 300 ppm. Vacuolation and/or malacia were observed in the cerebrum of all rabbits at the highest concentration; one rabbit exposed to 100 ppm also had cerebral vacuolation. Rabbits at the highest concentration, as well as one rabbit exposed to 100 ppm, had inflammation of the nasal tissues. Rats exposed to 300 ppm SO2F2 for 13 weeks had mottled incisor teeth, minimal renal effects, pulmonary histiocytosis, inflammation of nasal tissues, and cerebral vacuolation. Also, rats exposed to 100 ppm SO2F2 for 13 weeks had mottled teeth. Fluoride toxicity was suggested by mottled teeth in rats as well as elevation of serum fluoride levels in rats and rabbits exposed to SO2F2 for 13 weeks. Although repeated exposure of rats and rabbits to 100-600 ppm SO2F2 resulted in toxicity of the kidneys (rats only), brain, and respiratory system, no effects were detected in animals exposed to 30 ppm for 13 weeks.

PMID: 2731668, UI: 89276755


PEST CONTROL; 57 (2). 1989. 78.



1989. Unpublished manuscript.

Insect control by inert gases for museum archives and libraries.

Valentin, N., and F.Preusser.


Neurotoxicol Teratol 1988 Mar-Apr;10(2):127-33

Subchronic neurotoxicity in rats of the structural fumigant, sulfuryl fluoride.

Mattsson JL, Albee RR, Eisenbrandt DL, Chang LW

Health and Environmental Sciences, Dow Chemical Co., Midland, MI 48674.

Inhalation exposure of male and female Fischer 344 rats to sulfuryl fluoride [Vikane (Dow Chemical Company) gas fumigant] at 300 ppm for 6 hr/day, 5 days week, for 13 weeks caused diminished weight gain, dental fluorosis, a slight decrease in grooming, decreased flicker fusion threshold, slowing of flash, auditory and somatosensory evoked potentials, mild nasal and pulmonary inflammation, mild kidney effects, and mild vacuolation in the brain. Auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) and brain histology were evaluated two months postexposure in 2 male and 2 female rats. Both the ABRs and brain histology were within normal limits at this time, indicating that these treatment effects were, to at least a great extent, reversible. Exposure to 100 ppm resulted in dental fluorosis and very minor slowing of some evoked responses; all other measures, including brain histology, were normal. No treatment effects were noted at 30 ppm.

PMID: 3398820, UI: 88288145

November 18, 1988, C19. New York Times.

Pest control company fined $500,000 in death of couple.

1988. A guide to pest control in museums.

Washington, D.C.: Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works and the Association of Systematics Collections.

Zycherman, L. and R.Schrock, eds.


J AGRIC FOOD CHEM; 36 (4). 1988. 853-855.




1988. Unpublished results from tests using Vikane as a sterilant

Valentin, N.

Getty Conservation Institute.


Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 1987 Nov;39(5):769-75

Desorption of residual sulfuryl fluoride from structural and household commodities by headspace analysis using gas chromatography.

Scheffrahn RH, Osbrink WL, Hsu RC, Su NY

Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center, University of Florida 33314.

PMID: 3690002, UI: 88078473


JAMA 1987 Oct 16;258(15):2041, 2044

Leads from the MMWR. Fatalities resulting from sulfuryl fluoride exposure after home fumigation--Virginia.

PMID: 3656613, UI: 88011597


September 18, 1987. Mortality & Morbidity Weekly Report. 36(36);602-4,609-11.

Epidemiologic Notes and Reports Fatalities Resulting From Sulfuryl Fluoride Exposure After Home Fumigation -- Virginia


Fundam Appl Toxicol 1986 Nov;7(4):664-70

Incapacitation and treatment of rats exposed to a lethal dose of sulfuryl fluoride.

Nitschke KD, Albee RR, Mattsson JL, Miller RR

Rats exposed to 4000 ppm sulfuryl fluoride (VIKANE gas fumigant, SO2F2) were incapacitated within 45 min and died within several hours after exposure. Exposure to higher concentrations resulted in a shorter time to incapacitation and death occurred within minutes. Treatment with calcium gluconate before exposure to 4000 ppm SO2F2 for 45 min resulted in 80% survival. However, calcium gluconate did not alleviate SO2F2-induced convulsions. Administration of phenobarbital before or after exposure to 4000 ppm SO2F2 for 45 min effectively reduced the frequency and severity of convulsions and resulted in survival of all animals. Exposure of rats to 10,000 ppm SO2F2 for 15 min followed by treatment with phenobarbital reduced the frequency of convulsions and delayed death, but did not prevent death. Diazepam was less effective than phenobarbital while diphenylhydantoin had no beneficial effect and, in fact, made the convulsions more severe and longer in duration. The results of this study indicate that phenobarbital was effective in ameliorating the acute toxic effects of an overexposure to SO2F2 in rats.

PMID: 3803761, UI: 87106469


J Forensic Sci 1986 Jul;31(3):1154-8

Suicide by exposure to sulfuryl fluoride.

Scheuerman EH

The insecticide fumigant, sulfuryl fluoride, was used as an instrument of self destruction in at least two of the three fatal exposures detailed in this report. The autopsy findings, while nonspecific, have a confirmatory value. Toxicologic analysis should include a plasma and a urine fluoride level, since the toxic effects of exposure are probably related to this ion. Concentrations of fluoride in our cases were: 50.42 mg/L (Case 1) and 20 mg/L (Case 3). However, the values must be interpreted in light of all known information as a result of the paucity of reported cases of fatal sulfuryl fluoride exposures. The cases described provide a model for the investigation of tent fumigation deaths. Proper investigation of fumigant deaths requires knowledge of the insecticide, the fumigation procedure, and the implementation of warning devices. Guidelines are offered along with a procedural checklist for the investigation of tent fumigation deaths.

PMID: 3734735, UI: 86280305


1986. Neurotoxicology, Fall;7(3):137-56

Neurobehavioral evaluation of soil and structural fumigators using methyl bromide and sulfuryl fluoride.

Anger WK, Moody L, Burg J, Brightwell WS, Taylor BJ, Russo JM, Dickerson N, Setzer JV, Johnson BL, Hicks K

Neurobehavioral functions affected by methyl bromide exposure were evaluated in California structural and soil fumigators using methyl bromide and sulfuryl fluoride. Sampling data revealed that structural fumigators are exposed for up to 1.5 hrs/day to 0-2.2 ppm methyl bromide and/or 10-200 ppm sulfuryl fluoride, and soil fumigators can be exposed to 2.3 ppm methyl bromide over an 8-hr day. Subjects were grouped for statistical analysis on the basis of exposure history: Those exposed primarily (80% or more of the work period with exposure potential) to methyl bromide (N = 32), primarily to sulfuryl fluoride (24), or to a combination of methyl bromide and sulfuryl fluoride (40-60% of each) for a minimum of one year (18), and those not exposed to high concentrations of any chemicals (29 Referents). Fumigators using methyl bromide reported a significantly higher prevalence of 18 symptoms consistent with methyl bromide toxicity than did Referents. Methyl bromide fumigators did not perform as well as Referents on 23 of 27 behavioral tests (chosen to reflect methyl bromide effects), and were significantly lower on one test of finger sensitivity and one of cognitive performance. These consistent differences suggest that even the low levels of methyl bromide found in fumigation today may produce slight neurotoxic effects. found in fumigation today may produce slight neurotoxic effects. The greater number of symptoms and reduced performance on all cognitive tests in sulfuryl fluoride fumigators compared to the Reference Group plus the absence of published research on this compound suggest that the data base for sulfuryl fluoride is inadequate.

PMID: 3822255, UI: 87145269

Available at http://www.fluorideaction.org/pesticides/sulfuryl.f.fact.sheet.1985.htm

1985. Pesticide Fact Sheet Number 51: Sulfuryl Fluoride.


Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC. Office of Pesticide Programs.

The document contains up-to-date chemical information, including a summary of the Agency's regulatory position and rationale, on a specific pesticide or group of pesticides. A Fact Sheet is issued after one of the following actions has occurred.
(1) Issuance or reissuance of a registration standard,
(2) Issuance of each special review document,
(3) Registration of a significantly changed use pattern,
(4) Registration of a new chemical, or
(5) An immediate need for information to resolve controversial issues relating to a specific chemical or use pattern.

Order Number: NTIS/PB87-124392, 6p





1984. Family and Community Health 7(3):76–82.

Chemical fumigants in the grain handling industry.

Marano D






1982. Dow Chemical Co.

Vikane Fumigation Manual.


1981. J Am Acad Dermatol, Oct;5(4):428-32

Carpet beetle dermatitis.

Ahmed AR, Moy R, Barr AR, Price Z

A 22-year-old man presented with a 5-year history of recurrent urticarial and papulovesicular lesions. Careful history suggested a close examination of his environment. The woolen rug in his bedroom was infested with larvae of a carpet beetle. The insect was identified as Anthrenus verbasci. Fumigation of the house with sulfuryl fluoride (Vikane) resulted in complete clinical recovery. Intradermal injection of the antigenic extract from the larvae showed a wheal and erythema on the patient's skin, and not on normal controls. This suggests that the patient had immediate-type hypersensitivity to some of the antigens extracted from larvae. Electron microscopic pictures of the insect are presented.

PMID: 7287958, UI: 82031392

1981. Industrial Vegetation and Pest Management 13(1):12–15.

Vikane gas helps save the Taj Mahal of North America.

Moon, BL

1978. United States Patent No. 4,102,987, July 25, 1978.

Process for preparing sulfuryl-fluoride and chlorofluoride products.

Cook DM and Gustafson, DC

1977. Scientific Papers on Japanese Antiques and Art Crafts 19–20:83–87.

Effects of insecticidal and fungicidal agents on materials of cultural properties.

Kenjo T.

1974. Inorganic Chemistry 13(4):837–41.

Hydrolysis of sulfuryl fluoride.

Cady GH and Sudhindra M

1973. Journal of Economic Entomology 66(6):1283–85.

Fumigants for quarantine control of the adult brown dog tick: laboratory studies.

Roth, H.

1972. FAO Agricultural Studies UNIPUB, Inc., New York.

Manual of fumigation for insect control.

Monro, HAU

1972. Journal of Economic Entomology 65(1):60–64.

Susceptibility of the confused and red flour beetles to anoxia produced by helium and nitrogen at various temperatures.

Ali Niazee MT


1966. Pest Control; 34(7): 13-18, 42-50

Toxicological hazards and properties of commonly used space, structural and certain other fumigants

Torkelson TR, Hoyle HR, Rowe VK

A review is given of acute symptoms after human exposure to these commonly used fumigants: acrylonitrile, benzene, carbon disulfide, carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, chloropicrin, ethyl formate, ethylene dibromide, ethylene dichloride, ethylene oxide, hydrogen cyanide, methyl bromide, methylene chloride, naphthalene, p-dichlorobenzene, perchloroethylene, phosphine, propylene oxide, sulfur dioxide, 1, 1, 1- trichloroethane, sulfuryl fluoride, and various mixtures of these compounds. Maximum tolerated levels ( in ppm ) for single and repeated exposures are included. Appropriate safety equipment and safe handling technique when using fumigants are discussed.


1966. J. Occup. Med.; 8(8): 425-426


Taxay EP

After inhaling a fumigating mixture of 1 percent chloropicrin and Vikane ( sulfuryl fluoride ) for approximately 4 hours with limited ventilation, a 30-year-old man developed nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, pruritis, reddening of the conjunctivae and pharyngeal and nasal mucosa, and pin-prick anesthesia of the lateral border on one leg. Symptoms responded to supportive treatment; he was discharged in 4 days. Subsequent complants of scratchy throat, flatulene and difficulty in reading are believed to have a psychogenic origin. The short term oral LD50 ( rat ) for Vikane (which is somewhat soluble in foodstuffs ) is reported to be approximately 100 mg/kg. Experimentally fumigated diets ( 2 lb/1000 cubmic feet ) had no adverse effect on laboratory animals, although bone fluoride levels were increased; increased fumigation ( more than 10 lb/1000 cubic feet ) of the rat food led to kidney and tooth damage. Animal exposure to 1000 ppm for 3 hours or 15,000 ppm for 6 minutes resulted in less than 5 percent mortalities. The principal effects in man are presumed in include respiratory irritation and central nervous system depression, followed by excitation and possibly vy convulsions. This is believed to be the first reported case of this Vakane poisoning in man.

1966. Pest Control 34(7):13

Toxicological hazards and properties of commonly used space, structural and certain fumigants.

Torkelson, T. R., H. R.Hoyle, and V. K.Rowe.

1966. Occupational Health Review 18(1):16–26.

Investigations on fumigants.

Berck B.

1964. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 12:464–67.

The fate of sulfuryl fluoride in wheat flour.

Meikle, RW

1963. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 11:226–30

Drywood termite metabolism of vikane fumigant as shown by labelled pool technique.

Meikle RW, Stewart D, Globus OA

1962. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 10:393–97.

Structural fumigants, the residue potential of sulfuryl fluoride, methyl bromide, and methane-sulfonyl fluoride in structural fumigations.

Meikle R W, and Stewart D

1960. Journal of Chemical Physics 32(3):799–804.

Thermodynamic properties of sulfuryl fluoride from 12K to its boiling point. Entropy from molecular and spectroscopic data.

Bockhoff FJ, Petrella RV, Pace EL

1960. Journal of Economic Entomology 53(4): 503–10.

Fumigation of buildings to control the drywood termite.

Bess HA, Asher KO

1957. Journal of Economic Entomology 50(1):1–6.

Some biological, chemical and physical properties of sulfuryl fluoride as an insecticidal fumigant.

Kenaga EE

Return to Sulfuryl Fluoride Index Page


Fluoride Action Network | Pesticide Project | 315-379-9200 | pesticides@fluoridealert.org