Carbaryl — toxicity, side effects, diseases and environmental impacts

Carbaryl is a colorless to white or gray, odorless solid, depending on the purity of the compound. It is used as an acaricide (targeting mites and ticks) and plant growth regulator.
Carbaryl is a wide-spectrum carbamate insecticide that controls insect pests on citrus fruits, cotton, forests, lawns, nuts, ornamentals, shade trees, and other crops. It is also used on poultry, livestock, and pets, as well as a molluscicide. Carbaryl works whether it is ingested into the stomach of the pest or absorbed through direct contact.
The chemical name for carbaryl is 1- naphthol N-methylcarbamate. It has a molecular formula of C12H11NO2.

List of known side effects

Individuals who are exposed to carbaryl may experience the following side effects:

  • Miosis (constriction of the pupils)
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Rhinorrhea (discharge of thin mucus)
  • Drooling
  • Sweating
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Malaise
  • Muscle weakness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Tremor
  • Sweating
  • Labored breathing
  • Cyanosis
  • Convulsions
  • Unconsciousness
  • Incoordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Skin irritation
  • Central nervous system depression
  • Possible reproductive effects

In cases of severe poisoning, high blood pressure, decreased muscle tone, and seizures have been reported. Other serious signs include difficulty in breathing, constriction of the airways, mucous production, fluid buildup in the lungs (pulmonary edema), and reduced heart and lung function.

According to the open chemistry database PubChem, carbaryl is suspected of causing cancer. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classified this chemical as “Likely to be Carcinogenic to Humans.”

Body systems affected by carbaryl

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) notes that exposure to carbaryl may adversely affect the respiratory system, central nervous system, cardiovascular system, skin, blood cholinesterase, and reproductive system.

Items that can contain carbaryl

According to an entry in the Extension Toxicology Network website, carbaryl is a wide-spectrum carbamate insecticide used as the active ingredient in a variety of products that control insects such as aphids, fire ants, fleas, ticks and spiders. The following are other trade names for carbaryl:

  • Carbamine
  • Denapon
  • Dicarbam
  • Hexavin
  • Karbaspray
  • Nac
  • Ravyon
  • Septene
  • Sevin
  • Tercyl
  • Tricarnam
  • Union Carbide 7744

How to avoid carbaryl

Avoid products that use carbaryl as an active ingredient. Handlers, mixers, and applicators of carbaryl may be exposed to its fumes in the workplace. The following are some protective measures to avoid any contact with carbaryl:

  • Use this material only in well-ventilated areas. In case of accidental aspiration or ingestion, leave the area of contamination and go to an open area with fresh air. Seek medical attention immediately.
  • Avoid contact with skin or clothing. Wear a protective suit, chemical-resistant gloves, and safety footwear or safety gumboots. Remove any contaminated clothing item carefully. Rinse the contaminated part of the skin with soap and water.
  • Do not get this material into your eyes. Wear goggles or a face shield. In case of contact, remove contact lenses (if applicable), then rinse with running water for several minutes. Seek medical help at once.
  • Do not eat, drink, or smoke near this substance. In case of swallowing any amount of carbaryl, give plenty of water to drink. Refer for medical attention immediately.
  • Refer to label instructions and workplace regulations regarding proper handling of equipment before applying chemicals.

Where to learn more


Carbaryl is a wide-spectrum carbamate insecticide characterized as a colorless to white or gray, odorless solid.

Exposure to carbaryl may adversely affect the respiratory system, central nervous system, cardiovascular system, the eyes and skin, and the reproductive system.

Sources include:

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