Is empenthrin much safer than 1-4 dicholorobenzene? (used in mothballs)

  • Thread starter kenny1999
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I went to shop for moth repellent tablet today and the shopkeeper recommended a particular brand and said it was the better and safer because it was the most expensive (3 times more expensive than another brand and having much less in net weight) I looked at the active ingredient, the expensive one was "Empenthrin" while the cheap one was "1-4 Dichlorobenzene".

I'd like to know if Empenthrin is really safer or better of if there are really some pesticides that are
much safer than another? I thought that they were probably similar....
 

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  • #2
jim mcnamara
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1-4 Dichlorobenzene is way more noxious, irritating, etc., to humans than Empenthrin (a pyrethrin derivative), Empenthrin is very toxic to fish.

When you want to know about exposure and health problems for a compound, look up the MSDS (material safety data sheet) for it - Wikipedia articles on the compound usually have links at the bottom. And comments from it.

Regular moth balls:
https://fscimage.fishersci.com/msds/17640.htm
Empenthrin:
https://www.chemblink.com/MSDS/MSDSFiles/54406-48-3_Sigma-Aldrich.pdf
 
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  • #3
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1-4 Dichlorobenzene is way more noxious, irritating, etc., to humans than Empenthrin (a pyrethrin derivative), Empenthrin is very toxic to fish.

When you want to know about exposure and health problems for a compound, look up the MSDS (material safety data sheet) for it - Wikipedia articles on the compound usually have links at the bottom. And comments from it.

Regular moth balls:
https://fscimage.fishersci.com/msds/17640.htm
Empenthrin:
https://www.chemblink.com/MSDS/MSDSFiles/54406-48-3_Sigma-Aldrich.pdf
The marketing term on the packaging said it was non-toxic (the empenthrin one) while it on the packaging of the one with 1,4-dichlorobenzene did not claim that. I'd like to know if empenthrin is
little toxic or still a bit toxic to human??

After looking at the links you provided I think I have answered my question above but I'd still wish to know if 1,4-DCB is a lot more toxic than empenthrin or just little more toxic? Can I have some comparisons in the extent??
 
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jim mcnamara
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If this was simple I could give you a simple answer.
Simple but not completely correct: Regular moth balls are a lot worse

We have these kinds of questions frequently. Some people are horrified by this statement:
There is a tolerance limit in county where I live -- for positive Arsenic tests in well water sources. 50ppb as I recall.
So.
Your definition of "safe" creates a yes/no answer to 'is it safe or toxic?' LD50 helps to answer it for you.
If the medical problems from the stuff are not enough to conclude anything

LD50 means if you feed test animals X grams or milligrams per kilogram of weight means that 50% will die
Example for moth balls. LD=lethal dose.
CAS# 106-46-7:
Inhalation, rat: LC50 = 5000 mg/m3/4H;
Oral, mouse: LD50 = 2950 mg/kg;
Oral, rabbit: LD50 = 2830 mg/kg;
Oral, rat: LD50 = 500 mg/kg;
Skin, rabbit: LD50 = >2 gm/kg;
Skin, rat: LD50 = 2000 mg/kg;
So assume rats and people are the same,
Oral LD50 =500mg/kg

means one half of a gram fed to each 1000g member of a rat population of 200 rats == 100 rats will die.

Say the average human weighs 80kg. He/She would need to eat 40g (like 1/4 cup) to have a 50% chance of dying.

So answer your own question: look at the LD50 values for ORAL for both. Then YOU decide. Not me.
 
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I haven't used for mothballs in my wardrobe for decades but recently I am experiencing serious moth problems, they are flying in my room, damaging my clothes, I have been putting cedar blocks and vacuuming everywhere, but it is so exhausting and they don't go away completely. After a few days I found them coming back as usual.

I have been thinking about using mothballs, my impression is that they have strong odor that I feel that it should work greatly. On the one hand, a lot of readings on the web suggests that mothballs are bad for health. or even fatal in long term, on the other hand, I think they should be
safe (by common sense) because they are readily available and bought easily. Am I right?

When the problem of moths is over completely, can I throw away the mothballs? will they come back again??
 
  • #6
DaveC426913
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On the one hand, a lot of readings on the web suggests that mothballs are bad for health. or even fatal in long term, on the other hand, I think they should be
safe (by common sense) because they are readily available and bought easily. Am I right?
As usual, "the dose makes the poison". In other words, too great an exposure could cause you problems - likely respiratory and/or allergic problems. It's highly conditional.

There are probably safer, healthier products on the market.


When the problem of moths is over completely, can I throw away the mothballs? will they come back again??
Once thrown away, the mothballs will not return. If they do, you have bigger problems than moths.

(couldn't resist) :oldbiggrin:
 
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