A rodenticide and insecticide used for stored cereals and grain. A poisonous, gassing compound used to kill moles, rabbits and small rodents.

[affected.gif] Animals most affected
Dogs, cats, (all animals).

[etiology.gif] Etiology
Ingestion of cereal-based rat bait. This incidence is now rare as phosphide is available in Western Europe only in the form of fumigant pellets containing 56% of the active compound. In the UK tablets containing 57% aluminium phosphide are available under strict conditions of use. In France, the use of cereal baits containing aluminium phosphide was prohibited in October 1981, although stocks of the product still exist.
Problems arise in Africa and India where the compound is still widely used.
Accidental poisoning occurs following fumigation.

[toxic.gif] Toxicity
Product releases poisonous gas (phosphine, H3P) in contact with atmospheric moisture.
Oral doses in mg/kg:

LD50 rats 40
  dogs, cats 200-300
  rabbits 200-300
  hens 60

[clinical.gif] Clinical features

[lesions.gif] Lesions

[treatm~1.gif] Treatment
No antidote. Symptomatic care only:

[labinv~1.gif] Laboratory investigations
Essential to have fresh samples (as the phosphide degrades very rapidly).