Dimethyl hydrogen phosphite (DMHP) is used as an intermediate in the production of insecticides and herbicides, as an additive to lubricants, and as a stabilizer in oil and plaster and was considered for use as a chemical to simulate the physical (but not the biologic) properties of anticholinesterase agents. Results of 13-week gavage studies in F344/N rats (0-400 mg DMHP/kg body weight) and in B6C3F1 mice (0-1,500 mg DMHP/kg body weight) were used to identify short-term toxicity and to establish doses for the 2-year toxicology and carcinogenesis studies. In these studies, dimethyl hydrogen phosphite (greater than 97% pure) was administered for 103 weeks in corn oil by gavage to groups of 50 male F344/N rats and to groups of 50 male and female B6C3F1 mice at doses of 0, 100, or 200 mg/kg and to groups of 50 female F344/N rats at doses of 0, 50, or 100 mg/kg.
In the 2-year studies, survival of high dose male rats and high dose male mice was lower (P<0.05) than that of the vehicle controls (male rats: vehicle control, 39/50; low dose, 29/50; high dose, 23/50; male mice: 42/50; 34/50; 32/50). At the end of the studies, mean body weights were lower than those of the corresponding vehicle controls for high dose male rats (-15%), for high dose female rats (-5%), and for high dose male mice (-5%).
Dimethyl hydrogen phosphite caused dose-related increases in nonneoplastic and neoplastic lesions of the lung in male and female rats. In high dose male rats, there were increased incidences of lung neoplasms, including squamous cell carcinomas (0/50; 0/50; 5/50), alveolar/bronchiolar adenomas (0/50; 0/50; 5/50), and alveolar/bronchiolar carcinomas (0/50; 1/50; 20/50). In high dose female rats, there was a marginal increase in the incidence of alveolar/bronchiolar carcinomas of the lung (0/50; 1/49; 3/50). Hyperplasia of the lung and chronic interstitial pneumonia were increased in dosed male rats and in high dose female rats.
Dimethyl hydrogen phosphite caused increases in forestomach lesions in male and female rats. In male rats, there was an increased incidence of forestomach neoplasms, including squamous cell papillomas (0/50; 1/50; 3/50) and squamous cell carcinomas (0/50; 0/50; 3/50). High dose male rats had increased incidences of hyperkeratosis and hyperplasia of the forestomach. In high dose female rats, the incidence of forestomach hyperplasia was increased. Neoplastic lesions of the forestomach (a squamous cell papilloma and a squamous cell carcinoma) were found in two high dose female rats.
Mineralization of the cerebellum was seen in high dose male rats (12/49) and in no other group. Focal calcification of the testis occurred at increased incidence in dosed male mice in the 2-year studies (2/50; 9/47; 24/50). Compound-related testicular atrophy was seen in male mice in the 13-week study.
Dimethyl hydrogen phosphite did not induce any neoplasms in male or female mice.
Dimethyl hydrogen phosphite was not mutagenic in Salmonella typhimurium strains TA98, TA100, TA1535, or TA1537 in the presence or absence of Aroclor 1254-induced male Sprague-Dawley rat or Syrian hamster liver S9. This chemical did not induce sex-linked recessive lethal mutations in Drosophila melanogaster .
An audit of the experimental data was conducted for these carcinogenic studies on dimethyl hydrogen phosphite. No data discrepancies were found that influenced the final interpretations.
Under the conditions of these gavage studies, there was clear evidence of carcinogenicity in male rats receiving dimethyl hydrogen phosphite, as shown by increased incidences of alveolar/bronchiolar adenomas, alveolar/bronchiolar carcinomas, and squamous cell carcinomas of the lung and of neoplasms of the forestomach. There was equivocal evidence of carcinogenicity in female F344/N rats receiving dimethyl hydrogen phosphite, as shown by marginally increased incidences of alveolar/bronchiolar carcinomas of the lung and of neoplasms of the stomach. There was no evidence of carcinogenicity in male or female B6C3F1 mice receiving dimethyl hydrogen phosphite at doses of 100 or 200 mg/kg for 103 weeks.