Share This:

Abstract for TR-192 - Malathion (CASRN 121-75-5)


Bioassay of Malathion for Possible Carcinogenicity (CAS No. 121-75-5)

Link to the full study report in PDF. If you have difficulty accessing the document, please send email to the NTP Webmaster [ Send Email ] and identify documents/pages for which access is required.  


Chemical Formula:  C10H19O6PS2

Malathion is an organophosphate insecticide considered to be suitable as a substitute for certain uses of DDT. U.S. consumption in 1974 was 16 million pounds, surpassing that of all other organophosphate insecticides except methyl parathion. Household applications accounted for approximately 10% of that volume.

A bioassay of malathion for possible carcinogenicity was conducted by administering the test chemical in feed to F344 rats.

Groups of 49 or 50 rats of each sex were fed diets containing 2,000 or 4,000 ppm malathion for 103 weeks and were then observed for an additional 2 or 3 weeks. Matched controls consisted of 50 untreated rats of each sex. All surviving rats were killed at 105 or 106 weeks.

No tumors occurred in the dosed groups of rats of either sex at incidences that could be related clearly to administration of the test chemical. Compound-related toxic effects were not observed in female rats at the doses used, but in males decreased mean body weights, increased mortality, gastritis, and gastric ulcers were dose related.

It was concluded that under the conditions of this bioassay, malathion was not carcinogenic in male or female rats, but the females may not have received a maximum tolerated dose.


Levels of Evidence of Carcinogenicity:
Sex Species Results
Male Rats: Negative
Female Rats: Negative

Synonym: S-(1,2-bis(ethoxycarbonyl)-ethyl)O,O-dimethylphosphorodithioate

Note: Malathion was previously tested in Osborne-Mendel rats and B6C3F1 mice administered in feed (See TR-24, reported 1979).

Target Organs from 2-year Studies

Report Date: 1979

Return to Long Term Abstracts