Organoleptic assessment and median lethal dose determination of oral aldicarb in rats

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2020 Nov;1480(1):136-145. doi: 10.1111/nyas.14448. Epub 2020 Aug 5.


Aldicarb, a carbamate pesticide, is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, with oral median lethal dose (LD50 ) estimates in rats ranging from 0.46 to 0.93 mg/kg. A three-phase approach was used to comprehensively assess aldicarb as an oral-ingestion hazard. First, the solubility of aldicarb in popular consumer beverages (bottled water, apple juice, and 2% milk) was assessed. Lethality was then assessed by administering aldicarb in bottled water via gavage. A probit model was fit to 24-h survival data and predicted a median lethal dose of 0.83 mg/kg (95% CI: 0.54-1.45 mg/kg; slope: 4.50). Finally, organoleptic properties (e.g., taste, smell, and texture) were assessed by allowing rats to voluntarily consume 3.0 mL of the above beverages as well as liquid eggs adulterated with aldicarb at various concentrations. This organoleptic assessment determined that aldicarb was readily consumed at lethal and supralethal doses. Overt toxic signs presented within 5 min post-ingestion, and all rats died within 20 min after consuming the highest concentration (0.542 mg/mL), regardless of amount consumed. Because rats have more developed chemoreceptive capabilities than humans, these results suggest that aldicarb may be consumed in toxic or even lethal concentrations by humans in a variety of beverages or foods.

Keywords: aldicarb toxicity; median lethal dose; oral exposure; organoleptics; rat.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aldicarb / poisoning*
  • Animals
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / poisoning*
  • Humans
  • Insecticides / poisoning*
  • Lethal Dose 50
  • Male
  • Models, Biological*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Insecticides
  • Aldicarb