Thursday, January 04, 2018 by Janine Acero
Permethrin is a pyrethroid pesticide used as an acaricide and insect repellent. Pyrethroids are synthetic chemicals that act like natural extracts from the chrysanthemum flower (Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium). Permethrin, in its pure chemical form, is characterized as either an odorless and colorless crystal solid or as a pale brown liquid.
As with all other synthetic pyrethroids, permethrin is a neurotoxin. It attacks an insect’s nervous system, causing muscle spasms, paralysis, and death. Products containing permethrin may be used in public health mosquito control programs. In recent years, it has also become a means to control ticks. Other insects that are affected by permethrin are cockroaches, termites, aphids, fleas, and ants.
Permethrin applications most often take the form of dust, wettable powders, spray solutions and emulsifiable concentrates.
Dermal contact with permethrin may cause sensitivity to sound or touch, abnormal facial sensation, a sensation of tingling, prickling, numbness, burning, and itching. If permethrin gets in the eyes, it can cause redness, pain or burning. Ingesting permethrin can cause sore throat, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. People that have breathed in permethrin have had irritation in the nose and lungs, difficulty breathing, headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, excessive salivation and fatigue.
In severe cases, fluid in the lungs and muscle twitching may develop. Seizures may occur and are more common with more toxic cyano-pyrethroids.
Permethrin is suspected of causing enlargement of the liver and destruction of the lining of nerve tracts.
For its effects on humans, permethrin has been classified as a type II or III toxin by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and studies of mice cells have demonstrated the chemical’s potential to be carcinogenic.
Permethrin is most commonly used on wheat, corn, and alfalfa. Trace amounts of permethrin have been found in foods including bananas, collard greens, squash, and watermelon. It is also applied to a range of settings, on anything from home garden to agricultural fields to household pest control.
Several common trade names of permethrin include Ambush, BW-21-Z, Cellutec, Ectiban, Eksmin, Exmin, FMC-33297, Indothrin, Kafil, Kestril, NRDC 143, Pounce, PP 557, Pramiex, Qamlin, and Torpedo.
Products that contain permethrin as the active ingredient are the following:
Some manufacturers that supply such products include:
Occupational exposure to permethrin compounds may occur through inhalation of dust, and by dermal contact at workplaces where permethrin compounds are produced or used. The following are some protective measures to avoid any contact with permethrin:
Permethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide used against mosquitoes, ticks, cockroaches, termites, aphids, fleas and ants. It is most commonly used on wheat, corn, and alfalfa, but is also applied to other crops and ornamentals.
Permethrin is potentially carcinogenic to humans.
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