Zeta-Cypermethrin — toxicity, side effects, diseases and environmental impacts

Thursday, November 23, 2017 by

Zeta-cypermethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid used as a contact insecticide. It is used to control chewing, sucking, and flying insects such as beetles, aphids, and other Lepidoptera. Zeta-cypermethrin modulates sodium channels of the central nervous system (CNS) of target organisms, which eventually results in their death. In its physical state, zeta-cypermethrin is a pale yellow viscous liquid. Crops that are treated with zeta-cypermethrin include, but are not limited to, barley, maize, peas, beans, linseed, oats, oilseed rape (rapeseed), potatoes, sugar beets, and wheat.

Other names and synonyms for zeta-cypermethrin include 52315-07-8 (CAS); FMC56701; FMC45497 cypermethrin, cis isomers; FMC45724 cypermethrin, trans isomers; FMC30980 cypermethrin cis:trans 48:52; WL 43467: cypermethrin; (S)-cyano(3-phenoxyphenyl)methyl 3-(2,2-dichloroethenyl)-2,2-dimethylcyclopropanecarboxylate; Angri; Fury 10EW; Minuet; and Synphony.

This chemical is a non-systemic broad spectrum insecticide. Its applications include foliar, air, furrow, and ground, depending on the type of insect to be targeted and the type of crop it will be applied to. Products that have zeta-cypermethrin should have the labels “acute toxicity”, “irritant”, “health hazard”, and “environment, aquatic toxicity”.

Zeta-cypermethrin is classified as a Group C possible human carcinogen. It can be absorbed into the body via inhalation or ingestion. Intoxication may also occur through eye and skin absorption.

Resistance to this chemical develops quickly in insects frequently exposed to it, thereby rendering zeta-cypermethrin ineffective.

List of known side effects

When inhaled, zeta-cypermethrin can cause a burning sensation, cough, dizziness, headache, nausea, and shortness of breath. Contact on skin may cause redness, burning sensation, numbness, tingling sensation, and itching. During eye contamination, there may be redness and pain. In cases of ingestion, possible side effects include abdominal pain, convulsions, and vomiting. It is also a likely carcinogen to humans.

Body systems affected by zeta-cypermethrin

High levels of exposure to zeta-cypermethrin may negatively affect the human body, decreasing body weights and body weight gain rates. It may also have hematological effects (blood changes), interference of estrous (female reproductive) cycle, and mortality in rats after a 90-day feeding study. Local dermal toxicity has been recorded, as well as neurotoxicity in acute and subchronic oral studies.

Generally, pyrethroids are known to cause adverse effects to the central nervous system.

Items that may contain zeta-cypermethrin

Food items that may have residues of zeta-cypermethrin are cabbages, lettuce, onions, garlic, shallots, pecans, rice, sorghum, alfalfa, soybeans, sugarcane, sugar beet, linseed, sunflowers, apples, pears, berries, tree nuts, potatoes, cereals, (including wheat), barley, and oats. Zeta-cypermethrin may also be used on cotton plants.

How to avoid zeta-cypermethrin

To avoid being intoxicated by zeta-cypermethrin, avoid commercial farms that use chemical pesticides. If unavoidable (occupational), proper preventive and precaution must be practiced. Do not breath in the dust, fumes, gas, mist, vapors, or spray with the chemical. Wash hands, face, and any other exposed skin thoroughly after handling the toxic chemical. Avoid eating, smoking, or drinking anything when using zeta-cypermethrin. Only use this chemical in the outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.

If you are exposed to this chemical, immediately contact emergency health services or a poison center. Keep the chemical stored in a locked area away from children and unauthorized or untrained personnel. Practice proper chemical disposal or transport to a chemical waste disposal facility.

When spills occur, all sources of ignition must be removed. Suitable protective gear must also be worn at all times when cleaning up or containing the said toxic chemical.

Where to learn more


Zeta-cypermethrin has acute toxicity levels and can cause many side effects.

Zeta-cypermethrin is likely carcinogenic to humans.

Zeta-cypermethrin is fatal to water-based plants and animals.

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