Indoor pyrethroids put children at risk

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  • Published: Jan 29, 2014
  • Author: Steve Down
  • Channels: Infrared Spectroscopy / UV/Vis Spectroscopy / Atomic / Raman / Chemometrics & Informatics / X-ray Spectrometry / Proteomics / NMR Knowledge Base / MRI Spectroscopy / Base Peak

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The levels of pyrethroid insecticides on household floors correlate with those in the urine of infants in California, reflecting their increased use since organophosphate pesticides were banned. This is the main finding if a US study into the adults and children of 90 Californian families that was reported in Environmental Science and Technology. The research was part of the Use of Products and Exposure Related Behavior (SUPERB) study.

The floors were wiped with damp cloths and tested for common pyrethroids and the organophosphate pesticide chlorpyrifos that was banned from domestic applications from 2001. The urine samples were tested for metabolites of the pesticides, all analyses being carried out by mass spectrometry.

The adults and children had more than double the levels of pyrethroid metabolites in their system compared with the results from a major national study carried out in 2001-2002. This appears to reflect the increased use of this type of pesticide since the phosphates were banned, a view that is supported by the detection of several pyrethroids such as bifenthrin and cis- and trans-permethrin on the floors.

The concentrations on the floors could also be used to predict those of the metabolites in the children's urine, indicating that indoor exposure is a major problem. This correlation did not stand for adults, perhaps reflecting the greater exposure to children playing on floors and putting toys in their mouths.


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