Pyrethrins are naturally-occurring compounds with insecticidal properties that are found in pyrethrum extract from certain chrysanthemum flowers. The pyrethrins are often used in household insecticides and products to control insects on pets or livestock.
Pyrethroids are manufactured chemicals that are very similar in structure to the pyrethrins, but are often more toxic to insects as well as to mammals, and last longer in the environment than the pyrethrins. More than 1,000 synthetic pyrethroids have been developed, but less than a dozen of them are currently used in the United States. Permethrin is the most frequently used pyrethroid in the United States.
Pyrethrins and pyrethroids are insecticides that are applied to crops, garden plants, pets, and also directly to humans. High levels of pyrethrins or pyrethroids can cause dizziness
, muscle twitching
, reduced energy
, changes in awareness
and loss of consciousness. Pyrethrins have been found in at least 5 of the 1,585 current or former NPL sites
identified by the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA), and permethrin (a pyrethroid compound) has been found in at least 2 of the sites. No other pyrethroids were detected at NPL sites.
See a doctor if you have been harmed by this substance. In addition, it
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Source: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
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- Pyrethrins and Pyrethroids: Frequently Asked Questions