Pyrethroid Insecticides-Time for a Closer Look

Stellman, Steven D.; Stellman, Jeanne M.

This is an invited commentary on a report of increased mortality, especially from heart disease, in persons with high compared to low urinary levels of 3-PBA, a metabolic product of pyrethroids indicative of human exposure. The data were drawn from NHANES, an annual survey of the US population that includes interview and clinical measurements. The findings are of concern because of the importance of pyrethroids in controlling infectious disease vectors, especially mosquitos that can carry malaria parasites or West Nile virus. The observations warrant further studies, but alternative explanations need to be considered, since specific exposure sources or products were not identified, comparable non-occupational pesticide-related risks from pesticide exposures are unusual, and pyrethroid cardiotoxicity has been reported mainly in animal models.


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JAMA Internal Medicine

More About This Work

Academic Units
Health Policy and Management
Published Here
January 30, 2020