Permethrin Toxicity in Humans
Permethrin, a synthetic of the pyrethroid family, is an insecticide used in a variety of different products and on a variety of different plants, including wheat and corn. Because permethrin is a neurotoxin, it can cause a number of illnesses in humans. Despite this, permethrin continues to be used in a variety of pesticides, including sprays for the house fly and for head lice, both of which come in contact with humans. By 1995, countries across the globe were showing head lice resistance to this chemical, yet it is still in use today. The house fly and the fall army worm, among other insects, are also displaying immunity. Because of its continued use, traces of permethrin are found all across the United States, particularly in free-flowing rivers and streams. The United States Geological Survey has discovered permethrin in groundwater in Virginia, and in other areas such as the Mississippi River Basin, Washington, Idaho, the Georgia-Florida Coastal Plain, the San Joaquin-Tulare Basin, and the Ozark Plateau throughout Arkansas and other nearby states. It is also found on a variety of fresh vegetables such as spinach, tomatoes, celery, lettuces and peaches.
Is Permethrin a Carcinogen?
Because permethrin caused lung tumors in female rats and liver tumors in male rats, the Environmental Protection Agency has labeled permethrin a carcinogen. Children are more susceptible to permethrin toxicity than adults. Early experiments discovered that permethrin targets the immune system and can cause a variety of illnesses, some of which occur in the reproductive organs, and cause permanent damage to the unborn fetus. Additionally, permethrin is a mutagen and can lead to chromosome abnormalities.
Symptoms of Permethrin Toxicity
Some of the symptoms and areas that are affected with permethrin toxicity include the following:
- Convulsions and tremors of the nervous system
- Asthmatic attacks, breathing difficulties, sneezing, etc.
- Elevated body temperatures
- Headaches, nausea and dizziness
- Allergic reactions, especially in people sensitive to ragweed
- Skin irritation such as burning and itching, particularly around the mucus membranes
- Tearing and redness of the eyes, and blurred vision
- Reproductive organ compromise (in experiment with rabbits and rats permethrin caused reduced testes and miscarriage)
- Immune cell activity reduction by about 40 percent
- Enlarged adrenal glands
- Attacks on the liver
- Tumor growth by means of carcinogens
Individuals who already have compromised immune systems, such as people with multiple sclerosis or respiratory issues, can be more adversely affected by contact with permethrin based products. Please be on the lookout for this dangerous substance in your home.