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Br J Ind Med. Jun 1985; 42(6): 363–372.
PMCID: PMC1007493

Synthetic pyrethroid insecticides: a dermatological evaluation.

Abstract

Synthetic pyrethroids are lipophilic insecticides whose biological activity seems to be directly related to their chemical structure. In this investigation differences in cutaneous sensation were detected by human participants between synthetic pyrethroids with a cyano group in the (S)-configuration of the 3-phenoxybenzyl alcohol of their molecular structure (fenvalerate) and those that do not (permethrin). A strong relation was noted between insecticidal potency and degree of induced cutaneous sensation for the alpha-cyano and non-cyano pyrethroids, with a prominent difference between the two. No sensation was observed by any of the same participants on topical exposure to the inert ingredients of these agents. A linear correlation between concentration and degree of induced dysaethesia was observed for both pyrethroids. Regressing the cutaneous sensation on the common logarithm of concentration resulted in a regression equation of Y = 84.0 + 31.0X1 for fenvalerate and Y = 27.5 + 15.8X1 for permethrin. A highly efficacious therapeutic agent for pyrethroid exposure was noted to be dl-alpha tocopherol acetate. An impressive degree of inhibition of paraesthesia resulted from the topical application of vitamin E acetate, with a therapeutic index of almost 100%.

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Selected References

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