Send to

Choose Destination
Med Vet Entomol. 2000 Mar;14(1):1-5.

Safety of pyrethroid-treated mosquito nets.

Author information

World Health Organization Pesticides Evaluation Scheme, Strategy Development and Monitoring of Parasitic Diseases & Vector Control, Communicable Diseases Control Prevention and Eradication World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.


The use of insecticide treated nets (ITNs) for personal protection against malaria vector Anopheles mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) has become popular during the past decade. With the precautions outlined in this paper, field use of pyrethroids--at concentrations recommended for treatment of mosquito nets--poses little or no hazard to people treating the nets or to users of the treated nets. With frequent exposure to low concentrations of pyrethroids, the risk of toxicity of any kind is remote. Pyrethroids entering the systemic circulation are rapidly metabolized to much less toxic metabolites. Toxicologically, pyrethroids have a useful characteristic--the production of skin paraesthesia--which gives an early indication of exposure. This reversible symptom of exposure is due to transient stimulation of peripheral sensory nerves and not a toxic effect. In the retail market, for home use, the provision of proper packaging and labelling, with clear instructions on safe and effective use of the product are most important. Because many domestic users of pyrethroid 'home treatment kits' for ITNs may not be fully literate, it is essential that 'instructions for use' should be portrayed via pictograms with supporting text in appropriate local language(s).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center