Pyrethroid insecticides (the only ones allowed in organic farming) increase the risk of mortality: the study

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Carlos Laforet Coll
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According to a recent study, exposure to pyrethroid insecticides also used in the home is associated with an increased risk of mortality

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THEexposure to pyrethroids is associated with mortality in the adult population? This is the question that researchers at the University of Iowa asked themselves when they began studying the effects of this category of insecticides on a large group of American citizens.





The general population is normally exposed to pyrethroid insecticides as it is widely used compounds, which represent about one third of the total insecticides used.

The category of pyrethroids in fact includes substances such as permethrin, cypermethrin, deltamethrin and cyfluthrin, compounds used in insecticides used in crops but even in the home.

These substances are also incorporated in flea products for dogs, cats and other pets, in insecticides against ants and cockroaches and in repellent products against mosquitoes, in some cases even in those for topical human use.

The recent cohort study, the results of which were published in the scientific journal Jama, considered a representative sample of 2116 people resident in the United States, aged 20 years and older and of different ethnicities, whose exposure to insecticides resulted from elevated levels of 3-phenoxybenzoic acid, a pyrethroid metabolite in the urine.

The group of participants was monitored for 14 years for evaluate the long-term effects exposure to pyrethroids in the adult population.

During the observation period, 246 deaths occurred among the participants, including 41 associated with cardiovascular disease and 52 associated with cancer. In participants with higher levels of 3-phenoxybenzoic acid in the urine there have been more deaths.

The study therefore concluded that although further studies are needed to replicate the findings and determine the mechanisms, there is an association between exposure to insecticides and an increased risk of overall mortality from all diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer.



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