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Alpha-cypermethrin – toxicity, side effects, diseases and environmental impacts

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 by

An article posted on the Toxicology Data Network website reveals that alpha-cypermethrin is a highly active pyrethroid insecticide that is commonly used to deter chewing and sucking insects such as weevils, moths, caterpillars and mites. Likewise, the insecticide is used to control bollworm, budworm and green mirid as well as cutworms, aphids and wireworms. The potent chemical is first introduced in 1985 and is applied to a wide array of ornamental plants and staple crops such as:

List of known side effects

An entry published on the Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) website notes that the toxic insecticide is known to cause reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity and acute toxicity. Likewise, the PANNA article cautions that alpha-cypermethrin exposure may trigger hypersensitivity to sound or touch, abnormal facial sensation, numbness and sensation of prickling, tingling or creeping on skin.

The article also cautions that exposure to the harmful compound may result in headache, dizziness and seizures as well as fatigue, muscle twitching and eventual muscle paralysis. Moreover, the hazardous insecticide is shown to cause a plethora of digestive issues such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and excessive salivation. Inhaling toxic fumes emitted by the toxic chemical may also lead to upper respiratory distress, anaphylaxis and fluid accumulation in the lungs. Alpha-cypermethrin poisoning may also result in corneal damage if direct eye contact occurs.

Alpha-cypermethrin is also known to be particularly detrimental to environmental health. The hazardous chemical is found to contaminate water sources and impact both aquatic ecosystems and animals, according to a Pub Chem article. The insecticide is also found to contaminate the soil and groundwater. Likewise, experts warn that the compound is highly toxic to birds, rodents and other insects.

Body systems affected by alpha-cypermethrin

Alpha-cypermethrin is particularly detrimental to skin health. Likewise, the harmful chemical may compromise both muscular and respiratory health. The insecticide may also affect the eyes, digestive tract and the central nervous system.

Items that can contain alpha-cypermethrin

An article featured on the Pesticide Properties DataBase website reveals that alpha-cypermethrin is a key ingredient in the production of many commercial insecticides such as Antec, Contest and Fedona as well as Littac and Tenopa. The insecticide is available in emulsifiable concentrate, suspension concentrate and ultra-low-volume formulations. The toxic chemical is widely used in many European countries.

How to avoid alpha-cypermethrin

HerbiGuide data sheet suggests wearing protective clothing and eye equipment to avoid direct chemical contact. Likewise, the safety guidelines recommend wearing protective masks and installing adequate ventilation in order to reduce the risk of insecticide inhalation. The guidelines also advise that people exposed to the chemical seek immediate medical attention.

Where to learn more


Alpha-cypermethrin exposure may cause reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity and acute toxicity.

Alpha-cypermethrin raises the odds of  hypersensitivity to sound or touch, abnormal facial sensation and numbness.

Alpha-cypermethrin may also induce various digestive woes, fatigue, muscle twitching and eventual muscle paralysis.

Alpha-cypermethrin exposure may result in upper respiratory distress, anaphylaxis and fluid accumulation in the lungs.

Alpha-cypermethrin is particularly detrimental to skin, muscular and respiratory health.

Alpha-cypermethrin also negatively impacts the eyes, the digestive tract and the central nervous system.


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