Effects of synthetic pyrethroid insecticides on nontarget organisms

Conference paper
Part of the Residue Reviews book series (RECT, volume 97)


Pyrethroids1 are among the most potent insecticides known. They are synthetic compounds structurally derived from pyrethrin I, one of the six active components of pyrethrum, which is an extract from the dried flower heads of Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium. The natural pyrethrins have excellent insecticidal properties and low mammalian toxicity, but are of limited use because of their low photostability and high biodegradability (Wouters and van den Bercken 1978). However, pyrethroids are relatively stable, have a high toxicity to a wide spectrum of insects (Elliott 1976), are relatively nontoxic to mammals (Elliott 1976), and have tremendous agricultural potential (Harris and Turnbull 1978). Moreover, pyrethroids are much less persistent than the organochlorine insecticides, such as DDT and dieldrin, and apparently do not accumulate in the environment.


Rainbow Trout Nontarget Organism Fathead Minnow Pyrethroid Insecticide Synthetic Pyrethroid 
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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Microbiology Laboratory, Department of BiologyNova Scotia Agricultural CollegeTruroCanada

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