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General Description

Synonyms: Pyrethrin I or II; Cinerin I or II; Jasmolin I or II [Note: Pyrethrum is a variable mixture of Cinerin, Jasmolin, and Pyrethrin.]

OSHA IMIS Code Number: 2216

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 8003-34-7

NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: UR4200000

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Pyrethrum: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more.

Exposure Limits

OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):
General Industry: 29 CFR 1910.1000 Z-1 Table -- 5 mg/m3 TWA

Construction Industry: 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A -- 5 mg/m3 TWA

Maritime: 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards -- 5 mg/m3 TWA
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 5 mg/m3 TWA; Appendix A4 - Not Classifiable as a Human Carcinogen

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 5 mg/m3 TWA

Health Factors

NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 5,000 mg/m3

Potential Symptoms: Skin erythema, dermatitis, papules, pruritis, paresthesias (abnormal skin sensations); rhinorrhea, sneezing, asthma; headache, nausea, vomiting; INGES. ACUTE: Numbness of tongue and lips; excitation, convulsions; tetanic paralysis; muscular fibrillation; respiratory failure.

Health Effects: Contact and allergic dermatitis (HE3); Irritation-Eye, Skin---Mild (HE16); Nervous system disturbances (HE7)

Affected Organs: Respiratory system, skin, CNS

  1. Pyrethrum is a mixture of pyrethrin I and II, cinerin I and II, and jasmolin I and II, which are extracted from plant sources (Chrysanthemum cincerariaefolium).
  2. Their mechanism of excitatory neurotoxicity appears to involve effects on voltage-sensitive sodium channels in nerve membranes that cause these channels to remain open longer than normal. Mutations of channel protein leading to resistance to neurotoxicity have been identified in various insects.
  3. The measurement of urinary chrysanthemumdicarboxylic acid has been proposed as a method for biomonitoring pyrethrum exposure. Urinary metabolites of synthetic pyrethroid pesticides are described in a June 2005 CDC report.
Date Last Revised: 02/01/2006

Literature Basis:
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Pyrethrum.
  • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Pyrethrum.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Pyrethroids pesticides. In Third National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, June 2005, DHHS/CDC. Atlanta: National Center for Environmental Health Division of Laboratory Sciences, NCEH Pub. No. 05-0570, pp. 405-415.
  • Bass, C., Schroeder, I., Turberg, A., Field, L.M. and Williamson, M.S.: Identification of mutations associated with pyrethroid resistance in the para-type sodium channel of the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis. Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol. 34(12): 1305-1313, 2004.
  • Elflein, L., Berger-Preiss, E., Preiss, A., Elend, M., Levsen, K. and Wunsch, G.: Human biomonitoring of pyrethrum and pyrethroid insecticides used indoors: determination of the metabolites E-cis/trans-chrysanthemumdicarboxylic acid in human urine by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry with negative chemical ionization. J. Chromatogr. B. Analyt. Technol. Biomed. Life Sci. 795(2): 195-207, 2003.
  • Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Pyrethrins or Pyrethrum. In Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 2. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 1986-1988.
  • Sonderlund, D.M., et al. Mechanisms of pyrethroid neurotoxicity: implications for cumulative risk assessment. Toxicology 171(1): 3-59, 2002.
Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:

  • sampling media: OSHA Versatile Sampler (OVS-2) - 13 mm XAD-2 tube (270/140 mg sections, 20/40 mesh) with Glass Fiber filter enclosed
    analytical solvent: Toluene
    maximum volume: 60 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 1.0 L/min
    current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/ECD
    method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA 70)
    method classification: Fully Validated

Bulk method: Limit the amount of bulk submitted to one gram or one mL.

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