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By Ramdane Dris, S. Mohan Jain

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4. Pyrethroids (PYRs) The term ‘pyrethroids’ is used for substances of natural origin, extracted from the pyrethrum plant, as well as various synthetic products with chemical structure similar to natural pyrethrins. It is therefore a large and varied group of products, the main characteristic of which is effectiveness as insecticides. Pyrethroid insecticides may be absorbed by respiratory, cutaneous and digestive routes. , 1992). Studies with experimental animals show that after exposure, pyrethroids are distributed throughout the body but just as quickly and completely excreted (IARC, 1991a; IARC, 1991b; IARC, 1991c; WHO, 1992).

Excretion is usually quite rapid (80–90% of the total dose within 48 h) (WHO, 1986b). Although maximum excretion is usually within 24 h of the start of exposure (Maroni, 1986), it may be useful to prolong urine collection to 48 h after exposure if absorption of OPs is mainly cutaneous. Alkylphosphates in urine are more sensitive indicators of exposure than acetylcholinesterase inhibition. Unfortunately, biological limits of exposure have not yet been established, and it is complicated to interpret the results in terms of risk for human health.

For pentachlorophenol and dinitro-o-cresol, ACGIH (ACGIH, 2002) and WHO (WHO, 1982b) recommend blood sampling at the end of the work shift. Additional considerations can be made for measurements of cholinesterase activity, which varies widely from person to person. It is therefore advisable that 24 Cristina Aprea Table 11. Biological monitoring of occupational exposure to pesticides. , 1986a Environmental and Biological Monitoring of Exposure to Pesticides 25 Table 11. Continued. , 1986a DMP (dimethylphosphate); DMTP (dimethylthiophosphate); DMDTP (dimethyldithiophosphate); DEP (diethylphosphate); DETP (diethylthiophosphate); DEDTP (diethyldithiophosphate); DEF (s,s,s-tributhyl phosphorotrithioate); M1 (2-dimethylamino-4-hydroxy-5,6-dimethylpyrimidine); M2 (2-methylamino4-hydroxy-5,6-dimethylpirimidine); DCVA [3-(2,2-dichlorovinyl)-2,2-dimethyl cyclopropanoic acid]; F-PBA (4-fluoro-3-phenoxybenzoic acid); 3-PBA (3-phenoxybenzoic acid); 4-OH-3-PBA [3-(4hydroxy)-phenoxybenzoic acid]; DBVA [3-(2,2-dibromovinyl)-2,2-dimethyl cyclopropanoic acid]; HCH (hexachlorocyclohexane); CPBA [2-(4-chlorophenyl)-3-methyl-1 butanoic acid]; MHBC [(methyl (4hydroxy-1H-benzimidazol-2yl) carbamate], DCP-MA [N-acethyl-S-(3-chloroprop-2-enyl)-cysteine] 2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid); MCPA (2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid), 2,4,5-T (2,4,5trichlorophenoxyacetic acid); DEA (2,6-diethylaniline); HEEA (2-(1-hydroxyethyl)-6-ethylaniline).

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