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Cypermethrin

Ammo, Avicade, Barricade

SPRI Emission Reporting Threshold
0.005 Kg/yr Pollutant Emissions to Water
0.005 Kg/yr Pollutant Emissions to Waste Water
Disclaimer
This sheet is a generic summary, designed to give the reader a basic level of background information about the substance in question. Great care has been taken to represent as effectively and correctly as possible the broad range of (not necessarily consistent) information which is available from a variety of sources. The reader must accept therefore that this sheet has no legal status and cannot be relied upon in any legal proceedings. SEPA disclaims any responsibility or liability whatsoever for errors and omissions in this sheet.
What is it?
Rather than being a single chemical, Cypermethrin is a mixture of several similar chemicals. It is a thick liquid which has a yellow colour. Cypermethrin itself is stable below 220 degrees celsius. However, it is broken down when in alkaline conditions and (by sunlight) when in solution with water.
What is it used for?
Cypermethrin is used as a pesticide applied to the foliage of plants and crops and to the surface of soils.
Where does it come from?
Cypermethrin is mainly released to the environment through its application as an agricultural pesticide. Releases may also occur during its manufacture, tranportation and storage. There are not thought to be any natural sources of Cypermethrin to the environment.
How might it affect the environment?
Cypermethrin applied to crops may contaminate the soil. However, it breaks down to less toxic chemicals within a matter of weeks and is not accumulated by any organisms. Cypermethrin is highly toxic to aquatic organisms, but seepage to water bodies from contaminated land is minimal as Cypermethrin binds strongly to soil particles. It not particularly toxic to birds and other wildlife, except insects which are not usually exposed as they are repelled by it anyway. It is not considered likely that Cypermethrin pollution has any effects on the global environment.
How might exposure to it affect human health?
Cypermethrin can enter the body either by inhalation of air containing cypermethrin vapours, by ingestion of cypermethrin or by dermal contact with cypermethrin. Inhalation of cypermethrin can lead to inflammation of the lungs (pneumonitis), breathing difficulties (dyspnea), chest pain, wheezing and in extreme cases respiratory failure. Ingestion of cypermethrin can cause abdominal pain, vomiting and nausea. Dermal contact with cypermethrin can cause skin irritation and dermatitis. Exposure for long periods of time can cause a skin rash that is similar in appearance to sunburn. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has not classified cypermethrin in terms of its carcinogenicity to humans. However, exposure to cypermethrin at normal background levels is unlikely to have any adverse effect on human health.
What steps are being taken to limit the potential impacts?
Releases of Cypermethrin are controlled through the UK Pollution, Prevention and Control (PPC) Regulations. Cypermethrin is also regulated as a pesticide through the Food and Environmental Protection Act (FEPA 1985) and the Control of Pesticides Regulations (COPR 1986). It is authorised for use as a pesticide in the UK (including Scotland) in the Pesticide Safety Directorate. European Directives concerned with releases of Cypermethrin include that which controls pollution of the aquatic environment by dangerous substances (76/464/EEC), that which designates maximum allowed levels for pesticide residues in fruit and vegetables (93/58/EC) - which in Scotland is implemented by the Maximum Levels in Crops, Foods and Feedstuffs regulations (MRL 2000) - and it is also listed as a "priority substance" for action under the Water Framework Directive.