Pesticide Links and Risks to Cancer and other Illnesses that Impact Our Health and the Environment

Most OTC Bed Bug Products Contain

MGK®-264 (N-Octyl Bicycloheptene Dicarboximide); d-Phenothrin (Sumithrin®), Pyrethrins; Piperonyl Butoxide; Neonicotinoids; Petroleum Distillates; Liquefied Petroleum Gas; Imidacloprid; Deltamethrin.

Phenothrin – Wikipedia

“Phenothrin, also called Sumithrin”

Extremely toxic to bees, aquatic, liver cancer in rats and mice, seizures and death to cats and dogs.

Study performed by the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine links Sumithrin with breast cancer.

US EPA cancelled permission to use phenothrin in several flea and tick products

MGK-264 Thurston County Olympia, Washington Review Date 08/17/2012 – CAS#113-48-4

MGK-264 is rated high in hazard because it is classified as a possible human carcinogen by the EPA. There are also many potential exposures to MGK-264 (that have been calculated by the EPA that range from low hazard to high hazard) either for the applicator or for the people exposed to the applied product.

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) – Chemical Index – Pyrethrins

“Pyrethrins are often combined with other chemicals that make them stick around longer and also increase their toxicity. One of these enhancers, piperonyl butoxide (PBO) is a possible human carcinogen according to the US EPA.”

University of Minnesota Private Pesticide Applicator Safety Education Manual 19th Edition

Produced by the Pesticide Safety & Environmental Education Program, University of Minnesota Extension – Appendix A: Pesticide Toxicities

The lower the LD50 or LC50, the more toxic the chemical. Federal laws classifies the most toxic pesticides as legal poisons if it has any one of the following:

  • An acute oral LD50 of 50 mg/kg; or
  • An acute dermal LD50 of 200 mg/kg; or
  • An acute inhalation LC50 less than 0.2 mg/l.

Any product with these toxicity levels has the potential to kill humans with very small amounts, as little as a few drops taken by mouth.

Exposure to Pesticides in Childhood Linked to Cancer – Harvard School of Public Health – September, 2015

Young children exposed to insecticides inside their homes may be slightly more at risk for developing leukemia or lymphoma during childhood, according to a meta-analysis by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers. (October, 2015 Pediatrics).

The children exposed to indoor insecticides were at a higher risk of childhood cancers, including leukemia, acute leukemia, and lymphoma. Wise to limit babies’ and children’s exposure to pesticides, especially the ones used indoors that were linked to leukemia and lymphoma.

Journal of Pesticide Reform/Summer 2003 Vol. 23, No. 2

Insecticide Fact Sheet: Sumithrin (D-Phenothrin)

“Sumithrin is a neuropoison.”

In laboratory tests, sumithrin has damaged the liver and kidneys. It has also caused anemia and increased the incidence of liver cancer.”

“In breast cancer cells, sumithrin increases the expression of a gene that is involved with proliferation of cells in the mammary gland. Sumithrin can also mimic certain activities of the sex hormone estrogen and keep another sex hormone from binding to its normal receptors.”

“Carcinogenicity (Ability to Cause Cancer) “long-term (two year) exposure to sumithrin increased the incidence of liver cancer.” 16

Mt. Sinai School of Medicine links sumithrin with breast cancer. Exposure to sumithrin increased the expression of this gene.” 24

Health Effects of Pesticides – Cancer – Wikipedia

Health effects of pesticides …A 2007 systematic review found that “most studies on non-Hodgkin lymphoma and leukemia showed positive associations with pesticide exposure” and thus concluded that cosmetic use of pesticides should be decreased.[2] Strong evidence also exists for other negative outcomes from pesticide exposure including neurological problems, birth defects, fetal death,[3] and neurodevelopmental disorder.[4]

According to The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, 9 of the 12 most dangerous and persistent chemicals are pesticides.[5][6]

Many studies have examined the effects of pesticide exposure on the risk of cancer. Associations have been found with: leukemia, lymphoma, brain, kidney, breast, prostate, pancreas, liver, lung, and skin cancers.[6] This increased risk occurs with both residential and occupational exposures.[6] Increased rates of cancer have been found among farm workers who apply these chemicals.[10] A mother’s occupational exposure to pesticides during pregnancy is associated with an increases in her child’s risk of leukemia, Wilms’ tumor, and brain cancer.[6][11]

Say No To Spray blog. Mosquito Spray – Neither Safe Nor Effective

Pg. 12 “Permethrin, like Sumithrin which TASD uses over 9,000 times a summer at resident request, is a ‘synthetic pyrethroid’ – a known hormone disruptor” … leading to reproductive, behavior, immune-system, and neurological problems” according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). [Threatened Waters p. 11,

Pg. 14 “the most damaged people I have [treated] over the last three decades have been those with unsuspected exposure to pesticides in their younger years.” [from Detoxify or Die]

Pg. 14 ”The use of pesticides in the home has been linked to childhood cancers. Chronic conditions such as OPIDP (Organophosphate-Induced Delayed Polyneuropathy, with symptoms of irreversible neurological defects] constitute and important public health issue because of their potential cost to society.” Public Health Risks Associated with Pesticides…” [D. Pimentel et al., www.]

Pg. 14 “The World Health Organization has estimated that every year, pesticides worldwide cause about 20,000 human deaths, three million cases of acute and chronic poisoning, and 750,000 new cases of disease. [WHO, “Public Health Impacts of Pesticides Used in Agriculture”]

Pg. 15 Dr. Brian Clement observed “Over the past decade we have been seeing younger and younger people with brain cancers and leukemia. There is no question that exposure to synthetic chemicals is the core reason for this increase in catastrophic illnesses.” [Cited in The Hundred Year Lie/Randall Fitzgerald, p. 232]

MSDS Hyper Glossary – September 14, 2015 – ILPI

Both LC50 and LD50 values state the animal used in the test. This is important because animal toxicity studies do not necessarily extrapolate (extend) to humans. For example, dioxins (of Love Canal, Times Beach, Sveso and Agent Orange fame) are highly toxic to guinea pigs and ducklings at extremely low levels, but have never been conclusively linked to a single human death even at very high levels of acute (short term) exposure. However, it is best to err on the safe side when evaluating animal toxicity studies and assume that most chemicals that are toxic to animals are toxic to humans.

Never be exposed to an LC50 dose of a hazardous chemical — by definition, there is a 50% chance this will kill you…and if you survive you’re not going to be in good shape.

NYC Health Local Law 37 of 2005, Changes to Pesticide Prohibition Lists, Prepared by the NY Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Bureau of Environmental Surveillance and Policy, January 1, 2011. LL37 Changes to Prohibition Lists, 2010, page 1.

“Pesticide products with pyrethrins are mixed with the synergists piperonyl butoxide and/or MGK-264 in 89% of registered products, and both of these chemicals are classified as possible human carcinogens by the EPA Office of the Pesticide Programs. Therefore, most products containing pyrethrins would continue to be prohibited under LL37 even if the reference to the EPA list was updated.”

PubMed NCBI – Exposure to Pesticides and the Risk of Childhood Brain Tumors (CBT)

Preconception pesticide exposure, and possibly exposure during pregnancy, is associated with an increased CBT risk.

City Still Using Pesticides Despite 2005 Law Banning Them – City Limits – August 10, 2015, Felder, Elah

“Despite being referred to as “inert,” a term the EPA has acknowledged is misleading to consumers, these ingredients can themselves be toxic or possibly carcinogenic, and can enhance the toxicity of the active ingredient. Manufacturers are only legally required to reveal the active ingredients, however.”

The Health Effects of Pesticides Used for Mosquito Control – A Report By: Citizens Campaign for the Environment and Citizens Environmental Research Institute – August, 2002

Sumithrin is a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide, which may affect the central nervous system.

Anvil contains 10% pipernyl butoxide. Sumithrin was shown to demonstrate significant estrogenicity in a 1999 study.¹ at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. This means it may promote tumor growth in cancers of the reproductive organs including breast cancer and prostate cancer.

1.Estrogenic and Antiproge stagenic Activities of Pyrethroid Insecticides. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, October 1998, vol.251, no.3, p.855-859

PERMETHRIN is a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide and neurotoxin. It is more acutely toxic to children than to adults.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified it as a human carcinogen and it has been shown to cause immune system damage as well as birth defects.

Note: Pyrethroids are highly toxic to fish, crustaceans, and bees. For that reason, EPA has established restrictions that prohibit their direct application to open water within 100 feet of lakes, steams, rivers, or bays.

As defined by OSHA Standard 1910.1200 (the OSHA Haz-com standard), a hazardous chemical is one which is a physical hazard or a health hazard.

Phenothrin on Wikipedia

(3-Phenoxyphenyl)methyl 2,2-dimethyl-3-(2-methylprop-1-enyl)cyclopropane-1-carboxylate

Phenothrin, also called Sumithrin, is a synthetic pyrethroid. D-Phenothrin is used as a component of aerosol insecticides for domestic use.

Other Names for Phenothrin

Anchimanaito 20S

It is extremely toxic to bees. A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study found that 0.07 micrograms was enough to kill honey bees.[1] It is also extremely toxic to aquatic life with a study showing concentrations of 0.03 ppb killing mysid shrimp.[1] It has increased risk of liver cancer in rats and mice in long term exposure.[1] It is poisonous to cats and dogs, with seizures and deaths being reported due to poisoning.[1] Specific data on concentrations or exposure is lacking.

The EPA has not assessed its effect on cancer in humans. However, one study performed by the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine links Sumithrin with breast cancer; the link made by Sumithrin’s effect on increasing the expression of a gene responsible for mammary tissue proliferation.[1]


Neonicotinoids are a relatively new class of insecticides that share a common mode of action that affect the central nervous system of insects, resulting in paralysis and death. They include imidacloprid, acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, nithiazine, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam.

Definition of EPA Group C: “Possible Human Carcinogen”

“This group is used for agents with limited evidence of carcinogenicity in animals in the absence of human data. It includes a wide variety of evidence, e.g., (a) a malignant tumor response in a single well-conducted experiment that does not meet conditions for sufficient evidence, (b) tumor responses of marginal statistical significance in studies having inadequate design or reporting, (c) benign but not malignant tumors with an agent showing no response in a variety of short-term tests for mutagenicity, and (d) responses of marginal statistical significance in a tissue known to have a high or variable background rate.”

[Citations and author information is available upon request if not listed.]

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