The following information is posted on the website of Cornell University Cooperative Extension’s Pesticide Management Education Program.
“Physical signs of deltamethrin poisoning can include dermatitis after skin contact; exposure to sunlight can make it worse. Severe swelling of the face including lips and eyelids can occur. Symptoms and consequences of poisoning include: sweating, fever, anxiety and rapid heartbeat.
Acute exposure effects in humans include the following: ataxia, convulsions leading to muscle fibrillation and paralysis, dermatitis, edema, diarrhea, dyspnea, headache, hepatic microsomal enzyme induction, irritability, peripheral vascular collapse, rhinorrhea, serum alkaline phosphatase elevation, tinnitus, tremors, vomiting and death due to respiratory failure. Allergic reactions have included the following effects: anaphylaxis, bronchospasm, eosinophilia, fever, hypersensitivity pneumonia, pallor, pollinosis, sweating, sudden swelling of the face, eyelids, lips and mucous membranes, and tachycardia.
A health survey of 199 workers who repacked pyrethroid insecticides into boxes by hand indicated that about two-thirds of the workers had a burning sensation and tightness and numbness on the face, while one-third had sniffs and sneezes. Abnormal sensations in the face, dizziness, tiredness and red rashes on the skin were more common in summer than in winter.”
Why would we ever want to use something as stealthy as deltamethrin in public areas? Most of the products found on the shelves of local hardware stores use products that contain a number of inert ingredients as well as the active ingredient. The inert ingredients aren’t required to be listed (trade secrets, or so they say) on the label and many of them are untested. Also, many have been tested and are suspected carcinogens. We don’t know which inert ingredients are in the products used for pest control items found commonly at local hardware stores.