USF St. Petersburg campus Master's Theses (Graduate)


Upton Nickle

First Advisor

Major Professor: Henry Alegria, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Foday M. Jaward, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Chris Meindl, Ph.D.


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Publication Date


Date Issued

March 1, 2016


Pyrethroid insecticides are widely used in pest control where pest control service technicians (PCSTs) could be chronically exposed. Levels of six pyrethroids were quantified in air and dust inside storage depots of pest control companies and inside both service and private vehicles of PCS Ts. Levels of pyrethroids were also quantified in the socks that PCSTs wore. Samples were analyzed using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and exposure levels in ingestible dust among the PCSTs calculated. The highest levels of individual pyrethroids found in the air samples were 363 lng/m 3 of cyfluthrin in service vehicles, 287 ng/m 3 of cypermethrin in personal vehicles and 163ng/m3 of cypermethrin in storage depots. The highest levels of individual pyrethroids found in dust were 426,531 ng/g ofpermethrin in services vehicle, 43,605 ng/g of cyfluthrin in personal vehicles and 1,050249 ng/g of cyfluthrin in storage depots. The levels in socks were as high as milligrams per pair of socks. These levels suggest a high possibility that applicators are being exposed to substantial levels of pyrethroids in their work environments, especially via dust inhalation. Exposure calculations using the total pyrethroid levels in dust found in service and personal vehicles and storage depots ranged from 0.022 ng/kg/day to 74.993 ng/kg/day. High pyrethroid levels found in socks and personal vehicles suggest that applicators may be inadvertently transporting pyrethroids into their homes, especially vii those with little experience and those who engage in poor hygiene practices at work. This data can be useful in educating pest control service technicians on the safe use of pyrethroids.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Science Department of Environmental Science and Policy College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Saint Petersburg

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