Permethrin (Ambush, Pounce) Chemical Profile 4/85
CHEMICAL name: 3-(phenoxyphenyl) methyl (+,-)-cis, trans-3-(2,2-
ylate (approximately 60% trans, 40% cis isomers) (56)
DEC INGRED. CODE:
TRADE name(S): Ambush, Pounce, Ectiban (56)
FORMULATION(S): 3.2 E.C. and the active ingredient 2 lbs. permethrin
per U.S. gallon. 25% wettable powder, Ectiban;
5.7% E.C. Ectiban (56).
TYPE: Synthetic pyrethroid insecticide
BASIC PRODUCER(S): FMC Corp.
Agricultural Chemical Group
2000 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
ICI Americas, Inc.
Agricultural Chemicals Division
Wilmington, DE 19897
STATUS: General use
PRINCIPAL USES: Pounce for use in cotton to control beet armyworm
(California and Arizona only), bollworm, cabbage looper, cotton flea-
hopper, cotton leafperforator, lygus bugs, pink bollworm, boll weevil,
tarnished plant bug, and tobacco budworm. Pounce 3.2 EC has section 24
(C) labels for chrysanthemums and roses. Also registered on cotton for
ultra low volume application in vegetable oil carrier under EUP and 24
Ambush, an effective broad-spectrum insecticide which may be applied
by ground or air. Registered on cotton to control cotton bollworm,
tobacco budworm, boll weevil, pink bollworm, cotton leafperforator,
lygus bugs, cotton fleahopper, and cabbage looper, and labelled for
control of whitefly and cotton aphid. Also has been used under
Emergency Exemptions on celery, lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, potatoes,
field and sweet corn, almonds, pumpkins, soybeans, grapes, green beans,
Ectiban refers to the particular formulations for animal health
use only. These formulations have been used in several states under a
24 (C) SLN registration as residual premise treatment for the control of
flies in poultry houses, dairies, and horse stables (56).
Ambush has shown a high level of activity (equal to or better than
that of standard insecticides) against the following agricultural pests:
Agrotis ipsilon Black cutworm
Anticarsia gemmatalis Velvet bean caterpillar
Choristoneura fumiferana Spruce budworm
Heliothis zea Corn earworm
Hemerocampa leucostigma Tussock moth
Ostrinia nubialis European corn borer
Pieris rapae Imported cabbage worm
Plutella xylostella Diamondback moth
Porthetria dispar Gypsy moth
Spodoptera frugiperda Fall armyworm
Trichoplusia ni Cabbage looper
Hyphantria cunea Fall webworm
Phyllonorycter cratagella Spotted tentiform leafminer
Pseudaletia unipuncta Armyworm
Schizura concinia Red humped caterpillar
Pseudoplusia includens Soybean looper
Thyridopteryx ephemeraformis Bagworm
Hypera postica Alfalfa weevil
Leptinotarsa decemlineata Colorado potato beetle
Macrodactylus subspinosus Rose chafer
Acyrthosiphum pisum Pea aphid
Aphis fabae Bean aphid
Brevicoryne brassicae Cabbage aphid
Therioaphis maculata Spotted alfalfa aphid
Trialeurodes vaporariorum Greenhouse whitefly
Hylema antiqua Onion maggot
Liromyza sativae Veg. leafminer
Heliothrips haemorrhoidalis Greenhouse thrips
Hercothrips femoralis Azalea thrips (Ref. 20b)
Most effective against the Lepidoptera species. Good residual
activity since sunlight does not break it down rapidly. Broad spectrum.
Non-systemic with no fumigant activity (8a).
II. PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
MOLECULAR FORMULA: C21 H20 Cl2 O3 (62)
MOLECULAR WEIGHT: 391.3 (62)
PHYSICAL STATE: Yellow-brown to brown liquid, which sometimes
tends to crystallize partly at room temperature
(technical material) (62).
ODOR: Odorless (pure compound); sweet odor (technical
MELTING POINT: 34-39 C (pure compound) (62)
VAPOR PRESSURE: 261 mPa at 30 C (technical material) (62)
SOLUBILITY: 0.2 mg/l water at 30 C (technical material) (62)
III. HEALTH HAZARD INFORMATION
OSHA STANDARD: None established
NIOSH RECOMMENDED LIMIT: None established
ACGIH RECOMMENDED LIMIT: None established
A. ACUTE TOXICITY
DERMAL: LD50 = >4000 mg/kg (rat); >2000 mg/kg (rabbit) (56).
Mildly irritating (20b)
ORAL: LD50 = >4000 mg/kg (technical product) (56)
Oral LD50 values of permethrin depend on such factors
as: carrier, cis/trans ratio of the sample, the test
species, its sex, age and degree of fasting. Values
reported sometimes differ markedly. Typical values for
a cis/trans ratio of c. 40:60 are: for rats 430-4000
mg/kg; for mice 540- 2690 mg/kg; for chickens >3000
INHALATION: LC50 = >23.5 mg/liter of air (rat) (aerosol) (56)
EYES: Mildly irritating (20b).
B. SUBACUTE AND CHRONIC TOXICITY:
In 2-yr feeding trials rats receiving 100 mg/kg diet showed no
ill-effect (62). Permethrin is not mutagenic or teratogenic (20b).
IV. ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS
Some hazard to fish, beneficial insects and honey bees. Biological
magnification unlikely. Nonphytotoxic (1).
The acute oral LD50 for Japanese quail = >13,500 mg/kg; the LC50 (96
hr.) for rainbow trout is 9 ug/l (62).
The results....indicate that permethrin is rapidly degraded in
soil. Degradation of the trans isomer occurs more rapidly than with
the cis isomer. The results obtained with enrichment and isolated
cultures, and in soil experiments comparing nonsterile and sodium azide
treated soils indicate that microbial metabolism is also involved (42).
Based on results obtained in identifying soil degradation products,
it is apparent that the major degradation mechanism of permethrin is
hydrolysis to the dichlorovinyl acid and 3-phenoxy benzyl alcohol
moieties. Further metabolism of both products result in the evolution
of the C-14 label as 14-CO2 (42).
Approximate Residual Period: 1-2 weeks on plants; weathers much better
than natural pyrethroids. Immobile in soil; persistence more or less
than 6 months (1).
V. EMERGENCY AND FIRST AID PROCEDURES
The chemical information provided below has been condensed
from original source documents, primarily from "Recognition and
Management of Pesticide Poisonings", 3rd ed. by Donald P. Morgan,
which have been footnoted. This information has been provided in
this form for your convenience and general guidance only. In
specific cases, further consultation and reference may be required
and is recommended. This information is not intended as a sub-
stitute for a more exhaustive review of the literature nor for the
judgement of a physician or other trained professional.
If poisoning is suspected, do not wait for symptoms to develop.
Contact a physician, the nearest hospital, or the nearest Poison
FREQUENT SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS OF UNDUE EXPOSURE TO PYRETHRUM, PYRETHRINS,
PYRETHROIDS, AND PIPERONYL BUTOXIDE.
A STUFFY, RUNNY NOSE and scratchy throat from inhalation of partly
purified pyrethrum extract is the most common adverse effect of these
agents. Asthmatic WHEEZING may be precipitated by exposure of
predisposed individuals. Sudden bronchospasm, swelling of oral and
laryngeal mucous membranes, and shock (anaphylaxis) have been reported
after pyrethrum inhalation. Delayed appearance of dyspnea, cough and
fever, with patchy lung infiltrates on x-ray, suggest hypersensitivity
pneumonitis. Nervous irritability, tremors, and ataxia have occurred
rarely in persons who have had massive inhalation exposure to
pyrethrins. Halocarbon propellents in bug-bomb products present a risk
of CARDIAC ARRHYTHMIA and possibly fibrillation if inhaled to excess.
Hydrocarbons used as solvents in spray products are likely to result in
COUGH, FEVER, and CHEST PAIN (hydrocarbon pneumonitis) if these liquids
are inadvertently aspirated (25).
SKIN CONTACT: Immediately remove contaminated clothing and flush
skin with water (56).
INGESTION: Do not induce vomiting. Call a physician immediately
EYE CONTACT: Immediately flush eyes with plenty of water for at
least 15 minutes. If necessary, see physician (56).
NOTES TO PHYSICIAN:
If victim is not fully alert, empty stomach immediately by intubation,
aspiration, and lavage, using isotonic saline or 5% sodium bicarbonate.
Because many pesticides are dissolved in petroleum distillates, emesis
and intubation of the stomach involve a risk that solvent will be
aspirated, leading to chemical pneumonitis. Do not administer or
instill milk, cream, or other substances containing vegetable or animal
fats, which enhance absorption of lipophilic substances, such as
pyrethrins and pyrethroids.
Diazepam (Valium) 5-10 mg in adults, 0.1 mg/kg in children, given
orally or slowly IV, should control nervousness and tremors in rare
cases having these symptoms after extraordinary exposure to pyrethrins
and pyrethroids (25).
VI. FIRE AND EXPLOSION INFORMATION
To be developed.
Generally compatible (1).
VIII. PROTECTIVE MEASURES
STORAGE AND HANDLING: Toxic to fish. Keep out of lakes, streams or
ponds. Do not apply when weather conditions favor drift from treated
areas. Do not contaminate water by cleaning of equipment, or disposal
of wastes near a body of water. Avoid contact with eyes, skin, or
clothing. Avoid breathing vapor or spray mist. Wash thoroughly after
handling. Do not store near food, feed, heat or open flame (56).
IX. PROCEDURES FOR SPILLS AND LEAKS
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, CALL, DAY OR NIGHT
PESTICIDE TEAM SAFETY NETWORK/CHEMTREC
X. LITERATURE CITED
1. Harding, W.C. 1979. Pesticide profiles, part one: insecticides
and miticides. Univ. Maryland, Coop. Ext. Serv. Bull. 267.
8a. Thomson, W. T. 1976. Agricultural chemicals - book 1:
insecticides, acaricides, and ovicides. Revised ed. Thomson
Publ., Indianapolis, IN. 232 pp.
20b. ICI Americas, Inc., Agricultural Chemicals Division. Technical
information: Ambush insecticide. Goldsboro, NC.
25. Morgan, D.P. 1982. Recognition and management of pesticide
poisonings, 3rd ed. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
Washington, DC. 120 pp.
42. Kaufman, D. D. et al. 1977. Permethrin degradation in soil
and microbial cultures. Pages 147-161 in M. Elliott, ed.
Synthetic pyrethroids. American Chemical Society,
56. Farm Chemicals Handbook, 70th ed. 1984. R. T. Meister, G. L.
Berg, C. Sine, S. Meister, and J. Poplyk, eds. Meister
Publishing Co., Willoughby, OH.
62. The Pesticide Manual: A World Compendium, 7th ed. 1983. C.R.
Worthing, ed. The British Crop Protection Council, Croydon,
England. 695 pp.