1.800.858.7378 npic@ace.orst.edu
We're open from 8:00AM to 12:00PM Pacific Time, Mon-Fri


Technical Fact Sheet

As of 2011, NPIC stopped creating technical pesticide fact sheets. The old collection of technical fact sheets will remain available in this archive, but they may contain out-of-date material. NPIC no longer has the capacity to consistently update them. To visit our general fact sheets, click here. For up-to-date technical fact sheets, please visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s webpage.

Molecular Structure -

Laboratory Testing: Before pesticides are registered by the U.S. EPA, they must undergo laboratory testing for short-term (acute) and long-term (chronic) health effects. Laboratory animals are purposely given high enough doses to cause toxic effects. These tests help scientists judge how these chemicals might affect humans, domestic animals, and wildlife in cases of overexposure.

Chemical Class and Type:

Physical / Chemical Properties:


Mode of Action:

Target Organisms

Non-target Organisms

Acute Toxicity:


LD50/LC50: A common measure of acute toxicity is the lethal dose (LD50) or lethal concentration (LC50) that causes death (resulting from a single or limited exposure) in 50 percent of the treated animals. LD50 is generally expressed as the dose in milligrams (mg) of chemical per kilogram (kg) of body weight. LC50 is often expressed as mg of chemical per volume (e.g., liter (L)) of medium (i.e., air or water) the organism is exposed to. Chemicals are considered highly toxic when the LD50/LC50 is small and practically non-toxic when the value is large. However, the LD50/LC50 does not reflect any effects from long-term exposure (i.e., cancer, birth defects or reproductive toxicity) that may occur at levels below those that cause death.


High Toxicity Moderate Toxicity Low Toxicity Very Low Toxicity
Acute Oral LD50 Up to and including 50 mg/kg
(≤ 50 mg/kg)
Greater than 50 through 500 mg/kg
(>50-500 mg/kg)
Greater than 500 through 5000 mg/kg
(>500-5000 mg/kg)
Greater than 5000 mg/kg
(>5000 mg/kg)
Inhalation LC50 Up to and including 0.05 mg/L
(≤0.05 mg/L)
>Greater than 0.05 through 0.5 mg/L
(>0.05-0.5 mg/L)
Greater than 0.5 through 2.0 mg/L
(>0.5-2.0 mg/L)
Greater than 2.0 mg/L
(>2.0 mg/L)
Dermal LD50 Up to and including 200 mg/kg
(≤200 mg/kg)
Greater than 200 through 2000 mg/kg
(>200-2000 mg/kg)
Greater than 2000 through 5000 mg/kg
(>2000-5000 mg/kg)
Greater than 5000 mg/kg
(>5000 mg/kg)
Primary Eye Irritation Corrosive (irreversible destruction of ocular tissue) or corneal involvement or irritation persisting for more than 21 days Corneal involvement or other eye irritation clearing in 8 - 21 days Corneal involvement or other eye irritation clearing in 7 days or less Minimal effects clearing in less than 24 hours
Primary Skin Irritation Corrosive (tissue destruction into the dermis and/or scarring) Severe irritation at 72 hours (severe erythema or edema) Moderate irritation at 72 hours (moderate erythema) Mild or slight irritation at 72 hours (no irritation or erythema)
The highlighted boxes reflect the values in the "Acute Toxicity" section of this fact sheet. Modeled after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Pesticide Programs, Label Review Manual, Chapter 7: Precautionary Labeling. https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2018-04/documents/chap-07-mar-2018.pdf


Signs of Toxicity - Animals

Signs of Toxicity - Humans

Chronic Toxicity:



Exposure: Effects of deltamethrin on human health and the environment depend on how much deltamethrin is present and the length and frequency of exposure. Effects also depend on the health of a person and/or certain environmental factors.

Endocrine Disruption:




Reproductive or Teratogenic Effects:



Fate in the Body:





Medical Tests and Monitoring:

Environmental Fate:






Food Residue

Ecotoxicity Studies:


Fish and Aquatic Life

Terrestrial Invertebrates

Regulatory Guidelines:

Date Reviewed: March 2010

Please cite as: Johnson, M.; Luukinen, B.; Buhl, K.; Stone, D. 2010. Deltamethrin Technical Fact Sheet; National Pesticide Information Center, Oregon State University Extension Services. http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/archive/Deltatech.html.


  1. WHO. Environmental Health Criteria 97 - Deltamethrin; International Programme on Chemical Safety, World Health Organization: Geneva, Switzerland, 1990; pp 1-133.
  2. Davies, J. H. The Pyrethroids: An Historical Introduction. The Pyrethroid Insecticides, 1st ed.; Leahey, J. P., Ed.; Taylor & Francis Ltd: London, 1985; pp 1-41.
  3. Toxicological Profile for Pyrethrins and Pyrethroids; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. http://atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp155.html (accessed Jan 2009), updated Apr 2004.
  4. Data Sheet on Pesticides No. 50: Deltamethrin; International Programme on Chemical Safety, World Health Organization. http://www.inchem.org/documents/pds/pds/pest50_e.htm (accessed Jan 2009), updated Apr 2004.
  5. Tomlin, C. D. S. The Pesticide Manual: A World Compendium, 14th ed.; British Crop Protection Council: Farnham, UK, 2006; pp 286-287.
  6. Elliott, M.; Farnham, A. W.; Janes, N. F.; Needham, P. H.; Pulman, D. A. Synthetic insecticide with a new order of activity. Nature 1974, 248, 710-711.
  7. Deltamethrin Summary Document Registration Review: Initial Docket March 2010; U.S Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, Office of Pesticide Programs, U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 2010.
  8. Hayes Jr., W. J. Pesticides Derived from Plants and Other Organisms. Pesticides Studied in Man, 1st ed.; Williams & Wilkins: Baltimore, MD, 1982; pp 75-111.
  9. Environmental Fate Assessment for the Synthetic Pyrethroids; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Fate and Effects Division, U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1999.
  10. Deltamethrin; Pesticide Tolerance. Fed. Regist. October 27, 2004, 69 (207), 62602-62615.
  11. Pesticide Products. Pest-Bank [CD-ROM] 2007.
  12. Insecticide Chalk; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, Office of Pesticide Programs. https://www.epa.gov/safepestcontrol/avoid-illegal-household-pesticide-products (accessed Jan 2008), updated May 2006.
  13. Joy, R. M. Pyrethrins and Pyrethroid Insecticides. Pesticides and Neurological Diseases, 2nd ed.; CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL, 1994; pp 292-312.
  14. Burr, S. A.; Ray, D. E. Structure-activity and interaction effects of 14 different pyrethroids on voltage-gated chloride ion channels. Toxicol. Sci. 2004, 77, 341-346.
  15. Ray, D. E.; Fry, J. R. A reassessment of the neurotoxicity of pyrethroid insecticides. Pharmacol. Ther. 2006, 111 (1), 174-193.
  16. Leake, L. D.; Buckley, D. S.; Ford, M. G.; Salt, D. W. Comparative effects of pyrethroids on neurones of target and non-target organisms. Neurotoxicol. 1985, 6 (2), 99-116.
  17. Bradberry, S. M., Cage, S. A., Proudfoot, A. T., Vale, J. A. Poisoning due to Pyrethroids. Toxicol. Rev. 2005, 24 (2), 93-106.
  18. Pesticide Residues in Food 2000 - Deltamethrin; International Programme on Chemical Safety, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and World Health Organization: Geneva, Switzerland, 2001; pp 79-110.
  19. Notice of Filing of Pesticide Petitions. Fed. Regist. April 30, 1997, 62 (83), 23455-23460.
  20. Soderlund, D. M.; Clark, J. M.; Sheets, L. P.; Mullin, L. S.; Piccirillo, V. J.; Sargent, D.; Stevens, J. T.; Weiner, M. L. Mechanisms of pyrethroid neurotoxicity: implications for cumulative risk assessment. Toxicol. 2002, 171 (1), 3-59.
  21. He, F.; Wang, S.; Liu, L.; Chen, S.; Zhang, Z.; Sun, J. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of acute pyrethroid poisoning. Arch. Toxicol. 1989, 63, 54-58.
  22. Madsen, C.; Claesson, M. H.; Röpke, C. Immunotoxicity of the pyrethroid insecticides deltamethrin and a-cypermetrin. Toxicol. 1996, 107, 219-227.
  23. Shukla, Y.; Arora, A.; Singh, A. Tumourigenic studies on deltamethrin in Swiss albino mice. Toxicol. 2001, 163, 1-9.
  24. IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans: Occupational Exposures in Insecticide Application, and Some Pesticides; International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization: Lyon, France,1991; Vol. 53, p 251.
  25. Schardein, J. L. Developmental toxicity study in New Zealand white rabbits. Unpublished Report No. 3271112. Submitted to the World Health Organization by Hoechst Schering AgrEvo: Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, 1990.
  26. Anadón, A.; Martinez-Larrañaga, M. R.; Fernandez-Cruz, M. L.; Diaz, M. J.; Fernandex, M. C.; Martinez, M. A. Toxicokinetics of deltamethrin and its 4'-HO-metabolite in the rat. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 1996, 141, 8-16.
  27. Roberts, T.; Hutson, D. Metabolic Pathways of Agrochemicals - Part 2: Insecticides and Fungicides, 1st ed.; The Royal Society of Chemistry: Cambridge, UK, 1999; pp 638-644.
  28. Heudorf, U.; Angerer, J. Metabolites of Pyrethroid Insecticides in Urine Specimens: Current Exposure in an Urban Population in Germany. Environ. Health Perspect. 2001, 109 (3), 213-217.
  29. CDC. Third National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Atlanta, 2005; pp 405-415.
  30. Boehncke, A.; Siebers, J.; Nolting, H.G. Investigations of the evaporation of selected pesticides from natural and model surfaces in field and laboratory. Chemosphere 1990, 21 (9), 1109-1124.
  31. Erstfeld, K. M. Environmental fate of synthetic pyrethroids during spray drift and field runoff treatments in aquatic microcosms. Chemosphere 1999, 39 (10), 1737-1769.
  32. Muir, D. C. G.; Rawn, G. P.; Grift, N. P. Fate of the pyrethroid insecticide deltamethrin in small ponds: a mass balance study. J. Agric. Food Chem. 1985, 33, 603-609.
  33. Amweg, E. L.; Weston, D. P.; You, J.; Lydy, M. J. Pyrethroid Insecticides and Sediment Toxicity in Urban Creeks from California and Tennessee. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2006, 40 (5), 1700-1706.
  34. Holmes, R. W.; Anderson, B. S.; Phillips, B. M.; Hunt, J. W.; Crane, D. B.; Mekebri, A.; Connor, V. Statewide Investigation of the Role of Pyrethroid Pesticides in Sediment Toxicity in California's Urban Waterways. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2008, 42 (18), 7003-7009.
  35. Hill, B. D.; Johnson, D. L. Persistence of deltamethrin and its isomers on pasture forage and litter. J. Agric. Food Chem. 1987, 35, 373-378.
  36. Pesticide Data Program Annual Summary, Calendar Year 2006; U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service: Washington, DC, 2007.
  37. Akerblom, N.; Arbjork, C.; Hedlund, M.; Goedkoop, W. Deltamethrin toxicity to the midge Chironomus riparius Meigen- Effects of exposure scenario and sediment quality. Ecotoxicol. Environ. Saf. 2008, 70, 53-60.
Facebook Twitter Youtube