Permethrin Treated Clothing
Clothing, shoes, bed nets, and camping gear can be treated with a pesticide called permethrin to kill or repel insects such as mosquitoes and ticks. Clothing and other products can be purchased pre-treated, or products can be treated using EPA-registered products. The U.S. Military has been using permethrin to treat combat uniforms for over 20 years to protect soldiers from diseases carried by insects.
Permethrin is the only pesticide approved by the EPA for these uses. When it is applied properly, permethrin binds tightly to the fabrics, resulting in little loss during washing and minimal transfer to the skin. Permethrin is poorly absorbed through the skin, although sunscreens and other products may increase the rate of skin absorption.
If you decide to use permethrin-treated clothing, consider these tips:
- Read the application instructions carefully and apply the product according to the label directions. Do not over-treat products.
- Any pesticide product with permethrin won't do. Look for products with specific instructions for treating clothing.
- Permethrin treatments are only intended for use on fabrics; do not apply them directly to the skin or other items.
- Do not apply permethrin to clothing while it is being worn.
- Apply the products outdoors in well ventilated areas that are protected from wind.
- Hang treated fabrics outdoors and allow them to dry completely before wearing them.
- Wash permethrin treated clothing separately from other clothing items.
If you have questions about this, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 1-800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Repellent-Treated Clothing - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Protection Against Mosquitoes Using Repellents - Connecticut Mosquito Management Program
- Updated Information Regarding Insect Repellents - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Health Effects of Permethrin-Impregnated Army Battle-Dress Uniforms (complete book) - National Research Council
- Permethrin Fact Sheet - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Permethrin Reregistration Eligibility Decision - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Toxicological Profile of Pyrethroids and Pyrethrins - Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
- Environmental Health Criteria for Permethrin - International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS)
- Test Guidelines for Insect Repellents for Human Skin and Outdoor Premises - EPA
- Consumer Products Treated with Pesticides - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Permethrin Factory-Treated Army Combat Uniforms (ACU Permethrin) - United States Army Public Health Command
- Personal Protection Measures for Deployments - Armed Forces Pest Management Board
- Protect Yourself Against Biting Insects - Armed Forces Pest Management Board
- Personal Protective Measures Against Insects and Other Arthropods of Military Significance - Armed Forces Pest Management Board
- DOD Pesticide Hotline - Armed Forces Pest Management Board
- Pesticides and Gulf War Veterans - Department of Veterans Affairs
- Gulf War Veterans Environmental Exposure Report: Pesticides - Department of Defense