What Do We Know About Human Exposure to PBO?

scientist working at the laboratoryGiven the extensive non-dietary use of PBO, manufacturers of PBO and marketers of PBO-containing products formed the Non-Dietary Exposure Task Force (NDETF) in 1996 to develop a long-term research program to more fully understand the phenomenon of human exposure to insecticides used in the home.  Most of the studies were conducted with formulations of pyrethrins/PBO and synthetic pyrethroids/PBO, and focused on the indoor use of fogger and aerosol products.  Carpet and vinyl flooring surfaces were selected because of their different physical and chemical properties, and because they represent a significant amount of the floor coverings used in homes in North America.

While the focus of the NDETF effort was on total release foggers, a study was also conducted to determine both dispersion (air levels) and deposition (on flooring) of pyrethrins/PBO resulting from the use of a hand held aerosol spray can.  Potential direct exposure of the user was also measured.  Air sampling from the breathing zone of the applicator and analysis of residues on cotton gloves was performed.  These data were submitted to the U.S. EPA and were key to the Agency’s comprehensive risk assessment for PBO.