Analysis of pyrethroids in air using commercial XAD sampling cartridges and gas chromatography

  • J M Mbaria
  • T J Class
  • R Backer
  • E S Mitema
  • T E Maitho


Pyrethroids are synthetic esters used commercially as pesticides. They are readily available as active components of numerous over-the-counter products for control of household pests mainly formulated as sprays (aerosols), powders and for application via electro-evaporators. The potential for toxic effects in humans from inhalation of these pesticides is therefore great and there is need to develop methods of determination of indoor post-application concentration of the pyrethroids in air. A gas liquid chromatographic (GLC) method was used for the analysis of bioallethrin, permethrin, cypermethrin and deltamethrin in air. This method involved sampling of 1 m3 of air by adsorption of the analytes onto XAD sampling cartridges. Analytes were extracted with ethyl acetate and analyzed by gas chromatography with electron capture detection. The desorption/extraction efficiency (EE) was determined using fortification of known quantities of analytes (5-50 ng) and recovery ranged from 81% to 97%. The upper and lower limits of quantification (LOQ) were determined to be 4.5 ng/m3 and 45 ng/m3 respectively. This method is easily transferable to other pyrethroids or other volatile substances that are amenable to chromatography with selective detection.

The Kenya Veterinarian Vol. 29 2005: pp. 85-90

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