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Toxicity

To truly understand the nature of our treatment, we go back to where it all began, Pyrethrins. These are natural insecticides that are produced from the Chrysanthemum plant family that are either dried or crushed with the oils making solvents. They have an active ingredient of approx. 30%. These solvents are Pyrethrins which in a domestic or commercial situation, only 0.3% of the overall treatment is used. This compound is used to control flies, spiders, mosquitoes, cockroaches, beetles, human lice and stored product pests within Australia.

The semisynthetic derivatives of Chrysanthemum plant acids have been developed and are call "Pyrethroids". These tend to be more effective than natural Pyrethrins and are less toxic to mammals. Two commonly used synthetic pyrethroids are Deltamethrin and Bifenthrin. One of the uses for Deltamethrin is for quarantine in the export of wild flowers from Western Australia and Bifenthrin is registered for use on apples, bananas, carnations, cotton, pears and roses.

* One method for recording the relative toxicity of a pesticide is by evaluating its LD50.

* It is measured by milligrams of chemical to kilograms of body weight. An average household (5 litres) will contain no more than 2 grams which, being biodegradable, will break down over a period of time.

* In general, the smaller the LD50 value, the more toxic the chemical. The opposite is also true; the larger the LD50 value, the lower its toxicity.