Many floors in U. S. homes have 'measurable' levels of pesticides

June 19, 2009
Many floors in U. S. homes have 'measurable' levels of pesticides
Many floors in U.S. homes have measurable levels of pesticides, researchers say. Credit: Konrad A. Kociszewski, Wikimedia Commons

Insecticides used in and around homes — including products voluntarily removed from the market years ago — were measured on the floors of U.S. residences, according to the first study large enough to generate national data on pesticide residues in homes. It is scheduled for the June 15 issue of ACS’ semi-monthly journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Scientists at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of and Urban Development (HUD) collected samples with surface wipes from U.S. kitchen floors. Additionally, occupants were surveyed regarding pesticide use and housing factors. The most frequently detected , after permethrin (89 percent), were chlorpyrifos (78 percent); chlordane (74 percent); piperonyl butoxide (52 percent); cypermethrin (46 percent); and fipronil (40 percent). While in most cases, the pesticide concentrations measured were low, the may serve as a potential source of exposure to occupants.

Scientists launched the study to understand the frequency and concentration of pesticide residues that might be found in U.S. homes. EPA and HUD scientists plan to further investigate these findings and the study’s questionnaire results to explore the relationships between pesticide concentrations found in homes and housing factors (age of home, housing type, occupancy, etc.), geographical location, pet treatments, and recent home pesticide applications.

More information: Environmental Science & Technology; Article: “American Homes Survey: A National Study of Residential Pesticides Measured from Floor Wipes”

Source: American Chemical Society (news : web)

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5 / 5 (1) Jun 19, 2009
I wonder how many of the homes use pesticides e.g. fly spray, ant spray, roach spray?
Carpets are basically toxin traps. At least hard floors can be wiped clean.
5 / 5 (1) Jun 20, 2009
The study does go on to specifically mention kitchen floors, which are probably not carpeted. I cannot make much sense of this article. If the kitchen floor carries pesticide traces as a result of sprays, presumably there are traces all over everything else in the kitchen including work and eating surfaces. Do people clean down those areas after every time they spray? Or is it that only the floors are contaminated, because the toxins are being brought in on people's feet from elsewhere?

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