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What is it?

Permethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid and neurotoxin with the chemical formula C21H20Cl2O3. Some of the other names of this substance are Lyclear, Nix and m-phenoxybenzyl 3-(2,2-dichlorovinyl)-2,2-dimethylcyclopropanecarboxylate.

What are the effects?

This substance belongs to the groups:

Permethrin is on the Red List* from Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a project of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (previously the Breast Cancer Fund). They list the substance as an endocrine disrupter.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) identifies that permethrin  is “very toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects, is harmful if swallowed, is harmful if inhaled and may cause an allergic skin reaction.”

* “The Red List includes chemicals found in personal care products that pose serious, chronic health concerns including cancer, hormone disruption, and reproductive and developmental harm. The list also flags chemicals that are banned or have use restrictions by the U.S. or other world governments, ingredients that adversely impact worker health, and ingredients that are widely used in products marketed to women of color.” – Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

How is it used?

Permethrin, more commonly known by its trade names Lyclear or Nix, is a pyrethroid insecticide that are being used to treat lice and scabies. The repellent chemical is either used as a skin cream or lotion, or it can be sprayed on fabrics so that insects avoid it or die in contact.

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