Pesticide Use during the Gulf War: A Survey of Gulf War Veterans

By Ronald D. Fricker Jr.; Elaine Reardon et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter Five
POTENTIAL MISUSE OR OVERUSE OF PESTICIDES

It is difficult to evaluate whether pesticides were used properly, given the nature of the survey data. This is because the data primarily describe frequency of use by form of pesticide. Without data on color and smell, in general, it is not possible to link any given form to a specific active ingredient. An additional difficulty is the accuracy of self-reported data. Thus, we can report only what respondents told us; we often cannot determine whether a potential misuse is simply a case of misidentification or actual misuse.

In spite of such difficulties, in this chapter we highlight those identifiable cases in which pesticide use is questionable (either in terms of potential overuse or misuse). Most of these results are based only on those pesticides that were specifically named by respondents. Although such an analysis does not lend itself to statistical generalizations for the population, it does serve to indicate areas possibly deserving additional study.


POSSIBLE MISUSE OR OVERUSE

Personal Pesticides

Permethrin. Permethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid that acts as a contact repellent against mosquitoes, biting flies, and crawling arthropods such as ticks and chigger mites. Permethrin binds so strongly to fabric that treated uniforms will continue to provide protection after several washings. The recommended use of permethrin 0.5 percent was for bed netting and uniforms (except the uniform cap, underwear, and T-shirts). Directions for use state to spray the clothing from a distance of six to eight inches away, for at least 30 seconds on each side and allow to dry for two to four hours according to ambient humidity and to reapply after six weeks and its sixth laundering.1 However, the literature

____________________
1
Permethrin Arthropod Repellent NSN 6840-01-278-1336 label on each six-ounce can. Approved label by U.S. EPA April 1990. Also in AFPMB (1996).

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Pesticide Use during the Gulf War: A Survey of Gulf War Veterans
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Figures ix
  • Table xi
  • Summary xv
  • Acknowledgments xxvii
  • Acronyms xxix
  • A Note on Trade Names xxxi
  • Chapter One - Introduction 1
  • Chapter Two - Survey and Sample Description 7
  • Chapter Three - Survey Results 19
  • Chapter Four - Living Conditions and Variations in Pesticide Use 43
  • Chapter Five - Potential Misuse or Overuse of Pesticides 57
  • Appendix A - Main Survey Instrument 69
  • Appendix B - Definition of the Sampling Frame and Sample 75
  • Appendix C - Analytic Methods 95
  • Appendix D - Evaluating Recall Bias 107
  • References 117
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