US EPA establishes tolerance levels of deltamethrin for oranges and citrus foods
May. 12, 2017
Deltamethrin is a semi-synthetic Type II pyrethroid. It belongs to a group of pyrethroid insecticides. Recently, pyrethroids have increasingly been used to replace organophosphate pesticides that are being phased out due to their persistent toxic effects to humans. As pyrethroids can disrupt the voltage-gated sodium channel which leads to the death of a variety of insects, they are widely used as a field-treatment for crops, the protection of stored products and hygienic treatments in houses.
Although Deltamethrin is thought to be safe for humans, long-term health effect always needs to be considered. To ensure residues in foods remain at US safety levels, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has established tolerance levels for this pesticide, including its metabolite, in foods and feeds  Out of date food consumption information from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regarding what Americans eat and a lack of sufficient data for Deltamethrin use in or on imported oranges and citrus foods, may have caused an underestimation of pesticide exposure, as listed in the Federal Register of March 27, 2015. The US EPA, realizing the issues, has revised 40 CFR 180.435 based upon supporting data from petition PP 5E8431. New proposed tolerance levels of Deltamethrin for oranges and citrus foods published in Federal Register of April, 2017  are shown in Table 1. Gas Chromatography with electron capture detector (GC/ECD) is the technique recommended by the Chief Analytical Chemistry Branch to determine Deltamethrin residue levels.