Synthetic pyrethroids (Type II) and freshwater fish culture: Perils and mitigations


1 Project Directorate for Farming System Research (PDFSR), Modipuram, Meerut 250110, UP, India

2 Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (CIFRI), Barrackpore, Kolkata 700120, West Bengal, India

3 .

4 Central Institute of Fisheries Education (CIFE), Versova, Andheri (W), Mumbai 400061, India

5 CIFRI Regional Centre, Hessarghatta Lake Post, Bangalore 560089, Karnataka, India

6 CIFRI Regional Centre, Guwahati 781006, Assam, India

7 Directorate of Coldwater Fisheries Research (DCFR), Chhirapani Fish Farm, Champawat 262523, Uttarakhand, India


As a new class of agricultural insecticides, synthetic pyrethroids are widely used to control insect pests. Synthetic pyrethroids have been shown to enter the aquatic environment from agricultural runoff or drift from aerial and ground-based spraying applications posing threat to fishes which are less tolerant to pesticides through direct exposure. These insecticides interfere with the sodium channel of the nervous system resulting in prolonged sodium tail current. Widespread application of these chemicals has warranted the attention of the ecologist to understand the impact of these chemicals on the aquatic environment. In this perspective, an updated account of toxicological evaluation of three type II synthetic pyrethroids, viz. deltamethrin, cypermethrin and fenvalerate in terms of their physico-chemical, metabolic, hematological, histological, behavioral and reproductive aspects with respect to the fishes has been presented which may be useful for policy makers, academics, environmental scientists and agricultural professionals needing ready access to this information. The aim of the present synoptic literature appraisal was to summarize the main effect of current use, type II synthetic pyrethroids (deltamethrin, cypermethrin and fenvalerate) on aquatic environment due to their persistence and accumulation. This article will focus on non-target organisms in inland fresh water environment with special reference to fin fishes and will critically evaluate the toxicity of these pyrethroids in terms of growth inhibition, metabolic disorders, neurotoxicity, reproductive failure, enzymatic dysfunction, haematological alterations, and tissue damages. The rationalized information in this milieu may be useful in ecological risk evaluation and human health management as fish serves as an important bio-indicator for aquatic systems health.