American Healthy Homes Survey: a national study of residential pesticides measured from floor wipes

Environ Sci Technol. 2009 Jun 15;43(12):4294-300. doi: 10.1021/es8030243.


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in collaboration with the United States Environmental Protection Agency conducted a survey measuring lead, allergens, and insecticides in a randomly selected nationally representative sample of residential homes. Multistage sampling with clustering was used to select the 1131 homes of which a subset of 500 randomly selected homes included the collection of hard surface floor wipes. Samples were collected by trained field technicians between June 2005 and March 2006 using isopropanol wetted wipes. Samples were analyzed for a suite of 24 compounds which included insecticides in the organochlorine, organophosphate, pyrethroid and phenylpyrazole classes, and the insecticide synergist piperonyl butoxide. The most commonly detected were permethrin (89%), chlorpyrifos (78%), chlordane (64%), piperonyl butoxide (52%), cypermethrin (46%), and fipronil (40%). Mean and geometric mean (GM) concentrations varied widely among compounds, but were highest for trans-permethrin (mean 2.22 ng/cm2 and GM 0.14 ng/ cm2) and cypermethrin (mean 2.9 ng/cm2 and GM 0.03 ng/ cm2). Results show that most floors in occupied homes in the U.S. have measurable levels of insecticides that may serve as sources of exposure to occupants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution, Indoor*
  • Data Collection
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Floors and Floorcoverings*
  • Housing*
  • Pesticides / chemistry*
  • Quality Control


  • Pesticides