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April 18, 1977

Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis Due to PyrethrumReport of a Case

JAMA. 1977;237(16):1718-1719. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270430060022

PYRETHRUM, a well-known and widely used insecticide, is found in more than 2,000 insect sprays and powders.1 Pyrethrum has caused cases of allergic "vasomotor" rhinitis and asthma.2 We report a case of hypersensitivity pneumonitis following repeated exposures to a pyrethrumbased insecticide.

Report of a Case  A 24-year-old woman was admitted with a four-month history of increasing fatigability. In the month prior to admission she began having pleuritic chest pain, nonproductive cough, and shortness of breath. She admitted that, because of an overriding fear of insects in her new home, she used approximately 2 1/2 cans of a pyrethrum-based insecticide (Raid) every week for six months. She denied allergic reactions with the exception of hay fever every May and June. The patient had had tuberculosis at the age of 7 years. Her chest roentgenogram one year prior to this admission was entirely normal.On physical examination, the temperature was