Evaluation of the effects of repeated hand washing, sunlight, smoke and dirt on the persistence of deltamethrin on insecticide-treated nets
Field studies were carried out in Iran to evaluate the effect of various factors (washing, sun, smoke, dust and dirt) on the residual insecticidal activity of PermaNet (a brand of long-lasting insecticidal net), and on nets conventionally treated with deltamethrin (K-O Tab), using bioassay tests. Thirty-two nets were washed five or 15 times, and eight nets were not washed at all. Nets were washed vigorously in cold tap water (17 degrees C, pH 8.9) with a detergent. Hand rubbing continued for 3 min. After washing, some nets were exposed to dense smoke from a dung-hay fire for 3 min and were also left exposed to the dusty wind between washes. One group of nets was exposed to the sunlight for the full 3-d interval. between washes; another was exposed to sunlight for just 3 h after each wash; two other groups were kept in the shade. There was a significantly greater Loss of activity in nets exposed to the sun throughout the 3-d interval between washes: that is, for a total of 15 to 45 d. However, short sunlight exposure (maximum 3 h between washes) during drying did not have any effect. We did not find any significant effect of exposure to dirt, dust and smoke after washing. It is concluded that the effect of sun is much smaller than that of washing, and that drying nets for a few hours in the sun is not harmful. (c) 2008 Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All. rights reserved.