A simple, reliable procedure was developed to measure binding of pyrethroid insecticides to total proteins and lipoproteins of rat and human plasma. The extent of binding of (14)C-labeled deltamethrin (DLM), cis-permethrin (CIS) and trans-permethrin (TRANS) was quantified by a 3-step organic solvent extraction technique. Rat and human plasma samples, containing NaF to inhibit esterases, were spiked with a range of concentrations of each radiolabeled pyrethroid. Protein binding reached equilibrium within ~1h of incubation at 37°C. The samples were extracted in turn with: isooctane to collect the unbound fraction; 2-octanol to extract the lipoprotein-bound fraction; and acetonitrile to obtain the protein-bound fraction. Absolute recoveries of DLM, CIS and TRANS ranged from 86 to 95%. Adherence of these very lipophilic chemicals to glass and plastic was minimized by using silanized glass vials and LoBind® plastic pipettes. The method's ability to distinguish lipoprotein from protein binding was confirmed by experiments with diazepam and cyclosporine, drugs that bind selectively to albumin and lipoproteins, respectively. This procedure was effectively utilized for studies of the species-dependence of plasma protein and lipoprotein binding of three pyrethroids for inclusion in physiologically-based pharmacokinetic models of pyrethroids for use in health risk assessments of the insecticides in children and adults.