Environmental toxicology and pharmacology

Synergistic effect of non-ionic surfactants Tween 80 and PEG6000 on cytotoxicity of insecticides.

PMID 25699500


The use of surfactants in the development of a suitable formulation for insecticides should improve the solubility behavior, the permeability and the efficiency against pests meanwhile decrease the toxic risks of insecticides on human health. Cytotoxicity of insecticides including abamectin, chlorfluazuron, hexaflumuron, chlorpyrifos, and tebufenozide was assessed on human HepG2 and lepidopteran Tn5B1-4 cells utilizing insecticide alone and in combination with nontoxic concentrations of nonionic surfactants Tween 80 and PEG6000. The results showed avermection revealed high cytotoxicity, chlorfluazuron and hexaflumuron possessed median cytotoxicity, and chlorpyrifos and tebufenozide had little cytotoxicity on HepG2 and Tn5B1-4 cells. The co-incubation with Tween 80 and PEG6000 powerfully counteracted the cytotoxicity of avermectin. Tween 80 enhanced, whereas PEG6000 compressed, the cytotoxicity of chlorfluazuron on Tn5B1-4 cells, and also improved a bit of the cytotoxicity of chlorpyrifos or tebufenozide on HepG2 cells. PEG6000 was more suitable to be used as surfactant in improving insecticide solubility and reducing the cytotoxicity. The present investigation demonstrates the necessity of utilizing surfactants to weaken the cytotoxicity of insecticides.