Deltamethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid widely used as the insecticide of choice especially for local vector mosquitoes in most countries. The application is mostly by cold aerosol spraying using vehicle-mounted equipment with a duration of 3-4 months during the summer. This experimental study aimed to evaluate the morphologic changes in the lungs caused by the inhalation of this insecticide. The study was performed on 30 mature male Wistar rats. While 10 of the rats were used as control group, 20 rats, separated into two groups, were exposed to 1:10 dilution of deltamethrin aerosol spray for 30 min each day for 45 days in doses of 6.0 and 12.0 mg/m(3). The animals were sacrificed and tissue samples taken from the lungs were processed for both light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. Light microscopic examination revealed heavy congestion, marked perivascular edema, and lymphoplasmocytic infiltration with focal nonspecific interstitial pneumonia, foamy macrophage accumulation, emphysema, peribronchial lymphoid tissue hyperplasia, and focal hemorrhage. Ultrastructurally, the ciliated cells of the airways appeared swollen with a few structurally abnormal cilia. Alveolar lining cells revealed mild degeneration and a slight hyperplasia in type II cells. Increases in the number of collagen bundles and edema in the alveolar septa were also noted. (c) 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.