Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

Contemporary-Use Pesticides in Personal Air Samples during Pregnancy and Blood Samples at Delivery among Urban Minority Mothers and Newborns. (Children's Health)

Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

Contemporary-Use Pesticides in Personal Air Samples during Pregnancy and Blood Samples at Delivery among Urban Minority Mothers and Newborns. (Children's Health)

Article excerpt

We have measured 29 pesticides in plasma samples collected at birth between 1998 and 2001 from 230 mother and newborn pairs enrolled in the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health prospective cohort study. Our prior research has shown widespread pesticide use during pregnancy among this urban minority cohort from New York City. We also measured eight pesticides in 48-hr personal air samples collected from the mothers during pregnancy. The following seven pesticides were detected in 48-83% of plasma samples (range, 1-270 pg/g): the organophosphates chlorpyrifos and diazinon, the carbamates bendiocarb and 2-isopropoxyphenol (metabolite of propoxur), and the fungicides dicloran, phthalimide (metabolite of folpet and captan), and tetrahydrophthalimide (metabolite of captan and captafol). Maternal and cord plasma levels were similar and, except for phthalimide, were highly correlated (p < 0.001). Chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and propoxur were detected in 100% of personal air samples (range, 0.7-6,010 ng/m.sup.3). Diazinon and propoxur levels were significantly higher in the personal air of women reporting use of an exterminator, can sprays, and/or pest bombs during pregnancy compared with women reporting no pesticide use or use of lower toxicity methods only. A significant correlation was seen between personal air level of chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and propoxur and levels of these insecticides or their metabolites in plasma samples (maternal and/or cord, p < 0.05). The fungicide ortho-phenylphenol was also detected in 100% of air samples but was not measured in plasma. The remaining 22 pesticides were detected in 0-45% of air of plasma samples. Chlorpyrifos, diazinon, propoxur, and bendiocarb levels in air and/or plasma decreased significantly between 1998 and 2001. Findings indicate that pesticide exposures are frequent but decreasing and that the pesticides ate readily transferred to the developing fetus during pregnancy. Key words: blood levels, minority, pesticides, prenatal, residential, urban, women. Environ Health Perspect 111:749-756 (2003). doi:10.1289/ehp.5768 available via http://dx.doi.org/[Online 16 December 2002]

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Residential pesticide use is widespread in the United States, with approximately 80-90% of American households using pesticides (Landrigan et al. 1999). Contemporary-use pesticides include the organophosphates, carbamates, and pyrethroids, which have replaced the older organochlorines for residential insect control (Landrigan et al. 1999). Commonly detected pesticides in house dust and indoor air of U.S. homes include the organophosphates chlorpyrifos/and diazinon, the pyrethroids cis-permethrin and trans-permethrin, the carbamates propoxur and bendiocarb, and the fungicide/disinfectant ortho-phenylphenol (Camann et al. 2000; Lewis et al. 1994; Whitmore et al. 1994). It is likely that indoor levels of chlorpyrifos and diazinon will decline as a result of the recent regulatory action by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) to phase out their residential uses (U.S. EPA 2000a, 2001). Little is known about residential pesticide exposures among minority populations or about exposures during pregnancy. The lack of data regarding prenatal exposures is of concern because experimental studies have shown a link between exposures to several organophosphates during gestation, of the early postnatal period, and adverse neurodevelopmental sequelae in the offspring (reviewed in Eskenazi et al. 1999). The validation of biomarkers of prenatal pesticide exposure is ah important area of research (Whyatt and Barr 2001).

Most prior biomonitoring for contemporary-use pesticides has involved measurements of metabolites in urine. Urinary measures have the advantage over blood measures in that pesticide concentrations in urine are usually orders of magnitude higher than in blood (Barr et al. 2002). Urine is also a plentiful matrix and easy to obtain. Associations between urinary pesticide levels and measures of external exposure have been seen in prior studies of both adults and children (Aprea et al. …

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