Pesticides are a collective term for a wide array of chemicals intended to kill unwanted insects, plants, molds, and rodents. Food, water, and treatment in the home, yard, and school are all potential sources of children's exposure. Exposures to pesticides may be overt or subacute, and effects range from acute to chronic toxicity. In 2008, pesticides were the ninth most common substance reported to poison control centers, and approximately 45% of all reports of pesticide poisoning were for children. Organophosphate and carbamate poisoning are perhaps the most widely known acute poisoning syndromes, can be diagnosed by depressed red blood cell cholinesterase levels, and have available antidotal therapy. However, numerous other pesticides that may cause acute toxicity, such as pyrethroid and neonicotinoid insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and rodenticides, also have specific toxic effects; recognition of these effects may help identify acute exposures. Evidence is increasingly emerging about chronic health implications from both acute and chronic exposure. A growing body of epidemiological evidence demonstrates associations between parental use of pesticides, particularly insecticides, with acute lymphocytic leukemia and brain tumors. Prenatal, household, and occupational exposures (maternal and paternal) appear to be the largest risks. Prospective cohort studies link early-life exposure to organophosphates and organochlorine pesticides (primarily DDT) with adverse effects on neurodevelopment and behavior. Among the findings associated with increased pesticide levels are poorer mental development by using the Bayley index and increased scores on measures assessing pervasive developmental disorder, inattention, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Related animal toxicology studies provide supportive biological plausibility for these findings. Additional data suggest that there may also be an association between parental pesticide use and adverse birth outcomes including physical birth defects, low birth weight, and fetal death, although the data are less robust than for cancer and neurodevelopmental effects. Children's exposures to pesticides should be limited as much as possible.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epidemiological studies have consistently supported the notion that environmental and/or dietary factors play a central role in the aetiology of cancers of the breast and prostate. However, for more than five decades investigators have failed to identify a single cause-and-effect factor, which could be implicated; identification of a causative entity would allow the implementation of an intervention strategy in at-risk populations. This suggests a more complex pathoaetiology for these cancer sites, compared to others. When one examines the increases or decreases in incidence of specific cancers amongst migrant populations, it is notable that disease arising in colon or stomach requires one or at most two generations to exhibit a change in incidence to match that of high-incidence regions, whereas for breast or prostate cancer, at least three generations are required. This generational threshold could suggest a requirement for nonmutation-driven epigenetic alterations in the F0/F1 generations (parental/offspring adopting a more westernized lifestyle), which then predisposes the inherited genome of subsequent generations to mutagenic/genotoxic alterations leading to the development of sporadic cancer in these target sites. As such, individual susceptibility to carcinogen insult would not be based per se on polymorphisms in activating/detoxifying/repair enzymes, but on elevated accessibility of crucial target genes (e.g., oncogenes, tumour suppressor genes) or hotspots therein to mutation events. This could be termed a genomic susceptibility organizational structure (SOS). Several exposures including alcohol and heavy metals are epigens (i.e., modifiers of the epigenome), whereas others are mutagenic/genotoxic, for example, heterocyclic aromatic amines; humans are continuously and variously exposed to mixtures of these agents. Within such a transgenerational multistage model of cancer development, determining the interaction between epigenetic modification to generate a genomic SOS and genotoxic insult will facilitate a new level of understanding in the aetiology of cancer.
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The aim of this study was to estimate the incidence of acute pesticide poisoning among children in South Korea and describe the related epidemiologic characteristics.
We evaluated the age-standardized rates of incidence of pesticide poisoning among children in South Korea from 2006 through 2009 using National Health Insurance claims data.
A total of 1232 children aged 0-14 years were identified from the acute pesticide poisoning cases reported across South Korea during the study period. The annual average age-standardized rate of incidence from acute pesticide poisoning was 3.6 per 100 000. The majority of the cases were identified in the categories of the 1-4-year-old age-group (56.5%), outpatients (80.0%), single-day visit to a hospital (70.4%) and summer occurrence (43.3%).
Acute pesticide poisoning is prevalent among children in South Korea; therefore, intervention efforts are needed to reduce the cases of pesticide poisoning among children.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Exposure to organophosphate pesticides has been associated with neurobehavioral deficits in children, although data on low levels of exposure experienced by the general population are sparse. Pyrethroids are insecticides rapidly gaining popularity, and epidemiological evidence on their potential effects is lacking.
We used data on children ages 6 to 11 years from the Canadian Health Measures Survey (2007-2009). We used logistic regressions to estimate odds ratios (ORs) for high scores on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), which may indicate behavioral problems, in association with concentrations of pyrethroid and organophosphate metabolites in the urine of 779 children, adjusting for covariates (sex, age, race/ethnicity, income, parental education, blood lead levels, maternal smoking during pregnancy, and others).
At least one organophosphate urinary metabolite was detected in 91% of children, and in 97% of children for pyrethroid metabolites. Organophosphate metabolites were not significantly associated with high SDQ scores. The pyrethroid metabolite cis-DCCA was significantly associated with high scores for total difficulties on the SDQ (OR for a 10-fold increase = 2.0; 95% CI: 1.1, 3.6), and there was a non-significant association with trans-DCCA (OR = 1.6; 95% CI: 0.9, 3.0).
In contrast with previous studies, we did not observe an association between organophosphate pesticides exposure and behavioral scores in children. However, some pyrethroid urinary metabolites were associated with a high level of parent-reported behavioral problems. Longitudinal studies should be conducted on the potential risks of pyrethroids.
Environmental Health Perspectives 10/2013; 121(11-12). DOI:10.1289/ehp.1306667 · 7.98 Impact Factor
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