We characterized the distribution and determinants of fetal exposures to pesticide mixtures using a cross-sectional study of 297 singletons delivered at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD (2004-2005). Concentrations of nine persistent and twelve nonpersistent pesticides were measured in cord serum. Mixtures were identified using principal components analysis. Associations between mixtures and maternal and infant characteristics were evaluated using multivariate analysis. p,p'-DDE, p,p'-DDT, trans-nonachlor, oxychlordane, bendiocarb, propoxur, and trans- and cis-permethrin were detected in 100, 90, 93, 84, 73, 55, 52, and 41% of serum samples, respectively. There were four independent pesticide components: DDT (p,p'-DDT + p,p'-DDE), chlordane (trans-nonachlor + oxychlordane), permethrin (trans- and cis-permethrins + PBUT), and carbamate (bendiocarb + propoxur). DDT and chlordane were 6.1 (95%CI: 2.4, 15.5) and 2.1 (95%CI: 1.0, 4.2) times higher for infants of women >35, and 1.8 (95%CI: 1.2, 2.9) and 1.5 (95%CI: 1.1, 2.1) times higher in smoking mothers. DDT and carbamate were 15 (95%CI: 7, 30) and 2 (95%CI: 1, 4) times higher for infants of Asian compared with Caucasian mothers. No significant differences were observed for permethrin. Fetal exposures to pesticides are widespread, occur as mixtures, and differ by maternal race, age, and smoking status.
"Lead is known to damage the nervous and reproductive systems, especially in young children and at low levels with an approximate one point decrease in IQ with each 1 μg/dL increase in blood lead . As for banned pesticides, chlordane exposure has been associated with cancers, neurotoxicity  and low birth weight . Dieldrin has been linked to Parkinson's Disease and cancer . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
In the absence of current cumulative dietary exposure assessments, this analysis was conducted to estimate exposure to multiple dietary contaminants for children, who are more vulnerable to toxic exposure than adults.
We estimated exposure to multiple food contaminants based on dietary data from preschool-age children (2–4 years, n=207), school-age children (5–7 years, n=157), parents of young children (n=446), and older adults (n=149). We compared exposure estimates for eleven toxic compounds (acrylamide, arsenic, lead, mercury, chlorpyrifos, permethrin, endosulfan, dieldrin, chlordane, DDE, and dioxin) based on self-reported food frequency data by age group. To determine if cancer and non-cancer benchmark levels were exceeded, chemical levels in food were derived from publicly available databases including the Total Diet Study.
Cancer benchmark levels were exceeded by all children (100%) for arsenic, dieldrin, DDE, and dioxins. Non-cancer benchmarks were exceeded by >95% of preschool-age children for acrylamide and by 10% of preschool-age children for mercury. Preschool-age children had significantly higher estimated intakes of 6 of 11 compounds compared to school-age children (p<0.0001 to p=0.02). Based on self-reported dietary data, the greatest exposure to pesticides from foods included in this analysis were tomatoes, peaches, apples, peppers, grapes, lettuce, broccoli, strawberries, spinach, dairy, pears, green beans, and celery.
Dietary strategies to reduce exposure to toxic compounds for which cancer and non-cancer benchmarks are exceeded by children vary by compound. These strategies include consuming organically produced dairy and selected fruits and vegetables to reduce pesticide intake, consuming less animal foods (meat, dairy, and fish) to reduce intake of persistent organic pollutants and metals, and consuming lower quantities of chips, cereal, crackers, and other processed carbohydrate foods to reduce acrylamide intake.
Environmental Health 11/2012; 11(1):83. DOI:10.1186/1476-069X-11-83 · 3.37 Impact Factor
"Among the pesticides that were measured in both the present study and in at least one of the U.S. studies (chlorpyrifos, diazinon, fonofos, malathion, terbufos, carbofuranphenol, propoxur, acetochlor, alachlor, atrazine, metolachlor, dicloran, metalaxyl, and DEET), the 90th percentile and maximum concentrations measured in the Chinese samples were several orders of magnitude greater than the highest levels reported in the U.S. studies. This suggests that at least a portion of pregnant women and fetuses in the study area experienced high exposures to pesticides compared to the levels found in the U.S. For example, for chlorpyrifos, the 90th percentile concentration in the present study was 0.17 ng/ml compared to the maximum values of 0.002, 0.01, and 0.07 ng/ml reported in studies of cord serum or plasma from deliveries taking place in New Jersey (Yan et al., 2009), Baltimore (Neta et al., 2010), and New York (Whyatt et al., 2003), respectively. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous research has shown that prenatal exposure to pesticides may be associated with decreased fetal growth. The specific pesticides investigated and results reported across studies have been inconsistent, and there is a mounting need for the consideration of mixtures rather than individual agents in studies of health outcomes in relation to environmental exposures. There are also many individual pesticides that have not been investigated in human health studies to date. We conducted a pilot study in rural Zhejiang province, China, measuring 20 non-persistent pesticides (10 insecticides, 6 herbicides, 3 fungicides, and 1 repellant) in umbilical cord blood of 112 full term (> 37 weeks) infants. The pesticides detected with the greatest frequency were diethyltoluamide (DEET) (73%), a repellant, and vinclozolin (49%), a fungicide. The samples had detectable concentrations for a mean of 4.6 pesticides (SD=1.9) with a maximum of 10. Adjusting for potential confounders, newborn birth weight was inversely associated with the number of pesticides detected in cord blood (p=0.04); birth weight decreased by a mean of 37.1g (95% CI, -72.5 to -1.8) for each detected pesticide. When assessing relationships by pesticide type, detection of fungicides was also associated with decreased birth weight (adjusted β=-116 g [95% CI, -212 to -19.2]). For individual pesticides analyzed as dichotomous (detect vs. non-detect) variables, only vinclozolin (adjusted β=-174 g [95% CI, -312 to -36.3]) and acetochlor (adjusted β=-165 g [95% CI, -325 to -5.7]) were significantly associated with reduced birth weight. No significant associations were seen between birth weight and individual pesticides assessed as continuous or 3-level ordinal variables. Our findings from this pilot investigation suggest that exposure to fungicides may adversely impact fetal growth. Exposure to mixtures of multiple pesticides is also of concern and should be explored in addition to individual pesticides. Additional research is needed to establish causality and to understand the function and impact of fungicides and pesticide mixtures on fetal development.
Environment international 07/2012; 47:80-5. DOI:10.1016/j.envint.2012.06.007 · 5.56 Impact Factor
" Exposure to bendiocarb has been documented as a problem in the study by Whyatt et al.  who found that levels of bendiocarb in maternal plasma samples collected at delivery, between 1998 and 2001, were 4.7 ± 3.6 pg/g. Bendiocarb has been detected also in foetal serum  and in plasma of females living in an urban area.  Like other carbamate insecticides, bendiocarb is a reversible inhibitor of cholinesterase, an essential nervous system enzyme. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is an increasing need for rapid and easily interpreted in vitro assays to screen for possible cytotoxicity of pesticides. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of the carbamate insecticide bendiocarb on mammalian and insect cell cultures. The cytotoxicity of this insecticide was evaluated by cell proliferation and cellular damage was assessed by evaluation of the cytopathic effect and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) leakage. Cells of insect origin (Sf21) were the most sensitive to bendiocarb with significant (P < 0.01) suppression of their proliferative activity ranging from 10(-1)-10(-5) M. However, significant suppression of proliferative activity was also recorded in rat liver cells (WBF344; 10(-1)-10(-3) M; P < 0.01-0.05) and rabbit kidney cells (RK13; 10(-1) M; P < 0.01). In contrast with the proliferation activity of cells, a cytopathic effect based on cellular damage and LDH leakage into the medium was observed only at the highest concentration (10(-1) M) in RK 13 and WBF344 cells, but not in the Sf21 insect cell line. Our results indicate that bendiocarb exposure caused a cell-type dependent decrease in cell proliferation; however, cell damage and LDH leakage into the medium were not present or were strongly limited, dependent on the cell phenotype. Cell proliferation was shown as a sensitive indicator for evaluation of the cytotoxic effect of bendiocarb in vitro; on the other hand, microscopic signs of cellular damage and LDH leakage were insufficient in vitro markers.
Journal of Environmental Science and Health Part B Pesticides Food Contaminants and Agricultural Wastes 07/2012; 47(6):538-43. DOI:10.1080/03601234.2012.665671 · 1.20 Impact Factor
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