[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cockroaches and mice, which are common in urban homes, are sources of allergens capable of triggering asthma symptoms. Traditional pest control involves the use of scheduled applications of pesticides by professionals as well as pesticide use by residents. In contrast, integrated pest management (IPM) involves sanitation, building maintenance, and limited use of least toxic pesticides.
We implemented and evaluated IPM compared with traditional practice for its impact on pests, allergens, pesticide use, and resident satisfaction in a large urban public housing authority.
We assigned IPM or control status to 13 buildings in five housing developments, and evaluated conditions at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months in 280 apartments in Brooklyn and Manhattan, in New York City (New York). We measured cockroach and mouse populations, collected cockroach and mouse urinary protein allergens in dust, and interviewed residents. All statistical models controlled for baseline levels of pests or allergens.
Compared with controls, apartments receiving IPM had significantly lower counts of cockroaches at 3 months and greater success in reducing or sustaining low counts of cockroaches at both 3 and 6 months. IPM was associated with lower cockroach allergen levels in kitchens at 3 months and in beds and kitchens at 6 months. Pesticide use was reduced in IPM relative to control apartments. Residents of IPM apartments also rated building services more positively.
In contrast to previous IPM studies, which involved extensive cleaning, repeat visits, and often extensive resident education, we found that an easily replicable single IPM visit was more effective than the regular application of pesticides alone in managing pests and their consequences.
Environmental Health Perspectives 09/2009; 117(8):1219-25. DOI:10.1289/ehp.0800149 · 7.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously reported widespread insecticide exposure during pregnancy among inner-city women from New York City. Here we report on a pilot intervention using integrated pest management (IPM) to reduce pest infestations and residential insecticide exposures among pregnant New York City African-American and Latina women (25 intervention and 27 control homes).
The IPM consisted of professional cleaning, sealing of pest entry points, application of low-toxicity pesticides, and education. Cockroach infestation levels and 2-week integrated indoor air samples were collected at baseline and one month postintervention. The insecticides detected in the indoor air samples were also measured in maternal and umbilical cord blood collected at delivery.
Cockroach infestations decreased significantly (p = 0.016) after the intervention among intervention cases but not control households. Among the intervention group, levels of piperonyl butoxide (a pyrethroid synergist) were significantly lower in indoor air samples after the intervention (p = 0.016). Insecticides were detected in maternal blood samples collected at delivery from controls but not from the intervention group. The difference was significant for trans-permethrin (p = 0.008) and of borderline significance (p = 0.1) for cis-permethrin and 2-isopropoxyphenol (a propoxur metabolite).
To our knowledge, this is the first study to use biologic dosimeters of prenatal pesticide exposure for assessing effectiveness of IPM. These pilot data suggest that IPM is an effective strategy for reducing pest infestation levels and the internal dose of insecticides during pregnancy.
Environmental Health Perspectives 12/2006; 114(11):1684-9. DOI:10.1289/ehp.9168 · 7.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Asthma prevalence is high in the inner city, and morbidity has been associated with cockroach and mouse allergens.
To characterize the relationships among pests, allergens, pesticides, and asthma in New York City public housing.
In 324 apartments, dust samples collected from beds and kitchens were analyzed for cockroach (Bla g 2) and mouse (mouse urinary protein [MUP]) allergens, pest populations were monitored, and residents were interviewed about home characteristics and asthma symptoms.
Cockroaches were found in 77% of the apartments, and evidence of mice was found in 13%. Allergens and pesticide use were associated with pest infestation, and 15% of residents reported using illegal pesticides. The percentage of apartments with high allergen levels varied significantly by building (Bla g 2: P = .002; MUP: P = .03), as did the percentage of apartments with cockroaches (P = .002) and daily mouse sightings (P = .02). Thirty-seven percent of the apartments had at least 1 resident with physician-diagnosed asthma. In family buildings, apartments with high Bla g 2 levels had 1.7 times greater odds of having an asthmatic resident (95% confidence interval, 1.2-2.3). In senior citizen buildings, apartments with high MUP levels had 6.6 times greater odds of having an asthmatic resident (95% confidence interval, 1.4-31.7), controlling for smoking and other potential confounders.
Previous studies have identified home characteristics associated with the presence of cockroaches and mice, but the present findings suggest that building-level characteristics can affect high pest exposure. Furthermore, the high asthma prevalence in residents and the use of illegal pesticides highlight the need for safe and effective building-wide pest control strategies.
Annals of allergy, asthma & immunology: official publication of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology 11/2006; 97(4):502-13. DOI:10.1016/S1081-1206(10)60942-8 · 2.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The US EPA has phased-out residential use of two organophosphate pesticides commonly used to control cockroaches-retail sales of chlorpyrifos were scheduled to end on 12/31/01, and diazinon on 12/31/02. In light of recent findings highlighting the associations between pests, pesticides and health, we surveyed stores in low-income, minority neighborhoods in New York City to determine whether the phase-outs have been effective and to assess the availability of alternatives to spray pesticides. In summer 2002, when sales of chlorpyrifos were illegal and diazinon still legal, we surveyed 106 stores selling pesticides. Four percent sold products containing chlorpyrifos and 40 percent sold products containing diazinon. One year later, when sales of both pesticides were to have ended, we surveyed 109 stores selling pesticides in the same neighborhoods and found chlorpyrifos in only one store and diazinon in 18 percent of stores, including 80 percent of supermarkets surveyed. At least one form of lower toxicity pesticides, including gels, bait stations and boric acid was available in 69 percent of stores in 2002. However sprays were most widely available, found in 94 percent of stores in 2002 and less expensive than lower toxicity baits and gels. In a separate survey of storekeeper recommendations conducted in 2002, storekeepers recommended lower toxicity pesticides as the best way to control cockroaches 79% of the time. The EPA's phase-outs have nearly eliminated sales of chlorpyrifos, but the diazinon phase-out appears to be less effective.
Journal of Community Health 07/2004; 29(3):231-44. DOI:10.1023/B:JOHE.0000022029.88626.f4 · 1.28 Impact Factor