ABSTRACT: The National Children's Study proposes to investigate biological, chemical, physical, and psychosocial environmental exposures and their role on health outcomes in pregnant women and children. One specific area of concern is contaminant exposure through the ingestion of solid foods. National food contaminant databases may miss dietary exposures unique to specific communities and sources of food.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of community food item collection for the assessment of pesticide exposure in pregnant women and young children.
A prospective observational design was used to test the food collection protocol in mothers (n=45) of children aged 15-24 months in Salt Lake City, Utah. Foods for collection were based on: 1) frequency of different foods consumed by the target population as determined by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data; 2) child food frequency questionnaire; and 3) likelihood of pesticide contamination in the foods. Assessment measures included: demographics, environmental health survey, quality assurance checklist, and participant evaluation form.
An average of three food items were obtained from 44 households, yielding a collection rate of 97.8%. Overall, 100% of the food samples were rated as acceptable. Moreover, a vast majority of mothers reported that the study was not burdensome (95.5%) and that preparing the food sample was easy (93.2%).
This study suggests that the community food item collection methodology shows promise as a low-burden approach for capturing dietary exposures on a household level, and appears to be a feasible tool for large population studies to assess dietary exposures unique to specific communities.
Science of The Total Environment 11/2010; 409(2):307-13. · 3.29 Impact Factor