Organophosphorus and pyrethroid insecticide urinary metabolite concentrations in young children living in a southeastern United States city
Pesticide metabolites are routinely measured in the urine of children in the United States. Although the sources of these metabolites are believed to include residues in food from agricultural applications and residues from applications in everyday environments (e.g., homes), few studies have been able to demonstrate an association between indoor residential pesticide applications and pesticide metabolite concentrations. To better quantify the effects of potential risk factors related to demographics, household characteristics, occupation, and pesticide use practices on urinary biomarker levels, we performed a study in a city (Jacksonville, Florida) previously determined to have elevated rates of pesticide use. We enrolled a convenience sample of 203 children ranging in age from 4 to 6 years; their caregivers completed a questionnaire and the children provided a urine sample, which was analyzed for a series of organophosphorus and pyrethroid insecticide metabolites. The questionnaire responses substantiated much higher pesticide use for the study participants as compared to other studies. Urinary metabolite concentrations were approximately an order of magnitude higher than concentrations reported for young children in other studies. Few statistically significant differences (at the p<0.05 level) were observed, however, several trends are worth noting. In general, mean urinary pesticide metabolite concentrations were higher for males, Caucasians, and those children living in homes with an indoor pesticide application occurring within the past four weeks. Comparing the urinary pesticide metabolite concentrations in this study to those reported in the NHANES and GerES studies showed that the children living in Jacksonville had substantially higher pyrethroid pesticide exposures than the general populations of the United States and Germany. Further research is needed in communities where routine pesticide use has been documented to obtain information on the most important routes and pathways of exposure and to develop the most effective strategies for reducing pesticide exposures for children.
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