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Biological monitoring survey of organophosphorus pesticide exposure among preschool children in the Seattle metropolitan area.

Lu-C; Knutson-ED; Andersen-FJ; Fenske-RA
Environ Health Perspect 2001 Mar; 109(3):299-303
In this study we assessed organophosphorus (OP) pesticide exposure among children living in two Seattle metropolitan area communities by measuring urinary metabolites, and identified pos­sible exposure risk factors through a parental interview. We recruited children in clinic and outpatient waiting rooms. We obtained spot urine samples in the spring and fall of 1998 from 110 children ages 2-5 years, from 96 households. We analyzed urine samples for six dialkylphosphate (OAP) compounds, the common metabolites of the OP pesticides. Through parental interviews we gathered demographic and residential pesticide use data. At least one of the OAP metabolites was measured in 99% of the children, and the two predominant metabolites (OMTP and OETP) were measured in 70-75% of the children. We found no significant differences in OAP concentrations related to season, community, sex, age, family income, or housing type. Median concentrations of dimethyl and diethyl OAPs were 0.11 and 0.04 micromol/L, respectively (all children). Concentrations were significandy higher in children whose parents reponed pesticide use in the garden (0.19 vs. 0.09 micromol/L for dimethyl metabolites, p = 0.05; 0.04 vs. 0.03 micromol/L for diethyl metabolites, p = 0.02), but were not different based on reponed pet treatment or indoor residential use. Nearly all children in this study had measurable levels of OP pesticide metabolites. Some of this exposure was likely due to diet. Garden pesticide use was associated with elevated metabolite levels. It is unlikely that these exposure levels would cause acute intoxication, but the long term health effects of such exposures are unknown. We recommend that OP pesticide use be avoided in areas where children are likely to play.
Biological-monitoring; Children; Pesticides; Urinalysis; Exposure-limits; Exposure-levels; Organo-phosphorus-compounds; Organo-phosphorus-pesticides; Samplers; Metabolites
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Amount
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Issue of Publication
Priority Area
Neurotoxic Disorders; Neurotoxic-effects
Source Name
Environmental Health Perspectives
Performing Organization
University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division