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Mendola, Pauline*; Barr, Dana; Walsh, Debra*; Hern, Stephen*; Rhoney, Scott*; Needham, Larry; Hilborn, Elizabeth*; Gonzales, Melissa; Carty, Cara§; Robertson, Gary*

The Sixteenth Conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE): Abstracts

*U.S. EPA; †Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Environmental Health; ‡University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine; §University of Washington

This is an abstract of a proposed presentation and does not necessarily reflect EPA policy.


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Methods to identify children at high-risk for organophosphate (OP) pesticide exposure are difficult to develop because biological markers reflect only recent “snapshots” of exposure due to the short half-life of OP compounds (generally about 24 hours). We conducted a series of pilot studies to attempt to identify unrecognized pesticide-related illness and generally found higher levels of urinary OP metabolites among preschool children, aged 2-4 years, with flu-like symptoms, compared with levels for 6-11 year old children in a United States national sample from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Six metabolites (dialkyl phosphates) were measured in urine using tandem mass spectrometry at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All metabolite levels are reported here as microgram per gram of creatinine. In the NHANES data, based on 471 children, the median for dimethylphosphate (DMP)=1.38 ug/g; dimethylthiophosphate (DMTP)=5.25 ug/g; dimethyldithiophosphate (DMDTP)>limit of detection (LOD); diethylphosphate (DEP)=1.47 ug/g; diethylthiophosphate (DETP)=0.47 ug/g; diethyldithiophosphate (DEDTP)=0.10 ug/g. In our pilot studies, median levels for 108 children with flu-like illness from an agricultural community were: DMP=2.60 ug/g; DMTP=12.00 ug/g; DMDTP=0.67 ug/g; DEP=2.40 ug/g; DETP=1.40 ug/g; DEDTP=0.26 ug/g. Median levels for 91 children with flu-like illness from non-agricultural communities were: DMP=24.00 ug/g; DMTP=8.85 ug/g; DMDTP>LOD. No specific symptoms were consistently associated with OP urinary metabolite levels and we were not able to identify a clear high-risk profile for exposure or any pesticide-related illnesses among the children in our pilot studies. However, these findings suggest that preschool children may have higher exposure than children aged 6 and above in the United States.

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.