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Organophosphate Pesticide Exposure and Residential Proximity to Nearby Fields: Evidence for the Drift Pathway

Coronado, Gloria D. PhD; Holte, Sarah PhD; Vigoren, Eric MS; Griffith, William C. PhD; Barr, Dana Boyd PhD; Faustman, Elaine PhD; Thompson, Beti PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: August 2011 - Volume 53 - Issue 8 - p 884–891
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e318222f03a

Objectives: Residential proximity to pesticide-treated farmland is an important pesticide exposure pathway.

Methods: In-person interviews and biological samples were collected from 100 farmworker and 100 non-farmworker adults and children living in Eastern Washington State. We examined the relationship of residential proximity to farmland to urinary metabolite concentrations of dimethylphosphate (DMTP) and levels of pesticide residues in house dust.

Results: DMTP concentrations were higher in farmworkers than non-farmworkers (71 μg/L vs 6 μg/L) and in farmworker children than non-farmworker children (17 μg/L vs 8 μg/L). Compared to non-farmworker households, farmworker households had higher levels of azinphos-methyl (643 ng/g vs 121 ng/g) and phosmet (153 ng/g vs 50 ng/g). Overall, a 20% reduction in DMTP concentration was observed per mile increase in distance from farmland.

Conclusions: Lower OP metabolite concentrations correlated with increasing distance from farmland.

From the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research (Dr Coronado), Portland, Ore; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Drs Holte and Thompson), Seattle, Wash; Rollins School of Public Health (Dr Barr), Emory University, Atlanta, GA; and University of Washington (Drs Griffith and Faustman and Mr Vigoren), Seattle, Wash.

Address correspondence to: Gloria D. Coronado, PhD, 3800 N. Interstate Ave., Portland, OR 97227. E-mail:

Although the research described in this article has been funded in part by the by the US Environmental Protection Agency through R826886 and the National Institutes of Health through grant number P01 ES09601, it has not been subjected to either agency's required peer and policy review and therefore does not necessarily reflect the views of either agency and no official endorsement should be inferred. Funding agency representative had no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the paper for publication.

Copyright © 2011 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine