Contemporary-use pesticides in personal air samples during pregnancy and blood samples at delivery among urban minority mothers and newborns.

We have measured 29 pesticides in plasma samples collected at birth between 1998 and 2001 from 230 mother and newborn pairs enrolled in the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health prospective cohort study. Our prior research has shown widespread pesticide use during pregnancy among this urban minority cohort from New York City. We also measured eight pesticides in 48-hr personal air samples collected from the mothers during pregnancy. The following seven pesticides were detected in 48-83% of plasma samples (range, 1-270 pg/g): the organophosphates chlorpyrifos and diazinon, the carbamates bendiocarb and 2-isopropoxyphenol (metabolite of propoxur), and the fungicides dicloran, phthalimide (metabolite of folpet and captan), and tetrahydrophthalimide (metabolite of captan and captafol). Maternal and cord plasma levels were similar and, except for phthalimide, were highly correlated (p < 0.001). Chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and propoxur were detected in 100% of personal air samples (range, 0.7-6,010 ng/m(3)). Diazinon and propoxur levels were significantly higher in the personal air of women reporting use of an exterminator, can sprays, and/or pest bombs during pregnancy compared with women reporting no pesticide use or use of lower toxicity methods only. A significant correlation was seen between personal air level of chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and propoxur and levels of these insecticides or their metabolites in plasma samples (maternal and/or cord, p < 0.05). The fungicide ortho-phenylphenol was also detected in 100% of air samples but was not measured in plasma. The remaining 22 pesticides were detected in 0-45% of air or plasma samples. Chlorpyrifos, diazinon, propoxur, and bendiocarb levels in air and/or plasma decreased significantly between 1998 and 2001. Findings indicate that pesticide exposures are frequent but decreasing and that the pesticides are readily transferred to the developing fetus during pregnancy.

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons