Organophosphate pesticide levels in blood and urine of women and newborns living in an agricultural community.

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Huen K, Bradman A, Harley K, Yousefi P, Boyd Barr D, Eskenazi B, Holland N. Organophosphate pesticide levels in blood and urine of women and newborns living in an agricultural community. Environmental Research.  2012 Jun 8. [Epub ahead of print]


Organophosphate pesticides are widely used and recent studies suggest associations of in utero exposures with adverse birth outcomes and neurodevelopment. Few studies have characterized organophosphate pesticides in human plasma or established how these levels correlate to urinary measurements. We measured organophosphate pesticide metabolites in maternal urine and chlorpyrifos and diazinon in maternal and cord plasma of subjects living in an agricultural area to compare levels in two different biological matrices. We also determined paraoxonase 1 (PON1) genotypes (PON1(192) and PON1(-108)) and PON1 substrate-specific activities in mothers and their newborns to examine whether PON1 may affect organophosphate pesticide measurements in blood and urine. Chlorpyrifos levels in plasma ranged from 0-1726ng/mL and non-zero levels were measured in 70.5% and 87.5% of maternal and cord samples, respectively. Diazinon levels were lower (0-0.5ng/mL); non-zero levels were found in 33.3% of maternal plasma and 47.3% of cord plasma. Significant associations between organophosphate pesticide levels in blood and metabolite levels in urine were limited to models adjusting for PON1 levels. Increased maternal PON1 levels were associated with decreased odds of chlorpyrifos and diazinon detection (odds ratio(OR): 0.56 and 0.75, respectively). Blood organophosphate pesticide levels of study participants were similar in mothers and newborns and slightly higher than those reported in other populations. However, compared to their mothers, newborns have much lower quantities of the detoxifying PON1 enzyme suggesting that infants may be especially vulnerable to organophosphate pesticide exposures.

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