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Bakke et al., 2009

Bakke, B., De Roos, A. J., Barr, D. B., Stewart, P. A., Blair, A., Freeman, L. B., Lynch, C. F., Allen, R. H., Alavanja, M. C., & Vermeulen, R.; “Exposure to atrazine and selected non-persistent pesticides among corn farmers during a growing season;” Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology, 2009, 19(6), 544-554; DOI: 10.1038/jes.2008.53.


The aim was to develop quantitative estimates of farmers’ pesticide exposure to atrazine and to provide an overview of background levels of selected non-persistent pesticides among corn farmers in a longitudinal molecular epidemiologic study. The study population consisted of 30 Agricultural Health Study farmers from Iowa and 10 non-farming controls. Farmers completed daily and weekly diaries from March to November in 2002 and 2003 on pesticide use and other exposure determinants. Urine samples were collected at 10 time points relative to atrazine application and other farming activities. Pesticide exposure was assessed using urinary metabolites and diaries. The analytical limit of detection (LOD) ranged between 0.1 and 0.2 microg/l for all pesticide analytes except for isazaphos (1.5 microg/l) and diazinon (0.7 microg/l). Farmers had higher geometric mean urinary atrazine mercapturate (AZM) values than controls during planting (1.1 vs <LOD microg/g creatinine; P<0.05). AZM levels among farmers were significantly related to the amount of atrazine applied (P=0.015). Interestingly, farmers had a larger proportion of samples above the LOD than controls even after exclusion of observations with an atrazine application within 7 days before urine collection (38% vs 6%, P<0.0001). A similar pattern was observed for 2,4-D and acetochlor (92% vs 47%, P<0.0001 and 45% vs 4%, P<0.0001, respectively). Urinary AZM levels in farmers were largely driven by recent application of atrazine. Therefore, the amount of atrazine applied is likely to provide valid surrogates of atrazine exposure in epidemiologic studies. Elevated background levels of non-persistent pesticides, especially 2,4-D, indicate importance in epidemiologic studies of capturing pesticide exposures that might not be directly related to the actual application.


Baker et al., 2020

Baker, Brian P., Green, Thomas A., & Loker, Ali J.; “Biological control and integrated pest management in organic and conventional systems;” Biological Control, 2020, 140; DOI: 10.1016/j.biocontrol.2019.104095.


More resilient and sustainable approaches are urgently needed to minimize crop yield losses resulting from pest activity and reduce impacts of pest management on human health and the environment. Increasing implementation of biological approaches, including biological control, biopesticides, biostimulants and pheromones is a mutual high priority for sustainable agriculture leaders and practitioners, including those working in organic agriculture and Integrated Pest Management (IPM). While market and regulatory forces, and pest resistance to conventional pesticides are contributing to growth in implementation of biological approaches, they remain a very small percentage of the overall global crop protection portfolio. Barriers to greater adoption include many of the same barriers to adopting IPM techniques or transitioning to organic. Improved awareness and understanding of the histories and benefits of organic and IPM, goals and priorities shared by organic and IPM proponents and practitioners, and opportunities for accelerating adoption of biological approaches have potential to improve our combined effectiveness in overcoming these barriers. Strategies to speed adoption include increased education and extension on proven, ready-to-use biological control options; full cost and benefit accounting for biologically-based alternatives to chemical controls; and public and private sector policies to encourage biological control and reduce reliance on chemical controls. Both the organic and IPM communities of practice stand to gain from collaboration on common interests and goals.  FULL TEXT

Bajwa & Sandhu, 2014

Bajwa, U., & Sandhu, K. S.; “Effect of handling and processing on pesticide residues in food- a review;” Journal of Food Science and Technology, 2014, 51(2), 201-220; DOI: 10.1007/s13197-011-0499-5.


Pesticides are one of the major inputs used for increasing agricultural productivity of crops. The pesticide residues, left to variable extent in the food materials after harvesting, are beyond the control of consumer and have deleterious effect on human health. The presence of pesticide residues is a major bottleneck in the international trade of food commodities. The localization of pesticides in foods varies with the nature of pesticide molecule, type and portion of food material and environmental factors. The food crops treated with pesticides invariably contain unpredictable amount of these chemicals, therefore, it becomes imperative to find out some alternatives for decontamination of foods. The washing with water or soaking in solutions of salt and some chemicals e.g. chlorine, chlorine dioxide, hydrogen peroxide, ozone, acetic acid, hydroxy peracetic acid, iprodione and detergents are reported to be highly effective in reducing the level of pesticides. Preparatory steps like peeling, trimming etc. remove the residues from outer portions. Various thermal processing treatments like pasteurization, blanching, boiling, cooking, steaming, canning, scrambling etc. have been found valuable in degradation of various pesticides depending upon the type of pesticide and length of treatment. Preservation techniques like drying or dehydration and concentration increase the pesticide content many folds due to concentration effect. Many other techniques like refining, fermentation and curing have been reported to affect the pesticide level in foods to varied extent. Milling, baking, wine making, malting and brewing resulted in lowering of pesticide residue level in the end products. Post harvest treatments and cold storage have also been found effective. Many of the decontamination techniques bring down the concentration of pesticides below MRL. However, the diminution effect depends upon the initial concentration at the time of harvest, substrate/food and type of pesticide. There is diversified information available in literature on the effect of preparation, processing and subsequent handling and storage of foods on pesticide residues which has been compiled in this article.



Andreotti et al., 2015

Andreotti, G., Hoppin, J. A., Hou, L., Koutros, S., Gadalla, S. M., Savage, S. A., Lubin, J., Blair, A., Hoxha, M., Baccarelli, A., Sandler, D., Alavanja, M., & Beane Freeman, L. E.; “Pesticide Use and Relative Leukocyte Telomere Length in the Agricultural Health Study;” Plos One, 2015, 10(7), e0133382; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0133382.


Some studies suggest that telomere length (TL) may be influenced by environmental exposures, including pesticides. We examined associations between occupational pesticide use reported at three time points and relative telomere length (RTL) in the Agricultural Health Study (AHS), a prospective cohort study of pesticide applicators in Iowa and North Carolina. RTL was measured by qPCR using leukocyte DNA from 568 cancer-free male AHS participants aged 31-94 years with blood samples collected between 2006 and 2008. Self-reported information, including pesticide use, was collected at three time points: enrollment (1993-1997) and two follow-up questionnaires (1998-2003, 2005-2008). For each pesticide, we evaluated cumulative use (using data from all three questionnaires), and more recent use (using data from the last follow-up questionnaire). Multivariable linear regression was used to examine the associations between pesticide use (ever, lifetime days, intensity-weighted lifetime days (lifetime days*intensity score)) and RTL, adjusting for age at blood draw and use of other pesticides. Of the 57 pesticides evaluated with cumulative use, increasing lifetime days of 2,4-D (p-trend=0.001), diazinon (p-trend=0.002), and butylate (p-trend=0.01) were significantly associated with shorter RTL, while increasing lifetime days of alachlor was significantly associated with longer RTL (p-trend=0.03). Only the association with 2,4-D was significant after adjustment for multiple comparisons. Of the 40 pesticides evaluated for recent use, malathion was associated with shorter RTL (p=0.03), and alachlor with longer RTL (p=0.03). Our findings suggest that leukocyte TL may be impacted by cumulative use and recent use of certain pesticides.


Alexander et al., 2007

Alexander, B. H., Mandel, J. S., Baker, B. A., Burns, C. J., Bartels, M. J., Acquavella, J. F., & Gustin, C.; “Biomonitoring of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid exposure and dose in farm families;” Environmental Health Perspectives, 2007, 115(3), 370-376; DOI: 10.1289/ehp.8869.


OBJECTIVE: We estimated 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) exposure and systemic dose in farm family members following an application of 2,4-D on their farm.

METHODS: Farm families were recruited from licensed applicators in Minnesota and South Carolina. Eligible family members collected all urine during five 24-hr intervals, 1 day before through 3 days after an application of 2,4-D. Exposure profiles were characterized with 24-hr urine 2,4-D concentrations, which then were related to potential predictors of exposure. Systemic dose was estimated using the urine collections from the application day through the third day after application.

RESULTS: Median urine 2,4-D concentrations at baseline and day after application were 2.1 and 73.1 microg/L for applicators, below the limit of detection, and 1.2 microg/L for spouses, and 1.5 and 2.9 microg/L for children. The younger children (4-11 years of age) had higher median post-application concentrations than the older children (> or = 12 years of age) (6.5 vs. 1.9 microg/L). The geometric mean systemic doses (micrograms per kilogram body weight) were 2.46 (applicators), 0.8 (spouses), 0.22 (all children), 0.32 (children 4-11 years of age), and 0.12 (children > or = 12 years of age). Exposure to the spouses and children was primarily determined by direct contact with the application process and the number of acres treated. Multivariate models identified glove use, repairing equipment, and number of acres treated as predictors of exposure in the applicators.

CONCLUSIONS: We observed considerable heterogeneity of 2,4-D exposure among farm family members, primarily attributable to level of contact with the application process. Awareness of this variability and the actual magnitude of exposures are important for developing exposure and risk characterizations in 2,4-D-exposed agricultural populations.


Cosemans et al., 2021

Cosemans, C., Van Larebeke, N., Janssen, B. G., Martens, D. S., Baeyens, W., Bruckers, L., Den Hond, E., Coertjens, D., Nelen, V., Schoeters, G., Hoppe, H. W., Wolfs, E., Smeets, K., Nawrot, T. S., & Plusquin, M.; “Glyphosate and AMPA exposure in relation to markers of biological aging in an adult population-based study;” International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 2021, 240, 113895; DOI: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2021.113895.


BACKGROUND/AIM: Glyphosate, a broad-spectrum herbicide, and its main metabolite aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) are persistent in the environment. Studies showed associations between glyphosate or AMPA exposure and several adverse cellular processes, including metabolic alterations and oxidative stress.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the association between glyphosate and AMPA exposure and biomarkers of biological aging.

METHODS: We examined glyphosate and AMPA exposure, mtDNA content and leukocyte telomere length in 181 adults, included in the third cycle of the Flemish Environment and Health Study (FLEHSIII). DNA was isolated from leukocytes and the relative mtDNA content and telomere length were determined using qPCR. Urinary glyphosate and AMPA concentrations were measured by Gas Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS-MS). We used multiple linear regression models to associate mtDNA content and leukocyte telomere length with glyphosate or AMPA exposure while adjusting for confounding variables.

RESULTS: A doubling in urinary AMPA concentration was associated with 5.19% (95% CI: 0.oth49 to 10.11; p = 0.03) longer leukocyte telomere length, while no association was observed with urinary glyphosate concentration. No association between mtDNA content and urinary glyphosate nor AMPA levels was observed.

CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that AMPA exposure may be associated with telomere biology in adults.


Mesnage et al., 2021D

Robin Mesnage, Mariam Ibragim, Daniele Mandrioli, Laura Falcioni, Eva Tibaldi, Fiorella Belpoggi, Inger Brandsma, Emma Bourne, Emanuel Savage, Charles A Mein, Michael N Antoniou; “Comparative Toxicogenomics of Glyphosate and Roundup Herbicides by Mammalian Stem Cell-Based Genotoxicity Assays and Molecular Profiling in Sprague-Dawley Rats”, Toxicological Sciences, 2021; DOI: 10.1093/toxsci/kfab143.


Whether glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) are more potent than glyphosate alone at activating cellular mechanisms, which drive carcinogenesis remain controversial. As GBHs are more cytotoxic than glyphosate, we reasoned they may also be more capable of activating carcinogenic pathways. We tested this hypothesis by comparing the effects of glyphosate with Roundup GBHs both in vitro and in vivo. First, glyphosate was compared with representative GBHs, namely MON 52276 (European Union), MON 76473 (United Kingdom), and MON 76207 (United States) using the mammalian stem cell-based ToxTracker system. Here, MON 52276 and MON 76473, but not glyphosate and MON 76207, activated oxidative stress and unfolded protein responses. Second, molecular profiling of liver was performed in female Sprague-Dawley rats exposed to glyphosate or MON 52276 (at 0.5, 50, and 175 mg/kg bw/day glyphosate) for 90 days. MON 52276 but not glyphosate increased hepatic steatosis and necrosis. MON 52276 and glyphosate altered the expression of genes in liver reflecting TP53 activation by DNA damage and circadian rhythm regulation. Genes most affected in liver were similarly altered in kidneys. Small RNA profiling in liver showed decreased amounts of miR-22 and miR-17 from MON 52276 ingestion. Glyphosate decreased miR-30, whereas miR-10 levels were increased. DNA methylation profiling of liver revealed 5727 and 4496 differentially methylated CpG sites between the control and glyphosate and MON 52276 exposed animals, respectively. Apurinic/apyrimidinic DNA damage formation in liver was increased with glyphosate exposure. Altogether, our results show that Roundup formulations cause more biological changes linked with carcinogenesis than glyphosate. FULL TEXT

Rauh et al., 2012

Rauh, V. A., Perera, F. P., Horton, M. K., Whyatt, R. M., Bansal, R., Hao, X., Liu, J., Barr, D. B., Slotkin, T. A., & Peterson, B. S.; “Brain anomalies in children exposed prenatally to a common organophosphate pesticide;” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012, 109(20), 7871-7876; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1203396109.


Prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos (CPF), an organophosphate insecticide, is associated with neurobehavioral deficits in humans and animal models. We investigated associations between CPF exposure and brain morphology using magnetic resonance imaging in 40 children, 5.9-11.2 y, selected from a nonclinical, representative community-based cohort. Twenty high-exposure children (upper tertile of CPF concentrations in umbilical cord blood) were compared with 20 low-exposure children on cortical surface features; all participants had minimal prenatal exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. High CPF exposure was associated with enlargement of superior temporal, posterior middle temporal, and inferior postcentral gyri bilaterally, and enlarged superior frontal gyrus, gyrus rectus, cuneus, and precuneus along the mesial wall of the right hemisphere. Group differences were derived from exposure effects on underlying white matter. A significant exposure x IQ interaction was derived from CPF disruption of normal IQ associations with surface measures in low-exposure children. In preliminary analyses, high-exposure children did not show expected sex differences in the right inferior parietal lobule and superior marginal gyrus, and displayed reversal of sex differences in the right mesial superior frontal gyrus, consistent with disruption by CPF of normal behavioral sexual dimorphisms reported in animal models. High-exposure children also showed frontal and parietal cortical thinning, and an inverse dose-response relationship between CPF and cortical thickness. This study reports significant associations of prenatal exposure to a widely used environmental neurotoxicant, at standard use levels, with structural changes in the developing human brain.  FULL TEXT

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