Bibliography Tag: occupational exposure

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.


Baharuddin et al., 2011

Baharuddin, M. R., Sahid, I. B., Noor, M. A., Sulaiman, N., & Othman, F.; “Pesticide risk assessment: A study on inhalation and dermal exposure to 2,4-D and paraquat among Malaysian paddy farmers;” Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part B, 2011, 46(7), 600-607; DOI: 10.1080/03601234.2011.589309.


A cross-section analytical study was conducted to evaluate the risk of pesticide exposure to those applying the Class II pesticides 2,4-D and paraquat in the paddy-growing areas of Kerian, Perak, Malaysia. It investigated the influence of weather on exposure as well as documented health problems commonly related to pesticide exposure. Potential inhalation and dermal exposure for 140 paddy farmers (handlers of pesticides) were assessed. Results showed that while temperature and humidity affected exposure, windspeed had the strongest impact on pesticide exposure via inhalation. However, the degree of exposure to both herbicides via inhalation was below the permissible exposure limits set by United States National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Dermal Exposure Assessment Method (DREAM) readings showed that dermal exposure with manual spraying ranged from moderate to high. With motorized sprayers, however, the level of dermal exposure ranged from low to moderate. Dermal exposure was significantly negatively correlated with the usage of protective clothing. Various types of deleterious health effects were detected among users of manual knapsack sprayers. Long-term spraying activities were positively correlated with increasing levels of the gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) liver enzyme. The type of spraying equipment, usage of proper protective clothing and adherence to correct spraying practices were found to be the most important factors influencing the degree of pesticide exposure among those applying pesticides.

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.


An et al., 2019

An, Xuehua, Liu, Xinju, Jiang, Jinhua, Lv, Lu, Wang, Feidi, Wu, Shenggan, & Zhao, Xueping; “Exposure risks to pesticide applicators posed by the use of electric backpack sprayers and stretcher-mounted sprayers in orchards;” Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal, 2019, 26(8), 2288-2301; DOI: 10.1080/10807039.2019.1675493.


he introduction of the pesticide registration system in pesticide risk assessments has promoted the scientific and safe use of pesticides, and the assessment of occupational exposure risk. In the present study, we performed an experiment in a citrus orchard subject to normal orchard management practices. By measuring the exposure of applicators’ (farmers and technicians) body parts to 45% malathion emulsifiable concentrate during its application using electric backpack sprayers (0.25KPa) and stretcher-mounted sprayers (1.5 KPa), the unit exposure (UE) was determined. The risks of exposure for pesticide applicators who adopted five different protective measures (A: no personal protective equipment (PPE), i.e., no clothes, no gloves, no caps, and no socks; B: short-sleeved top and shorts; C: short-sleeved top, shorts, and a single pair of gloves; D: short-sleeved top, shorts, a single pair of gloves, and a cap; E: long-sleeved top, long pants, a single pair of gloves, and a cap) were also assessed. The results were as follows: 1) The total levels of exposure for pesticide applicators using electric backpack sprayers and stretchermounted sprayers were 3613.63 mg and 5654.28mg, respectively. When electric backpack sprayers were used, the body parts that had the highest exposure were the head (13.8%), hands (19.9%) and back (14.0%), and when stretcher-mounted sprayers were used, the hands (32.5%) and lower legs (21.1%) had the highest level of exposure; 2) In the absence of PPE, the UE values for farmers who used electric backpack sprayers and farmers who used stretcher-mounted sprayers were significantly different. However, when PPE was used, the difference in UE values between the farmers using the two different types of sprayers was not significant; 3) When protective measure A was adopted, the risk quotient (RQ) values of the farmers and technicians who used electric backpack sprayers for the application of malathion were 1.44 and 0.54, respectively; the corresponding RQ values when protective measure B was adopted were 0.97 and 0.28, respectively. When stretcher-mounted sprayers were used for the application of chlorpyrifos, the RQ value of the farmers who adopted protective measure E was 0.43 while other types of PPE use resulted in RQ values greater than 1. In contrast, the RQ value for technicians was 1.62 when protective measure A was used and 1.02 when protective measure B was adopted, whereas other types of PPE use resulted in RQ values less than 1. Therefore, besides increasing the awareness of personal protection among pesticide applicators, improvement in the management of pesticide use and the enhancement of standard operations are of practical significance for controlling occupational exposure to 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.


Burns and Swaen, 2012

Burns, C. J., & Swaen, G. M.; “Review of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) biomonitoring and epidemiology;” Critical Reviews in Toxicology, 2012, 42(9), 768-786; DOI: 10.3109/10408444.2012.710576.


A qualitative review of the epidemiological literature on the herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and health after 2001 is presented. In order to compare the exposure of the general population, bystanders and occupational groups, their urinary levels were also reviewed. In the general population, 2,4-D exposure is at or near the level of detection (LOD). Among individuals with indirect exposure, i.e. bystanders, the urinary 2,4-D levels were also very low except in individuals with opportunity for direct contact with the herbicide. Occupational exposure, where exposure was highest, was positively correlated with behaviors related to the mixing, loading and applying process and use of personal protection. Information from biomonitoring studies increases our understanding of the validity of the exposure estimates used in epidemiology studies. The 2,4-D epidemiology literature after 2001 is broad and includes studies of cancer, reproductive toxicity, genotoxicity, and neurotoxicity. In general, a few publications have reported statistically significant associations. However, most lack precision and the results are not replicated in other independent studies. In the context of biomonitoring, the epidemiology data give no convincing or consistent evidence for any chronic adverse effect of 2,4-D in humans. FULL TEXT

Aylward et al., 2010

Aylward, Lesa L., Morgan, Marsha K., Arbuckle, Tye E., Barr, Dana B., Burns, Carol J., Alexander, Bruce H., & Hays, Sean M.; “Biomonitoring data for 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid in the United States and Canada: Interpretation in a public health risk assessment context using biomonitoring equivalents;” Environmental Health Perspectives, 2010, 118, 177-181; DOI: 10.1289/ehp.0900970.


BACKGROUND: Several extensive studies of exposure to 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) using urinary concentrations in samples from the general population, farm applicators, and farm family members are now available. Reference doses (RfDs) exist for 2,4-D, and Biomonitoring Equivalents (BEs; concentrations in urine or plasma that are consistent with those RfDs) for 2,4-D have recently been derived and published.

OBJECTIVE: We reviewed the available biomonitoring data for 2,4-D from the United States and Canada and compared them with BE values to draw conclusions regarding the margin of safety for 2,4-D exposures within each population group.

DATA SOURCES: Data on urinary 2,4-D excretion in general and target populations from recent published studies are tabulated and the derivation of BE values for 2,4-D summarized.

DATA SYNTHESIS: The biomonitoring data indicate margins of safety (ratio of BE value to biomarker concentration) of approximately 200 at the central tendency and 50 at the extremes in the general population. Median exposures for applicators and their family members during periods of use appear to be well within acute exposure guidance values.

CONCLUSIONS: Biomonitoring data from these studies indicate that current exposures to 2,4-D are below applicable exposure guidance values. This review demonstrates the value of biomonitoring data in assessing population exposures in the context of existing risk assessments using the BE approach. Risk managers can use this approach to integrate the available biomonitoring data into an overall assessment of current risk management practices for 2,4-D.



Shealy et al., 1996

Shealy, Dana B., Bonin, Michael A., Wooten, Joe V., Ashley, David L., Needham, Larry L., & Bond, Andrew E.; “Application of an improved method for the analysis of pesticides and their metabolites in the urine of farmer applicators and their families;” Environment International, 1996, 22(6), 661-675; DOI: 10.1016/s0160-4120(96)00058-x.


As the annual use of pesticides in the United States has escalated, public health agencies have become increasingly concerned about chronic pesticide exposure. However, without reliable, accurate analytical methods for biological monitoring, low-level chronic exposures are often difficult to assess. A method for measuring simultaneously the urinary residues of as many as 20 pesticides has been significantly improved. The method uses a sample preparation which includes enzyme digestion, extraction, and chemical derivatization of the analytes. The derivatized analytes are measured by using gas chromatography coupled with isotope-dilution tandem mass spectrometry. The limits of detection of the modified method are in the high pg/L – low μg/L range, and the average coefficient of variation (CV) of the method was below 20% for most analytes, with approximately 100% accuracy in quantification. This method was used to measure the internal doses of pesticides among selected farmer applicators and their families. Definite exposure and elimination patterns (i.e., an increase in urinary analyte levels following application and then a gradual decrease to background levels) were observed among the farmer applicators and many of the family members whose crops were treated with carbaryl, dicamba, and 2,4-D esters and amines. Although the spouses of farm workers sometimes exhibited the same elimination pattern, the levels of the targeted pesticides or metabolites found in their urine were not outside the ranges found in the general U.S. population (reference range). The farmer applicators who applied the pesticides and some of their children appeared to have higher pesticide or metabolite levels in their urine than those found in the general U.S. population, but their levels were generally comparable to or lower than reported levels in other occupationally exposed individuals. These results, however, were obtained from a nonrandom sampling of farm residents specifically targeted to particular exposures who may have altered their practices because they were being observed; therefore, further study is required to determine if these results are representative of pesticide levels among residents on all farms where these pesticides are applied using the same application techniques. Using this method to measure exposure in a small nonrandom farm population allowed differentiation between overt and background exposure. In addition, the important role of reference-range information in distinguishing between various levels of environmental exposure was reaffirmed. FULL TEXT

Harris et al., 2010

Harris, S. A., Villeneuve, P. J., Crawley, C. D., Mays, J. E., Yeary, R. A., Hurto, K. A., & Meeker, J. D.; “National study of exposure to pesticides among professional applicators: an investigation based on urinary biomarkers;” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2010, 58(18), 10253-10261; DOI: 10.1021/jf101209g.


Epidemiologic studies of pesticides have been subject to important biases arising from exposure misclassification. Although turf applicators are exposed to a variety of pesticides, these exposures have not been well characterized. This paper describes a repeated measures study of 135 TruGreen applicators over three spraying seasons via the collection of 1028 urine samples. These applicators were employed in six cities across the United States. Twenty-four-hour estimates (mug) were calculated for the parent compounds 2,4-D, MCPA, mecoprop, dicamba, and imidacloprid and for the insecticide metabolites MPA and 6-CNA. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize the urinary levels of these pesticides, whereas mixed models were applied to describe the variance apportionment with respect to city, season, individual, and day of sampling. The contributions to the overall variance explained by each of these factors varied considerably by the type of pesticide. The implications for characterizing exposures in these workers within the context of a cohort study are discussed. FULL TEXT

Nolan et al., 1984

Nolan, R. J., Rick, D. L., Freshour, N. L., & Saunders, J. H.; “Chlorpyrifos: Pharmacokinetics in human volunteers;” Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 1984, 73(1), 8-15; DOI: 10.1016/0041-008x(84)90046-2.


The kinetics of chlorpyrifos, an organophosphorothioate insecticide, and its principal metabolite, 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol (3,5,6-TCP), were investigated in six healthy male volunteers given a single 0.5 mg/kg po and, 2 or more weeks later, a 0.5 or 5.0 mg/kg dermal dose of chlorpyrifos. No signs or symptoms of toxicity or changes in erythrocyte cholinesterase were observed. Plasma cholinesterase was depressed to 15% of predose levels by the 0.5 mg/kg po dose but was essentially unchanged following the 5.0 mg/kg dermal dose. Blood chlorpyrifos concentrations were extremely low (less than 30 ng/ml), and no unchanged chlorpyrifos was found in the urine following either route of administration. Mean blood 3,5,6-TCP concentrations peaked at 0.93 micrograms/ml 6 hr after ingestion of the oral dose and at 0.063 micrograms/ml 24 hr after the 5.0 mg/kg dermal dose. 3,5,6-TCP was cleared from the blood and eliminated in the urine with a half-life of 27 hr following both the po and dermal doses. An average of 70% of the po dose but less than 3% of the dermal dose was excreted in the urine as 3,5,6-TCP; thus only a small fraction of the dermally applied chlorpyrifos was absorbed. Chlorpyrifos and its principal metabolite were rapidly eliminated and therefore have a low potential to accumulate in man on repeated exposures. Based on these data, blood and/or urinary 3,5,6-TCP concentrations could be used to quantify the amount of chlorpyrifos absorbed under actual use conditions.