Reference values for metabolites of pyrethroid and organophosphorous insecticides in urine for human biomonitoring in environmental medicine.Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2006 May; 209(3):293-9.IJ
Pesticides are widely used throughout the world in agriculture to protect crops, and in public health to control diseases transmitted by vectors or intermediate hosts. After the prohibition of organochlorines, such as DDT, today mainly pyrethroids and organophosphorous insecticides are used. With reliable and sensitive analytical methods for detecting metabolites of organophosphorous and pyrethroid insecticides in urinary specimens of the general population several studies have been published on internal exposure to these insecticides of the population in Germany. In total, data on levels of metabolites of organophosphorous acids in urine of about 1200 children and adults have been published, as well as data on levels of pyrethroid metabolites in urine of about 2100 children and adults. In Germany, reference values for environmental pollutants related to the population are established continuously by the Human Biomonitoring Commission of the German Federal Environmental Agency, preferably based on data gained by representative studies. Reference values are defined as the 95th percentile, rounded off within the 95% confidence interval of the population studied. Since there is a need for reference values to characterise the population's exposure to organophosphates and pyrethroids, and since there are different studies available from Germany that agree quite well with data from other industrialised countries, the Commission has derived reference values from the available data, though none of the studies had fulfilled criteria on representativity. Reference values for metabolites of organophosphorous acids are as follows: DMP 135 microg/l, DMTP 160 microg/l and DEP 16 microg/l and for metabolites of pyrethroids: cis-Cl2CA 1 microg/l, trans-Cl2CA 2 microg/l and 3-PBA 2 microg/l. As the volume-related concentrations of organophosphate and pyrethroid metabolites show no significant age-dependence, the reference values derived are not age-stratified. Though based merely on statistical and not on toxicological data, levels analysed above the reference levels, when reliably measured (verified several times), should prompt environmental health practitioners to search for sources, within the bounds of proportionality. In addition to accidental poisoning, possible sources include indoor contamination following improper pest control operations in homes as well as in pets and food products contaminated by these pesticides.