Urinary pyrethroid metabolites among pregnant women in an agricultural area of the Province of Jiangsu, China.Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2012 Sep; 215(5):487-95.IJ
Pyrethroid pesticides are widely used throughout the world in agriculture to protect crops and in public health to control diseases. Of particular concern is exposure of pregnant women and their fetuses because little is known about the potential developmental hazards of such exposure. Several studies have detected internal pyrethroid exposure in urine both in adults and children, but few published data are available on metabolites in pregnant women. The present paper provides data on pyrethroid pesticides exposure based on questionnaire items and measurement of maternal urinary metabolite levels among 1149 pregnant women living in agricultural area of Jiangsu Province, China in 2009-2010, none of which reported occupational exposure to pyrethroid insecticides during pregnancy. To assess exposure to pyrethroid pesticides, urine specimens were analyzed for three main metabolites of 3-phenoxybenzoic acid (3-PBA), cis-and-trans-3-(2,2-dichlorovinyl)-2,2-dimethylcyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (cis-DCCA and trans-DCCA) using a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry method. The limits of detection for three pyrethroid metabolites were 0.1μg/L. All pyrethroid metabolites were found in more than 94.0% of the urine samples. Median unadjusted and creatinine-adjusted values for urinary pyrethroid metabolites in these females were 1.01μg/L and 1.55μg/g Cre for 3-PBA, 0.44μg/L and 0.69μg/g Cre for cis-DCCA, 1.17μg/L and 1.86μg/g Cre for trans-DCCA, respectively. About half (45.5%) of women reported that they or family members had applied commercially available indoor insecticides during pregnancy. Both the questionnaire and laboratory data revealed that exposure to pyrethroid pesticides was considerably widespread in our subjects. The median values of urinary metabolites in the present study were about 4-10 times higher as those of general population from the developed countries. Interestingly, we found there was a temporal season variation tendency in different months. Especially, the levels of urinary metabolites in summer were significant higher than those in winter. These data indicated the need to assess the potential adverse effects of pyrethroid pesticides exposure on fetuses and infants in order to take adequate measures to protect pregnant women from pesticide exposures during pregnancy.