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31.07.2018 | Original Paper

A Pilot Study Evaluating Organochlorine and Organophosphate Pesticide Exposure in Children and Adolescents of Mexican Descent Residing in Hidalgo County, Texas

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Mike Hernandez, María A. Hernández-Valero, Celia García-Prieto, Donald G. Patterson, Richard A. Hajek, Iris Recinos, David S. Lopez, Yisheng Li, Lovell A. Jones, Ernest Hawk


Children and adolescents of Mexican descent residing in Hidalgo County (TX) were evaluated for exposure to organochlorine (OC) and organophosphate (OP) pesticides. A convenience sample of 60 participants enrolled in our pilot study. The lipid-adjusted serum concentrations of nine OC metabolites and creatinine-adjusted urinary concentrations of six OP metabolites were measured and compared with data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Fourth Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the concentration levels for each metabolite. Study participants were aged 5–18 years. For most of the OC and OP metabolites, our findings showed that participants had concentration levels within the distributional range of the national data. However, notable outlying levels (greater than the 95th percentile in the Fourth Report) were identified for the following OC metabolites: gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane, p,p′-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethene, and p,p′-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane. Among the children aged 5–11 years, one child had an outlying value for the OP metabolite: dimethylphosphate. Our findings on the levels of OC and OP pesticide exposure enhances the credibility of national estimates, and can serve as baselines for children and adolescents of Mexican descent residing in Lower Rio Grande Valley. Furthermore, our study contributes to the lacunae of knowledge regarding environmental exposures and presses further investigation of outlying OC and OP exposure levels.

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