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Exposures of preschool children to chlorpyrifos and its degradation product 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol in their everyday environments

Abstract

As part of the Children's Total Exposure to Persistent Pesticides and Other Persistent Organic Pollutants (CTEPP) study, we investigated the exposures of preschool children to chlorpyrifos and its degradation product 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol (TCP) in their everyday environments. During this study, the participants were still able to purchase and apply chlorpyrifos at their homes or day care centers. Participants were recruited randomly from 129 homes and 13 day care centers in six North Carolina counties. Monitoring was performed over a 48-h period at the children's homes and/or day care centers. Samples that were collected included duplicate plate, indoor and outdoor air, urine, indoor floor dust, play area soil, transferable residues (PUF roller), and surface wipes (hand, food preparation, and hard floor). The samples were extracted and analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Chlorpyrifos was detected in 100% of the indoor air and indoor floor dust samples from homes and day care centers. TCP was detected at homes and day care centers in 100% of the indoor floor dust and hard floor surface wipe, in >97% of the solid food, and in >95% of the indoor air samples. Generally, median levels of chlorpyrifos were higher than those of TCP in all media, except for solid food samples. For these samples, the median TCP concentrations were 12 and 29 times higher than the chlorpyrifos concentrations at homes and day care centers, respectively. The median urinary TCP concentration for the preschool children was 5.3 ng/ml and the maximum value was 104 ng/ml. The median potential aggregate absorbed dose (ng/kg/day) of chlorpyrifos for these preschool children was estimated to be 3 ng/kg/day. The primary route of exposure to chlorpyrifos was through dietary intake, followed by inhalation. The median potential aggregate absorbed dose of TCP for these children was estimated to be 38 ng/kg/day, and dietary intake was the primary route of exposure. The median excreted amount of urinary TCP for these children was estimated to be 117 ng/kg/day. A full regression model of the relationships among chlorpyrifos and TCP for the children in the home group explained 23% of the variability of the urinary TCP concentrations by the three routes of exposure (inhalation, ingestion, dermal absorption) to chlorpyrifos and TCP. However, a final reduced model via step-wise regression retained only chlorpyrifos through the inhalation route and explained 22% of the variability of TCP in the children's urine. The estimated potential aggregate absorbed doses of chlorpyrifos through the inhalation route were low (median value, 0.8 ng/kg/day) and could not explain most of the excreted amounts of urinary TCP. This suggested that there were other possible sources and pathways of exposure that contributed to the estimated potential aggregate absorbed doses of these children to chlorpyrifos and TCP. One possible pathway of exposure that was not accounted for fully is through the children's potential contacts with contaminated surfaces at homes and day care centers. In addition, other pesticides such as chlorpyrifos-methyl may have also contributed to the levels of TCP in the urine. Future studies should include additional surface measurements in their estimation of potential absorbed doses of preschool children to environmental pollutants. In conclusion, the results showed that the preschool children were exposed to chlorpyrifos and TCP from several sources, through several pathways and routes.

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Acknowledgements

We thank the children, adult caregivers, and staff at the child day care centers for their participation in the study. We would also like to thank Battelle staff members, particularly Drs. Robert A. Lordo and Ying L. Chou, for their valuable contribution to the success of this large children's exposure study. Disclaimer: “The United States Environmental Protection Agency through its Office of Research and Development funded and managed the research described here under Contract #68-D-99-011 to Battelle. It has been subjected to Agency review and approved for publication.”

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Correspondence to Marsha K Morgan.

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Morgan, M., Sheldon, L., Croghan, C. et al. Exposures of preschool children to chlorpyrifos and its degradation product 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol in their everyday environments. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 15, 297–309 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.jea.7500406

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Keywords

  • preschool children
  • homes
  • day care centers
  • chlorpyrifos
  • 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol
  • media

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