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      Urinary Metabolites of Organophosphate and Pyrethroid Pesticides and Behavioral Problems in Canadian Children

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          Abstract

          Background: Exposure to organophosphate pesticides has been associated with neurobehavioral deficits in children, although data on low levels of exposure experienced by the general population are sparse. Pyrethroids are insecticides rapidly gaining popularity, and epidemiological evidence on their potential effects is lacking.

          Objective: We examined the association between exposure to organophosphate and pyrethroid pesticides, indicated by urinary metabolites, and parentally reported behavioral problems in children.

          Methods: We used data on children 6–11 years of age from the Canadian Health Measures Survey (2007–2009). We used logistic regressions to estimate odds ratios (ORs) for high scores on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), which may indicate behavioral problems, in association with concentrations of pyrethroid and organophosphate metabolites in the urine of 779 children, adjusting for covariates (sex, age, race/ethnicity, income, parental education, blood lead levels, maternal smoking during pregnancy, and others).

          Results: At least one urinary metabolite for organophosphates was detected in 91% of children, and for pyrethroids in 97% of children. Organophosphate metabolites were not significantly associated with high SDQ scores. The pyrethroid metabolite cis-DCCA [3-(2,2-dichlorovinyl)-2,2-dimethylycyclopropane carboxylic acid] was significantly associated with high scores for total difficulties on the SDQ (OR for a 10-fold increase = 2.0; 95% CI: 1.1, 3.6), and there was a nonsignificant association with trans-DCCA (OR = 1.6; 95% CI: 0.9, 3.0).

          Conclusion: In contrast with previous studies, we did not observe an association between exposure to organophosphate pesticides and behavioral scores in children. However, some pyrethroid urinary metabolites were associated with a high level of parent-reported behavioral problems. Longitudinal studies should be conducted on the potential risks of pyrethroids.

          Citation: Oulhote Y, Bouchard MF. 2013. Urinary metabolites of organophosphate and pyrethroid pesticides and behavioral problems in Canadian children. Environ Health Perspect 121:1378–1384;  http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1306667

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          Most cited references 38

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          Organophosphate Pesticide Exposure and Neurodevelopment in Young Mexican-American Children

          Background Organophosphate (OP) pesticides are widely used in agriculture and homes. Animal studies suggest that even moderate doses are neurodevelopmental toxicants, but there are few studies in humans. Objectives We investigated the relationship of prenatal and child OP urinary metabolite levels with children’s neurodevelopment. Methods Participating children were from a longitudinal birth cohort of primarily Latino farm-worker families in California. We measured six nonspecific dialkylphosphate (DAP) metabolites in maternal and child urine as well as metabolites specific to malathion (MDA) and chlorpyrifos (TCPy) in maternal urine. We examined their association with children’s performance at 6 (n = 396), 12 (n = 395), and 24 (n = 372) months of age on the Bayley Scales of Infant Development [Mental Development (MDI) and Psychomotor Development (PDI) Indices] and mother’s report on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) (n = 356). Results Generally, pregnancy DAP levels were negatively associated with MDI, but child measures were positively associated. At 24 months of age, these associations reached statistical significance [per 10-fold increase in prenatal DAPs: β = −3.5 points; 95% confidence interval (CI), −6.6 to −0.5; child DAPs: β = 2.4 points; 95% CI, 0.5 to 4.2]. Neither prenatal nor child DAPs were associated with PDI or CBCL attention problems, but both prenatal and postnatal DAPs were associated with risk of pervasive developmental disorder [per 10-fold increase in prenatal DAPs: odds ratio (OR) = 2.3, p = 0.05; child DAPs OR = 1.7, p = 0.04]. MDA and TCPy were not associated with any outcome. Conclusions We report adverse associations of prenatal DAPs with mental development and pervasive developmental problems at 24 months of age. Results should be interpreted with caution given the observed positive relationship with postnatal DAPs.
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            Very low lead exposures and children's neurodevelopment.

            We remain far from achieving the goal of eliminating lead-associated neurodevelopmental morbidities in children. New evidence regarding the blood lead levels at which morbidities occur have led to calls for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reduce the current screening guideline of 10 microg/dl. The review evaluates the basis for these calls. Adverse outcomes, such as reduced intelligence quotient and academic deficits, occur at levels below 10 microg/dl. Some studies suggest that the rate of decline in performance is greater at levels below 10 microg/dl than above 10 microg/dl, although a plausible mechanism has not been identified. Increased exposure is also associated with neuropsychiatric disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and antisocial behavior. Functional imaging studies are beginning to provide insight into the neural substrate of lead's neurodevelopmental effects. Current protocols for chelation therapy appear ineffective in preventing such effects, although environmental enrichment might do so. No level of lead exposure appears to be 'safe' and even the current 'low' levels of exposure in children are associated with neurodevelopmental deficits. Primary prevention of exposure provides the best hope of mitigating the impact of this preventable disease.
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              Impact of prenatal chlorpyrifos exposure on neurodevelopment in the first 3 years of life among inner-city children.

              The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos on 3-year neurodevelopment and behavior in a sample of inner-city minority children. As part of an ongoing prospective cohort study in an inner-city minority population, neurotoxicant effects of prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos were evaluated in 254 children through the first 3 years of life. This report examined cognitive and motor development at 12, 24, and 36 months (measured with the Bayley Scales of Infant Development II) and child behavior at 36 months (measured with the Child Behavior Checklist) as a function of chlorpyrifos levels in umbilical cord plasma. Highly exposed children (chlorpyrifos levels of >6.17 pg/g plasma) scored, on average, 6.5 points lower on the Bayley Psychomotor Development Index and 3.3 points lower on the Bayley Mental Development Index at 3 years of age compared with those with lower levels of exposure. Children exposed to higher, compared with lower, chlorpyrifos levels were also significantly more likely to experience Psychomotor Development Index and Mental Development Index delays, attention problems, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder problems, and pervasive developmental disorder problems at 3 years of age. The adjusted mean 36-month Psychomotor Development Index and Mental Development Index scores of the highly and lower exposed groups differed by only 7.1 and 3.0 points, respectively, but the proportion of delayed children in the high-exposure group, compared with the low-exposure group, was 5 times greater for the Psychomotor Development Index and 2.4 times greater for the Mental Development Index, increasing the number of children possibly needing early intervention services.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Environ Health Perspect
                EHP
                Environmental Health Perspectives
                National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
                0091-6765
                1552-9924
                22 October 2013
                01 December 2013
                : 121
                : 11-12
                : 1378-1384
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada
                [2 ]CHU (Le centre hospitalier universitaire mère-enfant) Sainte-Justine, Montréal, Québec, Canada
                Author notes
                Address correspondence to M. Bouchard, Université de Montréal, Pavillon Marguerite-d’Youville, Département de santé environnementale et santé au travail, 2375, chemin de la Côte Ste-Catherine, local 4095, Montréal (Québec) H3T 1A8, Canada. Telephone: (514) 343-6111, ext. 43231. E-mail: maryse.bouchard@ 123456umontreal.ca
                Article
                ehp.1306667
                10.1289/ehp.1306667
                3855516
                24149046

                Publication of EHP lies in the public domain and is therefore without copyright. All text from EHP may be reprinted freely. Use of materials published in EHP should be acknowledged (for example, “Reproduced with permission from Environmental Health Perspectives”); pertinent reference information should be provided for the article from which the material was reproduced. Articles from EHP, especially the News section, may contain photographs or illustrations copyrighted by other commercial organizations or individuals that may not be used without obtaining prior approval from the holder of the copyright.

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                Public health

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