Background: Organophosphorus (OP) pesticide urinary metabolite levels in a sample of farmworker children in North Carolina are documented and compared to national reference data. The relative importance of para-occupational, residential, and environment risk factors are delineated.
Methods: Urine samples were collected from 60 farmworker children 1-6 years of age, and interviews were completed by their mothers. Urine samples were analyzed for the dialkylphosphate (DAP) metabolites of OP pesticides. Summed molar concentrations of the diethyl and dimethyl DAP metabolites provided summary measures.
Results: The farmworker children had relatively high levels of OP pesticide urinary metabolites compared to national reference data; for example, participating children had higher geometric means for diethylphosphate (DEP), diethylthiophosphate (DETP), and the summed diethyl metabolites. However, analyses found no pattern of significant associations between predictors and metabolite levels.
Conclusions: Future research requires greater precision in sampling and measurement to determine the risk factors for pesticide exposure among farmworker children.