Personal exposure to pesticides has not been well characterized, especially among adolescents. We used silicone wristbands to assess pesticide exposure in 14 to 16 year old Latina girls (N = 97) living in the agricultural Salinas Valley, California, USA and enrolled in the COSECHA (CHAMACOS of Salinas Examining Chemicals in Homes and Agriculture) Study, a youth participatory action study in an agricultural region of California. We determined pesticide concentrations (ng/g/day) in silicone wristbands worn for one week using gas chromatography electron capture detection and employed gas chromatography mass spectrometry to determine the presence or absence of over 1500 chemicals. Predictors of pesticide detections and concentrations were identified using logistic regression, Wilcoxon rank sum tests, and Tobit regression models. The most frequently detected pesticides in wristbands were fipronil sulfide (87%), cypermethrin (56%), dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) (56%), dacthal (53%), and trans-permethrin (52%). Living within 100 m of active agricultural fields, having carpeting in the home, and having an exterminator treat the home in the past six months were associated with higher odds of detecting certain pesticides. Permethrin concentrations were lower for participants who cleaned their homes daily (GM: 1.9 vs. 6.8 ng/g/day, p = 0.01). In multivariable regression models, participants with doormats in the entryway of their home had lower concentrations (p < 0.05) of cypermethrin (87%), permethrin (99%), fipronil sulfide (69%) and DDE (75%). The results suggest that both nearby agricultural pesticide use and individual behaviors are associated with pesticide exposures.
Keywords: Exposure assessment; Personal monitoring; Pesticides; Silicone wristbands; Youth participatory action research.
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