Urinary neonicotinoids level among pregnant women in Japan

Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2021 Jul:236:113797. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2021.113797. Epub 2021 Jul 1.


Neonicotinoids (NEOs) are the most important globally available class of chemical insecticides since the introduction of synthetic pyrethroids. The adverse effects of NEOs for early development have been reported via in vivo and epidemiological studies. Therefore, prenatal NEOs exposure is highly concerning. This study aimed to determine the level of NEOs exposure during daily life among pregnant women in Japan, as well as the sources of exposure. Spot urine samples were collected during the first, second, and third trimesters from 109 pregnant women who delivered their infants at obstetrics and gynecology clinics in Kumamoto city, Japan, between 2014 and 2016. Additional data were obtained from medical records and self-administered questionnaires. thiamethoxam and clothianidin (CLO) were detected in most participants (83.4% and 80.9%, respectively), and at higher concentrations than those in other areas of Japan. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed a statistical significant association of pulses in CLO (1.01 [1.00-1.02]). In conclusion, pregnant women in Japan appear to be exposed to NEOs in their daily lives, and pulses intake may be a source of NEOs exposure. These findings may further the assessment of human NEOs exposure risk.

Keywords: Neonicotinoids; Pregnant women; Urinary concentration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insecticides* / adverse effects
  • Japan
  • Neonicotinoids
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnant Women
  • Pyrethrins*


  • Insecticides
  • Neonicotinoids
  • Pyrethrins