Preschool-Age Children's Pesticide Exposures in Child Care Centers and at Home in Northern California

J Pediatr Health Care. 2022 Jan-Feb;36(1):34-45. doi: 10.1016/j.pedhc.2021.09.004. Epub 2021 Oct 8.


Introduction: Young children may be exposed to pesticides used in child care centers and their family homes. We examined pesticide use and environmental and behavioral factors potentially associated with child exposures in these settings.

Method: Preschool-age children (n = 125) wore silicone wristbands to assess pesticide exposures in their child care centers and home environments. Information about environmental and behavioral exposure determinants was collected using parent surveys, child care director interviews, and observations.

Results: Commonly detected pesticides were bifenthrin, chlorpyrifos, cypermethrin, fipronil, and cis- and trans-permethrin. Pesticide chemical storage onsite, cracks in the walls, using doormats, observed pests, or evidence of pests were associated with child exposures. Exposures were higher in counties with higher agricultural or commercial pesticide use or when children lived in homes near agricultural fields.

Discussion: Young children are being exposed to harmful pesticides, and interventions are needed to lower their risk of health problems later in life.

Keywords: Environmental health; child care; children; pesticides.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture
  • California / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child Care
  • Child Day Care Centers
  • Child, Preschool
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Pesticides* / toxicity


  • Pesticides