Pesticide Exposure among Latinx Children in Rural Farmworker and Urban Non-Farmworker Communities: Associations with Locality and Season

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2023 Apr 26;20(9):5647. doi: 10.3390/ijerph20095647.


This study uses repeated measures to document the pesticide exposure of rural and urban Latinx children (age eight at baseline), and to compare these children in terms of the frequency and concentration of their exposure to a large set of pesticides, accounting for season. We used silicone wristbands worn for one week up to ten times at quarterly intervals from 2018 to 2022 to assess pesticide exposure in children from rural farmworker (n = 75) and urban non-farmworker (n = 61) families. We determined the detection and concentrations (ng/g) of 72 pesticides and pesticide degradation products in the wristbands using gas chromatography electron capture detection and gas chromatography mass spectrometry. The most frequently detected pesticide classes were organochlorines, pyrethroids, and organophosphates. Controlling for season, organochlorine or phenylpyrazole detections were less likely for rural children than for urban children. Detections of organochlorines, pyrethroids, or organophosphates were lower in spring and summer versus winter. Controlling for season, urban children had greater concentrations of organochlorines, while rural children had greater concentrations of pyrethroids and Chlorpyrifos. Pesticide concentrations were lower in winter and spring compared with summer and fall. These results further document that pesticides are ubiquitous in the living environment for children in vulnerable, immigrant communities.

Keywords: child health; community-based participatory research; exposure assessment; farmworkers; health equity; personal monitoring; pesticides.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture
  • Child
  • Chlorpyrifos* / analysis
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Pesticides* / analysis
  • Pyrethrins* / analysis
  • Seasons


  • Pesticides
  • Pyrethrins
  • Chlorpyrifos