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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(6), 6281-6299; doi:10.3390/ijerph120606281

Relationship between Urinary Pesticide Residue Levels and Neurotoxic Symptoms among Women on Farms in the Western Cape, South Africa

Centre for Environmental and Occupational Health Research, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, Anzio Road, Observatory, Cape Town 7935, South Africa
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Paul B. Tchounwou and William A. Toscano
Received: 2 April 2015 / Revised: 17 May 2015 / Accepted: 28 May 2015 / Published: 2 June 2015
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Abstract

Background: This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate the relationship between urinary pesticide residue levels and neurotoxic symptoms amongst women working on Western Cape farms in South Africa. Method: A total of 211 women were recruited from farms (n = 121) and neighbouring towns (n = 90). Participant assessment was via a Q16 questionnaire, reporting on pesticide exposures and measurement of urinary OP metabolite concentrations of dialkyl phosphates (DAP) and chlorpyriphos, 3,5,6-trichloropyridinol (TCPY) and of pyrethroid (PYR) metabolite concentrations (3- phenoxybenzoic acid (3PBA), 4-fluoro-3-phenoxybenzoic acid (4F3PBA), cis-2,2-dibromovinyl-2,2-dimethylcyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (DBCA), and the cis- and trans isomers of 2,2-dichlorovinyl-2,2-dimethylcyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid. Results: Median urinary pesticide metabolites were slightly (6%–49%) elevated in the farm group compared to the town group, with 2 metabolites significantly higher and some lower in the farm group. The prevalence of all Q16 symptoms was higher amongst farm women compared to town women. Three Q16 symptoms (problems with buttoning, reading and notes) were significantly positively associated with three pyrethroid metabolites (cis- and trans-DCCA and DBCA), although associations may due to chance as multiple comparisons were made. The strongest association for a pyrethroid metabolite was between problems with buttoning and DBCA (odds ratio (OR) = 8.93, 95% confidence interval (CI):1.71–46.5. There was no association between Q16 symptoms and OP metabolites. Conclusions: Women farm residents and rural women from neighbouring towns in the Western Cape are exposed to OP and PYR pesticides. The study did not provide strong evidence that pesticides are associated with neurotoxic symptoms but associations found could be explored further. View Full-Text
Keywords: neurotoxicity; organophosphates; pyrethroid; pesticides; neurotoxic symptoms; Q16; female farm workers neurotoxicity; organophosphates; pyrethroid; pesticides; neurotoxic symptoms; Q16; female farm workers
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Motsoeneng, P.M.; Dalvie, M.A. Relationship between Urinary Pesticide Residue Levels and Neurotoxic Symptoms among Women on Farms in the Western Cape, South Africa. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 6281-6299.

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