Pentachlorophenol (PCP) is a persistent and ubiquitous environmental contaminant. No published data exist on the temporal variability or important predictors of urinary PCP concentrations in young children. In this further analysis of study data, we have examined the associations between selected sociodemographic or lifestyle factors and urinary PCP concentrations in 115 preschool children over a 48-h period and assessed the 48-hour variability of urinary PCP levels in a subset of 15 children. Monitoring was performed at 115 homes and 16 daycares in Ohio (USA) in 2001. Questionnaires/diaries and spot urine samples were collected from each child. The median urinary PCP level was 0.8 ng/mL (range < 0.2–23.8 ng/mL). The intraclass correlation coefficient for urinary PCP was 0.42, which indicates fairly low reliability for a single sample over a 48-h period. In a multiple regression model, age of home and ln(creatinine levels) were significant predictors and sampling season, time spent outside, and pet ownership were marginally significant predictors of ln(urinary PCP levels), collectively explaining 29% of the variability of PCP in urine. To adequately assess short-term exposures of children to PCP, several spot urine measurements are likely needed as well as information regarding residence age, seasonality, time spent outdoors, and pet ownership.
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