Special Issue "Ecological and Human-Health Effects of Pesticides in the Environment"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2016).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Ricardo Bello-Mendoza
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand
Interests: Pesticides in the environment; biological and chemical degradation of organic micro-pollutants

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Pesticides are frequently used in agricultural and residential areas to control insects, weeds, and other pests. The transport of these chemicals away from the target areas has led to their widespread presence which makes them a common environmental exposure. Once in the natural environment, pesticides partition between water and soil/sediment particles and degrade over time. Parent pesticides, as well as their degradation products, can potentially affect organisms and human health. Prior to registration, pesticides are screened for adverse biological effects such as acute and reproductive toxicity, but information under relevant, field conditions such as mixtures of pesticides or prolonged exposure is scarce.

A great deal of effort has been made in developed countries to understand the fate and environmental impacts of pesticides but information is still limited in developing regions of the world where contamination problems are usually aggravated by a lower public awareness of the risks posed by these chemicals and the use of highly hazardous pesticides, some of them already prohibited in industrialized nations. Further, recent studies in adults have suggested that pesticides may be related to chronic diseases, such as diabetes, a significant public-health burden in developing communities. Socioeconomic factors also make children and women particularly vulnerable to pesticide exposure in these regions. Characterization of pesticide use and exposure in the general population is critical to reliable risk assessment.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to highlight new information about pesticide exposure patterns and their biological and human-health effects, particularly in but not restricted to developing countries. Papers that fall along the continuum of pesticide exposure characterization to evaluation of environmental impacts will be considered.

Dr. Ricardo Bello-Mendoza
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • biological effects
  • current-use pesticides
  • developing countries
  • ecological risk assessment
  • environmental exposure
  • human-health effects
  • human-health risk assessment

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Glyphosate Residues in Groundwater, Drinking Water and Urine of Subsistence Farmers from Intensive Agriculture Localities: A Survey in Hopelchén, Campeche, Mexico
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 595; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060595 - 03 Jun 2017
Cited by 42
Abstract
The use of pesticides in Mexican agriculture creates an interest in learning about the presence of these substances in different environmental matrices. Glyphosate (GLY) is an herbicide widely used in the state of Campeche, located in the Mayan zone in the western Yucatan [...] Read more.
The use of pesticides in Mexican agriculture creates an interest in learning about the presence of these substances in different environmental matrices. Glyphosate (GLY) is an herbicide widely used in the state of Campeche, located in the Mayan zone in the western Yucatan peninsula. Despite the fact that GLY is considered a non-toxic pesticide to humans, its presence in water bodies through spillage, runoff, and leaching are a risk to human health or biota that inhabit these ecosystems. In the present study, glyphosate residues were determined in groundwater, bottled drinking water, and the urine of subsistence farmers from various localities of the Hopelchén municipality in Campeche. Determination of GLY was carried out using Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). The highest concentrations of GLY were observed in the groundwater (1.42 μg/L) of Ich-Ek and urine (0.47 μg/L) samples of subsistence farmers from the Francisco J. Mújica communities. The glyphosate concentrations in groundwater and bottled drinking water indicate an exposure and excessive use of glyphosate in these agricultural communities. This is one of the first studies that reports glyphosate concentration levels in human urine and bottled drinking water in México and in the groundwater in the Yucatan Peninsula as part of a prospective pilot study, to which a follow-up will be performed to monitor this trend over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological and Human-Health Effects of Pesticides in the Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Risk Assessment of Florists Exposed to Pesticide Residues through Handling of Flowers and Preparing Bouquets
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(5), 526; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14050526 - 13 May 2017
Cited by 7
Abstract
Flowers are frequently treated with pesticides and, as a result, florists handling daily a large number of flowers can be exposed to pesticide residues. A study was conducted among twenty volunteer florists located in Namur Province and in the Brussels Capital Region of [...] Read more.
Flowers are frequently treated with pesticides and, as a result, florists handling daily a large number of flowers can be exposed to pesticide residues. A study was conducted among twenty volunteer florists located in Namur Province and in the Brussels Capital Region of Belgium in order to assess their potential dermal exposure to dislodgeable pesticide residues transferred from flowers to hands. Two pairs of cotton gloves were worn during two consecutive half days while handling flowers and preparing bouquets (from min 2 h to max 3 h/day). The residual pesticide deposits on the glove samples were extracted with a multi-residue Quick Easy Cheap Effective Rugged Safe (QuEChERS) method and analyzed by a combination of gas and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS and LC-MS/MS) by an accredited laboratory. A total of 111 active substances (mainly insecticides and fungicides) were detected, with an average of 37 active substances per sample and a total concentration per glove sample of 22.22 mg/kg. Several predictive levels of contamination were considered to assess the risk. The potential dermal exposures (PDE) of florists were estimated at the average, for different percentiles, and at the maximum concentration of residues in samples. At the PDE P90 and at the PDEMAX (or worst case) values, three and five active substances respectively exceed the Acceptable Operator Exposure Level (AOEL), indicating risk situations. For the systemic exposure (SE), one active substance (clofentezine) exceeds the AOEL at the P90 predictive level. In the worst case, SEMAX (at the maximum concentrations), four active substances (clofentezine, famoxadone, methiocarb, and pyridaben) exceed their respective AOEL values. Among the 14 most frequently detected active substances, two have SEMAX values exceeding the AOEL. Exposure could be particularly critical for clofentezine with an SEMAX value four times higher than the AOEL (393%). The exposure of florists appeared to be an example of a unique professional situation in which workers are exposed regularly to both a very high number of toxic chemicals and rather high concentration levels. Therefore the priority should be to raise the level of awareness among the florists who must change their habits and practices if they want to minimize their exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological and Human-Health Effects of Pesticides in the Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Maternal Exposure to Pyrethroid Insecticides during Pregnancy and Infant Development at 18 Months of Age
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14010052 - 08 Jan 2017
Cited by 8
Abstract
The possible association between maternal exposure to pyrethroid insecticides (PYRs) during pregnancy and infant development was explored. Levels of exposure to PYRs was assessed by metabolite (3-phenoybenzoic acid, 3-PBA) concentration in maternal spot urine sampled in the first trimester of index pregnancy, and [...] Read more.
The possible association between maternal exposure to pyrethroid insecticides (PYRs) during pregnancy and infant development was explored. Levels of exposure to PYRs was assessed by metabolite (3-phenoybenzoic acid, 3-PBA) concentration in maternal spot urine sampled in the first trimester of index pregnancy, and infant development was assessed at 18 months of age using the Kinder Infants Development Scale (KIDS), which is based on a questionnaire to the caretaker. The relationship between KIDS score and maternal urinary 3-PBA levels was examined by a stepwise multiple regression analysis using biological attributes of the mother and infant, breast feeding, and nursing environment as covariates. The analysis extracted 3-PBA and the nursing environment as significant to explain the KIDS score at 18 months of age with positive partial regression coefficients. Inclusion of fish consumption frequency of the mother during pregnancy as an independent variable resulted in the selection of fish consumption as significant, while the two variables were marginally insignificant but still with a positive coefficient with the KIDS score. The result suggested a positive effect of maternal PYR exposure on infant development, the reason for which is not clear, but an unknown confounding factor is suspected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological and Human-Health Effects of Pesticides in the Environment)
Open AccessArticle
Pesticide Use and Risk Perceptions among Small-Scale Farmers in Anqiu County, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14010029 - 30 Dec 2016
Cited by 20
Abstract
The unsafe use and misuse of pesticides in China are major threats to farmers’ health and the environment. The purpose of this study is to evaluate small-scale farmers’ practices with regard to pesticide use and identify the determinants of their behavior in Anqiu [...] Read more.
The unsafe use and misuse of pesticides in China are major threats to farmers’ health and the environment. The purpose of this study is to evaluate small-scale farmers’ practices with regard to pesticide use and identify the determinants of their behavior in Anqiu County, China. The results show that the frequency of pesticide application by local farmers is high and that the improper disposal of pesticides after use is common in the study area. Although most farmers felt that they were at some degree of risk when using pesticides, farmers were found to overuse pesticides in the study area. The probability of pesticide overuse significantly decreased with farmers’ risk perceptions, willingness to reduce pesticide use, better social relationships, and strict government monitoring. The perception of risk can thus be an important element in education and communication efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological and Human-Health Effects of Pesticides in the Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Changes in Composition and Function of Human Intestinal Microbiota Exposed to Chlorpyrifos in Oil as Assessed by the SHIME® Model
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1088; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111088 - 04 Nov 2016
Cited by 14
Abstract
The presence of pesticide residues in food is a public health problem. Exposure to these substances in daily life could have serious effects on the intestine—the first organ to come into contact with food contaminants. The present study investigated the impact of a [...] Read more.
The presence of pesticide residues in food is a public health problem. Exposure to these substances in daily life could have serious effects on the intestine—the first organ to come into contact with food contaminants. The present study investigated the impact of a low dose (1 mg/day in oil) of the pesticide chlorpyrifos (CPF) on the community structure, diversity and metabolic response of the human gut microbiota using the SHIME® model (six reactors, representing the different parts of the gastrointestinal tract). The last three reactors (representing the colon) were inoculated with a mixture of feces from human adults. Three time points were studied: immediately before the first dose of CPF, and then after 15 and 30 days of CPF-oil administration. By using conventional bacterial culture and molecular biology methods, we showed that CPF in oil can affect the gut microbiota. It had the greatest effects on counts of culturable bacteria (with an increase in Enterobacteria, Bacteroides spp. and clostridia counts, and a decrease in bifidobacterial counts) and fermentative activity, which were colon-segment-dependent. Our results suggest that: (i) CPF in oil treatment affects the gut microbiota (although there was some discordance between the culture-dependent and culture-independent analyses); (ii) the changes are “SHIME®-compartment” specific; and (iii) the changes are associated with minor alterations in the production of short-chain fatty acids and lactate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological and Human-Health Effects of Pesticides in the Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Pesticide Residues on Three Cut Flower Species and Potential Exposure of Florists in Belgium
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(10), 943; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13100943 - 23 Sep 2016
Cited by 8
Abstract
In order to assess the prevalence of pesticide contamination and the risk of florists’ exposure when handling cut flowers, sampling and analysis of 90 bouquets of the most commonly sold cut flowers in Belgium (50 bouquets of roses; 20 of gerberas, and 20 [...] Read more.
In order to assess the prevalence of pesticide contamination and the risk of florists’ exposure when handling cut flowers, sampling and analysis of 90 bouquets of the most commonly sold cut flowers in Belgium (50 bouquets of roses; 20 of gerberas, and 20 of chrysanthemums) were carried out. The bouquets were collected from 50 florists located in the seven largest cities of Belgium (Antwerp, Brussels, Charleroi, Ghent, Leuven, Liege, and Namur) and from five supermarkets located in the different regions. To have a better understanding of the route of exposure and professional practices a questionnaire was also addressed to a group of 25 florists who volunteered to take part in the survey. All florists were interviewed individually when collecting the questionnaire. The residual pesticide deposit values on cut flowers were determined in an accredited laboratory using a multi-residue (QuEChERS Quick Easy Cheap Effective Rugged Safe) method and a combination of gas chromatography (GC) and liquid chormatograhphy (LC) analysis. A total of 107 active substances were detected from all samples; i.e., an average of about 10 active substances per bouquet. The most severely contaminated bouquet accumulated a total concentration of residues up to 97 mg/kg. Results show that roses are the most contaminated cut flowers; with an average of 14 substances detected per sample and a total concentration per rose sample of 26 mg/kg. Some active substances present an acute toxicity (acephate, methiocarb, monocrotophos, methomyl, deltamethrin, etc.) and exposure can generate a direct effect on the nervous system of florists. Nevertheless, fungicides (dodemorph, propamocarb, and procymidone) were the most frequently detected in samples and had the highest maximum concentrations out of all the active substances analysed. Dodemorph was the most frequently detected substance with the highest maximum concentration (41.9 mg/kg) measured in the rose samples. It appears from the survey that, despite being exposed to high deposits of residues, florists usually do not protect themselves from contact with residues even if they spend several hours handling cut flowers and preparing bouquets (from 2 to 6 h/day, depending on the time of year and/or selling periods) daily. Bad habits (eating, drinking, or smoking at work) and absence of personal protective equipment of most florists also increase the risk of contact with pesticide residues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological and Human-Health Effects of Pesticides in the Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Dissipation and Residues of Dichlorprop-P and Bentazone in Wheat-Field Ecosystem
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 534; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13060534 - 26 May 2016
Cited by 5
Abstract
Dichlorprop-P and bentazone have been widely used in the prevention and control of weeds in wheat field ecosystems. There is a concern that pesticide residues and metabolites remain on or in the wheat. Thus, the study of the determination and monitoring of their [...] Read more.
Dichlorprop-P and bentazone have been widely used in the prevention and control of weeds in wheat field ecosystems. There is a concern that pesticide residues and metabolites remain on or in the wheat. Thus, the study of the determination and monitoring of their residues in wheat has important significance. A rapid, simple and reliable QuEChERS (Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged and Safe) method was modified, developed and validated for the determination of dichlorprop-P, bentazone and its metabolites (6-hydroxy-bentazone and 8-hydroxy-bentazone) in wheat (wheat plants, wheat straw and grains of wheat) using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS). The average recoveries of this method ranged from 72.9% to 108.7%, and the limits of quantification (LOQs) were 2.5–12 μg/kg. The dissipation and final residue of four compounds in three provinces (Shandong, Jiangsu and Heilongjiang) in China were studied. The trial results showed that the half-lives of dichlorprop-P and bentazone were 1.9–2.5 days and 0.5–2.4 days in wheat plants, respectively. The terminal residues in grains of wheat and wheat straw at harvest were all much below the maximum residue limit (MRL) of 0.2 mg/kg for dichlorprop-P and 0.1 mg/kg for bentazone established by the European Union (EU, Regulation No. 396/2005). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological and Human-Health Effects of Pesticides in the Environment)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Recent Advances in the Determination of Pesticides in Environmental Samples by Capillary Electrophoresis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 409; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040409 - 08 Apr 2016
Cited by 44
Abstract
Nowadays, owing to the increasing population and the attempts to satisfy its needs, pesticides are widely applied to control the quantity and quality of agricultural products. However, the presence of pesticide residues and their metabolites in environmental samples is hazardous to the health [...] Read more.
Nowadays, owing to the increasing population and the attempts to satisfy its needs, pesticides are widely applied to control the quantity and quality of agricultural products. However, the presence of pesticide residues and their metabolites in environmental samples is hazardous to the health of humans and all other living organisms. Thus, monitoring these compounds is extremely important to ensure that only permitted levels of pesticide are consumed. To this end, fast, reliable, and environmentally friendly methods that can accurately analyze dilute, complex samples containing both parent substances and their metabolites are required. Focusing primarily on research published since 2010, this review summarizes the use of various sample pretreatment techniques to extract pesticides from various matrices, combined with on-line preconcentration strategies for sensitivity improvement, and subsequent capillary electrophoresis analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological and Human-Health Effects of Pesticides in the Environment)
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