Childhood Exposure to Agricultural Pesticides
ESTIMATED DAILY INTAKE OF PESTICIDES AND XENOESTROGENIC EXPOSURE BY FRUIT CONSUMPTION IN THE FEMALE POPULATION FROM A MEDITERRANEAN COUNTRY (SPAIN) Iñigo-Nuñez S. et al.,
Food Control 21(4):471-477 (2010) http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2009.07.009
Concentrations of pesticides were measured in apples and orange juice in markets of Madrid, Spain. While orange juice samples contained residues from organophosphates only, nearly 75% of apple samples contained a combination of organochlorines, organophosphates, carbamates, pyrethroids and more. Authors voice their concern “that prepubescent girls accounted for the highest percentages of estimated daily intakes of pesticides from fruit.”
PESTICIDES IN THE DIETS OF INFANTS AND CHILDREN Commission on Life Sciences, National Research Council,
National Academy Press. (1993) http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309048753
This is an EPA supported and pier reviewed report. Current approaches to regulate pesticide residues in foods are not considering the amplified risk to infants and children. Furthermore, patterns of exposure that have emerged through studies are not being considered. Variations in diet and health risk related to age, geographic region and ethnicity should be considered for better understanding of toxin intake and affect.
Here is a small excerpt from this thorough book.
"PESTICIDES ARE USED WIDELY in agriculture in the United States. Their application has improved crop yields and has increased the quantity of fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet, thereby contributing to improvements in public health. But pesticides may also cause harm. Some can damage the environment and accumulate in ecosystems. And depending on dose, some pesticides can cause a range of adverse effects on human health, including cancer, acute and chronic injury to the nervous system, lung damage, reproductive dysfunction, and possibly dysfunction of the endocrine and immune systems.
This report addresses the question of whether current regulatory approaches for controlling pesticide residues in foods adequately protect infants and children. The exposure of infants and children and their susceptibility to harm from ingesting pesticide residues may differ from that of adults. The current regulatory system does not, however, specifically consider infants and children. It does not examine the wide range of pesticide exposure patterns that appear to exist within the U.S. population. It looks only at the average exposure of the entire population. As a consequence, variations in dietary exposure to pesticides and health risks related to age and to such other factors as geographic region and ethnicity are not addressed in current regulatory practice.
Concern about the potential vulnerability of infants and children to dietary pesticides led to U.S. Congress in 1988 to request that the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) appoint a committee to study this issue through its National Research Council (NRC). In response, the NRC appointed a Committee on Pesticide Residues in the Diets of Infants and Children under the joint aegis of the Board on Agriculture and the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology.
The committee was charged with responsibility for examining scientific and policy issues faced by government agencies, particularly EPA, in regulating pesticide residues in foods consumed by infants and children. Specifically, the committee was asked to examine the adequacy of current risk assessment policies and methods; to assess information on the dietary intakes of infants and children; to evaluate data on pesticide residues in the food supply; to identify toxicological issues of greatest concern; and to develop relevant research priorities.
The committee found both quantitative and occasionally qualitative differences in toxicity of pesticides between children and adults . Qualitative differences in toxicity are the consequence of exposures during special windows of vulnerability—brief periods early in development when exposure to a toxicant can permanently alter the structure or function of an organ system. Classic examples include chloramphenicol exposure of newborns and vascular collapse (gray baby syndrome), tetracycline and dysplasia of the dental enamel, and lead and altered neurologic development.
Quantitative differences in pesticide toxicity between children and adults are due in part to age-related differences in absorption, metabolism, detoxification, and excretion of xenobiotic compounds, that is, to differences in both pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes. Differences in size, immaturity of biochemical and physiological functions in major body systems, and variation in body composition (water, fat, protein, and mineral content) all can influence the extent of toxicity. Because newborns are the group most different anatomically and physiologically from adults, they may exhibit the most pronounced quantitative differences in sensitivity to pesticides. The committee found that quantitative differences in toxicity between children and adults are usually less than a factor of approximately 10-fold.
The committee therefore had to rely mostly on incomplete information derived from studies in mature animals and on chemicals other than pesticides.
The committee reviewed current EPA requirements for toxicity testing by pesticide manufacturers, as well as testing modifications proposed by the agency. In general, the committee found that current and past studies conducted by pesticide manufacturers are designed primarily to assess pesticide toxicity in sexually mature animals. Only a minority of testing protocols have supported extrapolation to infant and adolescent animals. Current testing protocols do not, for the most part, adequately address the toxicity and metabolism of pesticides in neonates and adolescent animals or the effects of exposure during early developmental stages and their sequelae in later life." (Commission on Life Sciences p.1-3)
DIETARY INTAKE AND ITS CONTRIBUTION TO LONGITUDINAL ORGANOPHOSPHORUS PESTICIDE EXPOSURE IN URBAN/SUBURBAN CHILDREN. Lu C. et al.,
Environmental Health Perspectives, 116(4):537-542. (2008) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2290988/
The organophosphate pesticides, malathion and chlorpyrifos, were detected in the urine of children in the Seattle, WA area. This study was conducted to determine if the source of these OP pesticides were from dietary intake. The children were given an organic diet of fruits and vegetables for a 5-day period, after which their urine was again tested for malathion and chlorpyrifos and results found nearly undetectable levels. These results support the possibility that most, if not all, of the exposure to organophosphorus pesticides in children is due to dietary intake.