We studied environmental and dietary exposure to pesticides in the Czech cohort.
Diet is an important exposure pathway to tebuconazole.
Bread and peaches/apricots were associated with urinary pesticide metabolites.
Organic strawberries were associated with lower urinary pyrethroid metabolites.
We used robust and replicable models for quantifying air pesticide emissions.
In this study, we aimed to characterise exposure to pyrethroids, organophosphates, and tebuconazole through multiple pathways in 110 parent–child pairs participating in the CELSPAC–SPECIMEn study.
First, we estimated the daily intake (EDI) of pesticides based on measured urinary metabolites. Second, we compared EDI with estimated pesticide intake from food. We used multiple linear regression to identify the main predictors of urinary pesticide concentrations. We also assessed the relationship between urinary pesticide concentrations and organic and non-organic food consumption while controlling for a range of factors. Finally, we employed a model to estimate inhalation and dermal exposure due to spray drift and volatilization after assuming pesticide application in crop fields.
EDI was often higher in children in comparison to adults, especially in the winter season. A comparison of food intake estimates and EDI suggested diet as a critical pathway of tebuconazole exposure, less so in the case of organophosphates. Regression models showed that consumption per g of peaches/apricots was associated with an increase of 0.37% CI [0.23% to 0.51%] in urinary tebuconazole metabolite concentrations. Consumption of white bread was associated with an increase of 0.21% CI [0.08% to 0.35%], and consumption of organic strawberries was inversely associated (-61.52% CI [-79.34% to -28.32%]), with urinary pyrethroid metabolite concentrations. Inhalation and dermal exposure seemed to represent a relatively small contribution to pesticide exposure as compared to dietary intake.
In our study population, findings indicate diet plays a significant role in exposure to the analysed pesticides. We found an influence of potential exposure due to spray drift and volatilization among the subpopulation residing near presumably sprayed crop fields to be minimal in comparison. However, the lack of data indicating actual spraying occurred during the critical 24-hour period prior to urine sample collection could be a significant contributing factor.