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Daily News Archive
From May 30, 2002

Study Finds Widespread Use of Pesticides During Pregnancy and Detectable Levels of Pesticides Among Minority Women

A recently published study in Environmental Health Perspectives documents exposure to pesticides used in low income homes, specifically the exposures of 316 African-American and Dominican women in New York City. "Residential Pesticide Use During Pregnancy Among a Cohort of Urban Minority Women," published in the May 2002 issue (vol 110, no 5, pp 507-514) finds that 100% of all women monitored had detectable levels of the pesticides diazinon, chlorpyrifos, propoxur and o-phenylophenol and 30% had detectable levels of eight pesticides. Exposure assessments were determined by monitoring 72 women's personal air monitors for 48 hours during their third trimester of pregnancy, to help confirm self-reported questionnaire data.

85% of the woman reported using pesticides in their home during pregnancy, roach control being the primary purpose of uses. 9% reported the purchase of illegal pesticides. Exposure levels were higher for African-American woman than for Dominicans. And housing disrepair was closely correlated to the increased use of pesticides.

The authors state that "Diazinon exposures for some women may have exceeded health-based levels, and [the] findings support recent federal action to phase out residential use of this insecticide."

For a copy of the study, see http://ehpnet1.niehs.nih.gov/docs/2002/110-5/toc.html.