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Determinants of Agricultural Pesticide Concentrations in Carpet Dust

Environmental Health Perspectives
Environmental Health Perspectives
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1002532
  • Article
  • Agricultural Science
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Background: Residential proximity to agricultural pesticide applications has been used as a surrogate for exposure in epidemiologic studies, although little is known about the relationship with levels of pesticides in homes. Objective: We identified determinants of concentrations of agricultural pesticides in dust. Methods: We collected samples of carpet dust and mapped crops within 1,250 m of 89 residences in California. We measured concentrations of seven pesticides used extensively in agriculture (carbaryl, chlorpyrifos, chlorthal-dimethyl, diazinon, iprodione, phosmet, and simazine). We estimated use of agricultural pesticides near residences from a statewide database alone and by linking the database with crop maps. We calculated the density of pesticide use within 500 and 1,250 m of residences for 180, 365, and 730 days before collection of dust and evaluated relationships between agricultural pesticide use estimates and pesticide concentrations in carpet dust. Results: For five of the seven pesticides evaluated, residences with use of agricultural pesticides within 1,250 m during the previous 365 days had significantly higher concentrations of pesticides than did residences with no nearby use. The highest correlation with concentrations of pesticides was generally for use reported within 1,250 m of the residence and 730 days before sample collection. Regression models that also accounted for occupational and home use of pesticides explained only a modest amount of the variability in pesticide concentrations (4–28%). Conclusions: Agricultural pesticide use near residences was a significant determinant of concentrations of pesticides in carpet dust for five of seven pesticides evaluated.

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