Research Grants/Fellowships/SBIR

2004 Progress Report: Pesticide Exposure Pathways Research Project

EPA Grant Number: R831709C004
Subproject: this is subproject number 004 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R831709
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: University of Washington
Center Director: Faustman, Elaine
Title: Pesticide Exposure Pathways Research Project
Investigators: Faustman, Elaine
Institution: University of Washington
Current Institution: University of Washington
EPA Project Officer: Callan, Richard
Project Period: November 1, 2003 through October 31, 2008 (Extended to October 31, 2010)
Project Period Covered by this Report: November 1, 2003 through October 31, 2004
RFA: Centers for Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research (2003) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Children's Health , Health Effects , Health



The objective of this research project is to improve our understanding of critical pathways of pesticide exposure for children.

Progress Summary:

Previously, we conducted research to examine children’s exposure pathways from an aerial application of organophosphorus pesticide.  This study used a combination of ambient monitoring techniques to measure and model spray drift and biomonitoring to study individual exposures.  Novel global positioning system personal activity logger (known as GPS-PAL) devices were developed and used to study activity patterns in relation to the spray event.  We now are preparing manuscripts to report results from the “Washington Aerial Spray Drift Study.”  Both inhalation and surface deposition exposure routes were documented in the study; a paper reporting the results from the volatilization modeling and measurements was accepted recently for publication.  Additional papers describing other components of the study are in preparation or in review.


Children’s activities during and following the spray event contributed strongly to exposure variability in different pathways.  Surface deposition varied over more than three orders of magnitude.  Only relatively small areas were impacted by primary drift, and play by a few individuals in these areas impacted by surface deposition likely contributed to dermal exposure pathways.  Significant volatilization also was observed during periods of high ambient temperature a few hours after the spray event; this could have contributed unexpected inhalation exposures, in addition to surface contact.  Indoor surfaces in the homes were not impacted by drift and this appears to result from strategies employed by the residents to avoid exposures during the spray event.

Future Activities:

Observations and Modeling of Airborne Spray Aerosols and Deposition Parameters 

Working with Dr. Allan Felsot at Washington State University (WSU), we will conduct field observations of a spray event in Prosser, Washington.  The spray will entail an air blast application in a working orchard, with the active ingredient (phosmet) provided by us and application occurring after the normal harvest ends (because of preharvest treatment restrictions).  The spray will be performed by a WSU applicator with our direction regarding suitable meteorology and sample collection procedures.  This study would include real-time Lidar observations, active air sampling, and passive deposition samples done concurrently by WSU and University of Washington (UW) research teams.  The study also will include an application using a drift retardant to measure the effect on surface deposition.  A doctoral student working on this project, Ming-Yi Tsai, will lead the field sample collection by UW. 

Construction of a GIS Data Set With Estimates of Pesticide Use in Yakima County 

We have decided to build on existing geographic information system (GIS) data of pesticide use in Yakima County collected by a previous student working on this research project.  The data set describes crop cover and pesticide use near selected residential farm locations in Yakima County.  We will expand this data set to include the entire county, using the georeferenced data in conjunction with satellite imagery (Landsat 7 and EO-1 platforms), to build a crop and land-use classification model.  The crop classification model will use reflectance data from the satellite images and will be cross-validated with ground truth observations in the existing data set, augmented with additional field observations for some crops.  Existing literature suggests that such a classification model can be made to

Journal Articles on this Report : 1 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other subproject views: All 8 publications 4 publications in selected types All 4 journal articles
Other center views: All 175 publications 127 publications in selected types All 107 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Ramaprasad J, Tsai M-Y, Elgethun K, Hebert VR, Felsot A, Yost MG, Fenske RA. The Washington aerial spray drift study: assessment of off-target organophosphorus insecticide atmospheric movement by plant surface volatilization. Atmospheric Environment 2004;38(33):5703-5713. R831709 (2005)
R831709 (2007)
R831709C004 (2004)
  • Full-text: Science Direct-Full Text HTML
  • Abstract: Science Direct-Abstract
  • Other: Science Direct-Full Text PDF
  • Supplemental Keywords:

    children’s health, epidemiology, genetics, health risk assessment, risk assessment, assessment of exposure, asthma, children’s environmental health, diesel exhaust, environmental risks, exposure assessment, genetic mechanisms, genetic risk factors, genetic susceptibility, maternal exposure, nutritional risk factors,, RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, Environmental Chemistry, Health Risk Assessment, Biochemistry, Children's Health, Risk Assessment, health effects, pesticide exposure, environmental health, community-based intervention, developmental neurotoxicity, environmental risks, biological response, Human Health Risk Assessment, biomonitoring, children's vulnerablity, assessment of exposure, exposure pathways, children's environmental health, agricultural community

    Relevant Websites: Exit

    Progress and Final Reports:
    Original Abstract
    2005 Progress Report
    2006 Progress Report
    2007 Progress Report

    Main Center Abstract and Reports:
    R831709    University of Washington

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R831709C001 Molecular Mechanisms of Pesticide-Induced Developmental Toxicity
    R831709C002 Genetic Susceptibility to Pesticides
    R831709C003 Community-Based Participatory Research Project
    R831709C004 Pesticide Exposure Pathways Research Project