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Pesticide Transfer Efficiencies from Household Surfaces to Foods

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Abstract:Traditional dietary pesticide exposure assessments have focused on contamination during production (e.g., pesticides in agriculture). However, recent residential monitoring studies have demonstrated that a significant portion of infant and children's total exposure can result from food contamination in homes following residential pesticide usage. These exposures, termed excess dietary exposure, includes direct contact between foods handled by children and contaminated surfaces. Limited data exists concerning these transfers, but they have been shown to be a critical element in estimating children's excess dietary exposure. This study was conducted to determine the transfer efficiencies (%) of pesticides (organophosphate, pyrethroid, and pyrazole insecticides) from a household surface to bologna, apple, and Fruit Roll-Ups?, which are representative foods (i.e., meat, fruit, and snack foods) handled and eaten by children. The moisture and fat content of each food was also determined as tools for predicting transfer.

The highest transfer efficiencies were observed for the organophosphate pesticides to bologna (56-79%) with lower transfers to apples (20-37%) and Fruit Roll-Ups (6-17%). Transfer efficiencies of pyrethroid pesticides to bologna, apples, and Fruit Roll-Ups were 33-52%, 12-34% and 3%, respectively. Fipronil (pyrazole) had a similar transfer to pyrethroids (bologna 39-45%, apple 13-41%, and Fruit Roll-Up 4%). The average percent fat and moisture content for bologna, apples, and Fruit Roll-Ups were 30%, 1%, 7% and 54%, 85%, 11%, respectively. Although neither percent fat nor moisture content projected the ranking of transfer between the foods, combined they may provide a better prediction. These results suggest food type and chemical properties of the pesticide affect transfer. Study findings coupled with models under development will be used to generate more accurate estimates of excess dietary exposure to infants and children in homes where pesticides are used.
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Citation:Bernard, C. E., M. R. Berry Jr., and L. J. Melnyk. Pesticide Transfer Efficiencies from Household Surfaces to Foods. Presented at International Society of Exposure Analysis National Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, October 17-21, 2004.
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Contact: Mary P. O'Bryant - (919)-541-4871 or obriant.mary@epa.gov
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Division: Microbiological & Chemical Exposure Assessment Division
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Branch: Chemical Exposure Research Branch
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Product Type: Abstrct/Oral
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Presented: 10/17/2004
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Related Entries:
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Bullet Item Dietary Intake of Young Children
spacer Relationship Reason:   A Project of the Product
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Last Updated on Monday, October 22, 2007
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