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EVALUATING COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE DERMAL WIPES, COTTON SUITES, AND ALTERNATIVE URINARY COLLECTION MATERIALS FOR PESTICIDE SAMPLING FROM INFANTS
Hu, Y., J. B. Beach, B A. Schumacher, AND G L. Robertson. EVALUATING COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE DERMAL WIPES, COTTON SUITES, AND ALTERNATIVE URINARY COLLECTION MATERIALS FOR PESTICIDE SAMPLING FROM INFANTS. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-04/087, 2004.
The overall objective of this task is to provide the Agency with improved state-of-the-science guidance, strategies, and techniques to more accurately and effectively collect environmental samples. Under this umbrella objective, research is being conducted to: (a) reduce/minimize the loss of VOCs during sample collection, handling, and preservation, (b) collect undisturbed surface sediments so that the effects of recent depositional events (e.g., flooding or dredging) can clearly be delineated as to their influence on the contamination concentrations present downstream (or where the sediments are deposited), and (c) to determine an effective method to effectively and efficiently separate asbestos in soils from the rest of the soil matrix while maintaining the integrity (i.e, no fiber size reduction) of the asbestos fibers.
As the Human Exposure Program focuses on the exposure of children to pesticides, there are concerns about the effect, or perceived effect, of components of the sampling procedure on the health and well-being of the infant and the ability to collect pesticide residues.
One concern involves the materials in wipes used to collect pesticide residues or other contact materials on the skin. In recent studies (e.g., National Human Exposure Assessment Survey; NHEXAS), isopropyl alcohol has been used as a solvent in conjunction with a cloth wipe to obtain samples from the hands of adults and children. Although isopropyl alcohol is generally considered innocuous, the use of commercially available products could eliminate concerns about exposure to alcohol. A few studies have evaluated the potential of commercially available baby wipes to collect personal exposure samples for metals research, but not for the area of pesticide research (Millson et al., 1994; Campbell et al., 1993; Lichtenwalner et al., 1993). Therefore, there is a need to evaluate the potential for using commercially available baby wipes for collecting pesticide samples from skin and other surfaces.
Another concern involves establishing a convenient and safe method for assessing overall dermal exposure for children, especially for those in crawling stage. One route that the U .S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would like to investigate is the use of cotton body suits (infant sleepers) as an indicator of potential dermal exposure. As a first step, it is important to determine effective cleaning procedures to remove background materials on the baby suits so that minimal interferences will be encountered when the suits are analyzed.
A final concern involves determining updated procedures to collect urine samples from infants and other pre-toilet trained children. Many of the currently established methods are designed for clinical settings and are difficult for parents to use at home. For example, the adhesive collection bag method involves applying glue to a young child's skin for bag attachment. This procedure is not only technically difficult, but is also problematic for children who are allergic to adhesives. Because the diaper or diaper- insert method is less invasive and convenient for field sampling, EPA is interested in developing a diaper liner or insert that will absorb the urine and will allow for subsequent extraction and analysis of urinary metabolites of pollutants.