Characterization of Residential Pesticide Use and Chemical Formulations through Self-Report and Household Inventory: The Northern California Childhood Leukemia Study
Neela Guha,1,2 Mary H. Ward,3 Robert Gunier,1 Joanne S. Colt,3 C. Suzanne Lea,4 Patricia A. Buffler,1* and Catherine Metayer1*
1School of Public Health, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California, USA; 2International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France; 3National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA; 4Department of Public Health, Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA
Background: Home and garden pesticide use has been linked to cancer and other health outcomes in numerous epidemiological studies. Exposure has generally been self-reported, so the assessment is potentially limited by recall bias and lack of information on specific chemicals.
Objectives: As part of an integrated assessment of residential pesticide exposure, we identified active ingredients and described patterns of storage and use.
Methods: During a home interview of 500 residentially stable households enrolled in the Northern California Childhood Leukemia Study during 2001–2006, trained interviewers inventoried residential pesticide products and queried participants about their storage and use. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency registration numbers, recorded from pesticide product labels, and pesticide chemical codes were matched to public databases to obtain information on active ingredients and chemical class. Poisson regression was used to identify independent predictors of pesticide storage. Analyses were restricted to 259 participating control households.
Results: Ninety-five percent (246 of 259) of the control households stored at least one pesticide product (median, 4). Indicators of higher sociodemographic status predicted more products in storage. We identified the most common characteristics: storage areas (garage, 40%; kitchen, 20%), pests treated (ants, 33%; weeds, 20%), pesticide types (insecticides, 46%; herbicides, 24%), chemical classes (pyrethroids, 77%; botanicals, 50%), active ingredients (pyrethrins, 43%) and synergists (piperonyl butoxide, 42%). Products could contain multiple active ingredients.
Conclusions: Our data on specific active ingredients and patterns of storage and use will inform future etiologic analyses of residential pesticide exposures from self-reported data, particularly among households with young children.
Key words: exposure assessment, pesticides, population-based study, residential pesticide use, U.S. EPA.
Environ Health Perspect 121:276–282 (2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1204926 [Online 24 October 2012]
Address correspondence to C. Metayer, 1995 University Ave., Suite 460, Berkeley, CA 94704-7392 USA. Telephone: (510) 643-1156. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
*These authors contributed equally to this article.
Supplemental Material is available online (http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1204926).
This research could not have been conducted without the strong support from the families of the study participants and the clinical collaborators at participating hospitals: J. Ducore, M. Loh, K. Matthay, V. Crouse, G. Dahl, J. Feusner, K. Jolly, V. Kiley, A. Wong, C. Russo, K. Leung, D. Kronish, and S. Month. We acknowledge the staff at the Northern California Childhood Leukemia Study and the Survey Research Center for their effort and dedication, particularly S. Selvin and M. Mooney. We also thank the peer-reviewers and our colleagues at the International Agency for Research on Cancer for their insightful comments, particularly S. Antoni, K. Straif, G. Byrnes, V. McCormack, and V. Fedirko.
This work was supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS; grants R01ES009137 and P42ES04705), and partially funded by the Intramural Research Program of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH; subcontracts 7590-S-04 and 7590-S-01, and contract N02-CP-11015).
The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIEHS and NCI of the NIH.
The authors declare they have no actual or potential competing financial interests.
Received 5 January 2012; Accepted 24 October 2012; Online 24 October 2012.
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