Background: In the Netherlands organophosphate (OP) pesticides are frequently used for pest control in agricultural settings. Despite concerns about the potential health impacts of low-level OP pesticides exposure, particularly in vulnerable populations, the primary sources of exposure remain unclear. The present study was designed to investigate the levels of DAP metabolites concentrations across pregnancy and to examine various determinants of DAP metabolite concentrations among an urban population of women in the Netherlands. Method: Urinary concentrations of six dialkyl phosphate (DAP) metabolites, the main urinary metabolites of OP pesticides, were determined at <18, 18-25, and >25 weeks of pregnancy in 784 pregnant women participating in the Generation R Study (between 2004 and 2006), a large population-based birth cohort in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Questionnaires administered prenatally assessed demographic and lifestyle characteristics and maternal diet. Linear mixed models, with adjustment for relevant covariates, were used to estimate associations between the potential exposure determinants and DAP metabolite concentrations expressed as molar concentrations divided by creatinine levels. Results: The median DAP metabolite concentration was 311 nmol/g creatinine for the first trimester, 317 nmol/g creatinine for the second trimester, and 310 nmol/g creatinine for the third trimester. Higher maternal age, married/living with a partner, underweight or normal weight (BMI of <18.5 and 18.5-<25), high education, high income, and non-smoking were associated with higher DAP metabolite concentrations, and DAP metabolite concentrations tended to be higher during the summer. Furthermore, fruit intake was associated with increased DAP metabolite concentrations. Each 100 g/d difference in fruit consumption was associated with a 7% higher total DAP metabolite concentration across pregnancy. Other food groups were not associated with higher DAP metabolite concentrations. Conclusions: The DAP metabolite concentrations measured in the urine of pregnant women in the Netherlands were higher than those in most other studies previously conducted. Fruit intake was the main dietary source of exposure to OP pesticides in young urban women in the Netherlands. The extent to which DAP metabolite concentrations reflect exposure to the active parent pesticide rather than to less toxic metabolites remains unclear. Further research will be undertaken to investigate the possible effects of this relatively high level OP pesticides exposure on offspring health.

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International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health
Generation R Study Group

van den Dries, M.A. (Michiel A.), Pronk, A., Guxens Junyent, M., Spaan, S., Voortman, T., Jaddoe, V., … Tiemeier, H. (2018). Determinants of organophosphate pesticide exposure in pregnant women: A population-based cohort study in the Netherlands. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health. doi:10.1016/j.ijheh.2018.01.013