Effects of pesticide exposure in children on respiratory health: post-natal exposure

First author [ref.]LocationStudy designSummary of methodResults
Population characteristicsPesticides of interestExposure assessmentHealth outcomes
Karmaus [37]GermanyCross-sectional343 second-grade school children in Hamburg, age: 7–10 yearsDDE, HCHChildren's blood (at 7–10 years): DDE (mean 0.32 µg·L−1); HCB (mean 0.22 µg·L−1)Parental self-report of doctor-diagnosed asthma (from ISAAC questionnaire)Exposure to DDE significantly associated with doctor-diagnosed asthma (OR 3.71, 95% CI 1.10–12.56)
Karmaus [38]GermanyCross-sectional338 second-grade school children in South Hesse, age: 7–10 yearsDDE, HCHChildren's blood (at 7–8 years): DDE (mean 0.29 µg·L−1)Parental self-report of doctor-diagnosed asthma (ISAAC questionnaire)No association between DDE and child's respiratory and allergic symptoms
Salameh [39]LebanonCross-sectional3291 children in public school, age: 5–16 yearsNot specifiedFour questions on pesticides exposure: households (at work, at home or garden treatment) and children (living in a heavily treated region, living in the proximity of a heavily treated field) No pesticides measuredParental self-report of doctor-diagnosed of asthma from ATS questionnaireAny type of exposure significantly associated with respiratory disease (OR 1.71, 95% CI 1.20–2.43) Para-occupational exposure associated with risk of asthma (OR 4.61, 95% CI 2.06–10.29) Residential exposure associated with wheezing (OR 2.73, 95% CI 1.85–4.05)
Salam [40]USACase–control of Children's Health Study (CHS)691 children from public school, including 279 cases and 412 controlsNot specifiedQuestions on children's herbicides and pesticides exposure: farm crops or dust No pesticides measuredTelephone questionnaire self-report of asthma at 5 years of ageHigher risk of asthma at 5 years of age in children exposed to herbicides (OR 4.58, 95% CI 1.58–5.56) and pesticide (OR 2.39, 95% CI 1.17–4.89) in the first year of life
Duramad [41]USABirth cohort of the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas412 mother–infant pairs, age: 2 yearsOrganophosphate and pyrethroid insecticidesHome inspection during pregnancy, shortly after delivery and at 6, 12, and 24 months Information collected on agricultural work of mother and father and other household members, and home pesticide use No pesticides measuredFace-to-face questionnaire of asthma symptoms Medical records from 24 months: diagnosis of asthma, eczema, bronchitis, bronchiolitis, or pneumoniaSignificantly higher Th2 cytokine level (biomarker of allergic asthma) in children of women who worked in the fields (p=0.001) Maternal agricultural work associated with higher Th2 cytokine levels in children (p=0.04)
Tagiyeva [42]UKProspective cohort13 971 children surviving to 1 year, age: 7.5 years (91 months)Biocides and fungicidesChildren's exposure determined by parental job-exposure matrix No pesticides measuredParental report of children's wheeze at age 6, 18, 30, 42, 54, 69 and 81 months At 91 months: question on ever doctor-diagnosed asthma in childrenMaternal post-natal exposure associated with: wheeze at 81 months of age (OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.02–2.05); doctor-diagnosed asthma at 91 months (OR 1.47, 95% CI 1.14–1.88)
Xu [43]USACross-sectional of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey14 065 children, age: 0–17 yearsNot specifiedQuestions on children's pesticides exposure at home and/or yard No pesticides measuredParental face-to-face questionnaire report of doctor-diagnosed asthma, and information about acute respiratory problems (wheezing, dry cough and chronic symptoms) reported by parentsPesticide use in the kitchen or dining room and wheezing (OR 1.39, 95% CI 1.08–1.78) and dry cough (OR 2.38, 95% CI 1.40–4.06)
  • DDE: dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene; HCH: hexachlorocyclohexane; HCB: hexachlorobenzene; ISAAC: International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood; ATS: American Thoracic Society; Th2: T-helper cell type 2.