The Science of the total environment | 21 Jun 2013
AJ Sugeng, PI Beamer, EA Lutz and CB Rosales
With thousands of pesticides registered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, it not feasible to sample for all pesticides applied in agricultural communities. Hazard-ranking pesticides based on use, toxicity, and exposure potential can help prioritize community-specific pesticide hazards. This study applied hazard-ranking schemes for cancer, endocrine disruption, and reproductive/developmental toxicity in Yuma County, Arizona. An existing cancer hazard-ranking scheme was modified, and novel schemes for endocrine disruption and reproductive/developmental toxicity were developed to rank pesticide hazards. The hazard-ranking schemes accounted for pesticide use, toxicity, and exposure potential based on chemical properties of each pesticide. Pesticides were ranked as hazards with respect to each health effect, as well as overall chronic health effects. The highest hazard-ranked pesticides for overall chronic health effects were maneb, metam-sodium, trifluralin, pronamide, and bifenthrin. The relative pesticide rankings were unique for each health effect. The highest hazard-ranked pesticides differed from those most heavily applied, as well as from those previously detected in Yuma homes over a decade ago. The most hazardous pesticides for cancer in Yuma County, Arizona were also different from a previous hazard-ranking applied in California. Hazard-ranking schemes that take into account pesticide use, toxicity, and exposure potential can help prioritize pesticides of greatest health risk in agricultural communities. This study is the first to provide pesticide hazard-rankings for endocrine disruption and reproductive/developmental toxicity based on use, toxicity, and exposure potential. These hazard-ranking schemes can be applied to other agricultural communities for prioritizing community-specific pesticide hazards to target decreasing health risk.
* Data courtesy of Altmetric.com