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Arch Environ Health. 2004 Nov;59(11):559-65.

Serum DDT and DDE levels in pregnant women of Chiapas, Mexico.

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  • 1School of Public Health, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720-7360, USA.


The authors measured the main ingredients of technical DDT (1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl [p,p'-DDT]) and its principal metabolite, 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis (p-chlorophenyl)ethylene [p,p'-DDE]) in serum collected from 52 pregnant women in Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico in 1998. The median lipid-adjusted serum levels for the women were 676 ng/g p,p'-DDT (range: 56-23,169 ng/g) and 4,843 ng/g p,p'-DDE (range: 113-41,964 ng/g). In regression analysis, serum DDT and DDE increased with age (test for trend, p = .022) but decreased with total lactation (test for trend, p < .001). Residence in a house that had ever been sprayed for malaria control was also related to serum DDT and DDE. This study provides evidence of high-level exposure to DDT and DDE among pregnant women living in Chiapas, Mexico, despite countrywide restrictions on its use at the time.

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