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Environ Health Perspect. 2005 Jun;113(6):782-6.

Environmental health assessment of deltamethrin in a malarious area of Mexico: environmental persistence, toxicokinetics, and genotoxicity in exposed children.

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Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Autónoma, San Luis Potosí, México.


We reported previously that children are exposed to deltamethrin in malarious areas. In the present work we explored the levels of this insecticide in soil samples and also obtained relevant toxicokinetic data of deltamethrin in exposed children. Results show that, after spraying, indoor levels of deltamethrin in soil samples were higher than outdoor levels. The mean half-life estimated with these data was 15.5 days for outdoor samples and 15.4 days for indoor samples. Children's exposure to deltamethrin was assessed using as biomarkers the urinary concentrations of the metabolites 3-phenoxybenzoic acid (3-PBA) and cis-3-(2,2-dibromovinyl)-2,2-dimethylcyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (Br2CA). The mean level of both biomarkers reached a peak within the first 24 hr postexposure; 6 months after the initial exposure, urinary levels of 3-PBA and Br2CA were found at levels observed before exposure. Approximately 91% of the total 3-PBA or Br2CA was excreted during the first 3 days after exposure. Therefore, we estimated a half-life for this period, the values for 3-PBA and Br2CA being almost identical (13.5 vs. 14.5 hr). Finally, considering reports about the genotoxicity of deltamethrin, we assessed DNA damage in children before and 24 hr after indoor spraying of deltamethrin; we found no differences in the comet assay end points. In conclusion, we observed exposure to deltamethrin in children, but we did not find any relationship between soil concentrations of deltamethrin and urinary levels of the metabolites. At least for genotoxicity, the exposed children appeared not to be at risk.

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