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Environ Sci Technol. 2013 Feb 19;47(4):2018-25. doi: 10.1021/es303912n. Epub 2013 Feb 7.

Household pesticide contamination from indoor pest control applications in urban low-income public housing dwellings: a community-based participatory research.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 401 Park Drive, Landmark Center West Boston Massachusetts 02215, USA. cslu@hsph.harvard.edu

Abstract

We designed this community-based participatory research (CBPR) project aiming to generate evidence-based research results to encourage residents living in urban low-income public housing dwellings engaging in a community-wide integrated pest management (IPM) program with the intention to improve their health and quality of life, as well as household conditions. We enrolled 20 families and their children in this study in which we utilized environmental exposure assessment (surface wipe and indoor air) tools to quantitatively assessing residential pesticide exposure in young children before the implementation of an IPM program. We analyzed those samples for 19 organophosphate (OP) and pyrethroid pesticides. The most commonly detected pesticides were pyrethroids, particularly permethrin and cypermethrin with average concentrations of 2.47 and 3.87 μg/m(2), respectively. In many dwellings, we detected OPs, which are no longer available on the market; however, their levels are significantly lower than those of pyrethroids. None of the 20 families was free from pesticide contamination in their households, and pesticides were commonly detected in living room and children's bedroom. The correlation among household hygienic conditions, the sighting of live pests/pest debris, and the degree of indoor pesticide contamination highlights the failure of conventional chemical-based applications for pest controls. The results from the current study, as well as other recent studies, conducted in low-income public housing, child care centers, and randomly selected homes in the U.S. should accentuate the need for alternative pest management programs that incorporate safer and more sustainable protocols for pest controls.

PMID:
23363037
PMCID:
PMC3578288
DOI:
10.1021/es303912n
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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