Concentrations of the urinary pyrethroid metabolite 3-phenoxybenzoic acid in farm worker families in the MICASA study

Kelly J. Trunnelle, Deborah H Bennett, Ki Chang Ahn, Marc B Schenker, Daniel J Tancredi, Shirley J. Gee, Maria T. Stoecklin-Marois, Bruce D. Hammock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Indoor pesticide exposure is a growing concern, particularly from pyrethroids, a commonly used class of pesticides. Pyrethroid concentrations may be especially high in homes of immigrant farm worker families who often live in close proximity to agricultural fields, and are faced with poor housing conditions, causing higher pest infestation and more pesticide use. We investigate exposure of farm worker families to pyrethroids in a study of mothers and children living in Mendota, CA within the population-based Mexican Immigration to California: Agricultural Safety and Acculturation (MICASA) Study. We present pyrethroid exposure based on an ELISA analysis of urinary metabolite 3-phenoxybenzoic acid (3PBA) levels among 105 women and 103 children. The median urinary 3PBA levels (children=2.56. ug/g creatinine, mothers=1.46. ug/g creatinine) were higher than those reported in population based studies for the United States general population, but similar to or lower than studies with known high levels of pyrethroid exposure. A positive association was evident between poor housing conditions and the urinary metabolite levels, showing that poor housing conditions are a contributing factor to the higher levels of 3PBA seen in the urine of these farm worker families. Further research is warranted to fully investigate sources of exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-159
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Research
StatePublished - 2014


  • 3PBA
  • Children
  • Farm worker
  • Pyrethroid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Biochemistry


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