Temporal variability of urinary levels of nonpersistent insecticides in adult men

John D. Meeker, Dana B. Barr, Louise Ryan, Robert F. Herrick, Deborah H Bennett, Roberto Bravo, Russ Hauser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Widespread application of contemporary-use insecticides results in low-level exposure for a majority of the population through a variety of pathways. Urinary insecticide biomarkers account for all exposure pathways, but failure to account for temporal within-subject variability of urinary levels can lead to exposure misclassification. To examine temporal variability in urinary markers of contemporary-use insecticides, nine repeated urine samples were collected over 3 months from 10 men participating in an ongoing study of male reproductive health. These 90 samples were analyzed for urinary metabolites of chlorpyrifos (3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol (TCPY)) and carbaryl (1-naphthol (1N)). Volume- based (unadjusted), as well as creatinine (CRE)- and specific gravity (SG)-adjusted concentrations were measured. TCPY had low reliability with an intraclass correlation coefficient between 0.15 and 0.21, while IN was moderately reliable with an intraclass correlation coefficient between 0.55 and 0.61. When the 10 men were divided into tertiles based on 3-month geometric mean TCPY and 1N levels, a single urine sample performed adequately in classifying a subject into the highest or lowest exposure tertiles. Sensitivity and specificity ranged from 0.44 to 0.84 for TCPY and from 0.56 to 0.89 for IN. Some differences in the results between unadjusted metabolite concentrations and concentrations adjusted for CRE and SG were observed. Questionnaires were used to assess diet in the 24 h preceding the collection of each urine sample. In mixed-effects models, TCPY was significantly associated with season as well as with consuming grapes and cheese, while IN levels were associated with consuming strawberries. In conclusion, although a single sample adequately predicted longer-term average exposure, a second sample collected at least 1 month following the first sample would reduce exposure measurement error.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-281
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Exposure Analysis and Environmental Epidemiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomonitoring
  • Carbaryl
  • Chlorpyrifos
  • Exposure assessment
  • Insecticides
  • Measurement error

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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