Wastewater-based epidemiology to assess pan-European pesticide exposure

Rousis, N. I. et al. (2017) Wastewater-based epidemiology to assess pan-European pesticide exposure. Water Research, 121, pp. 270-279. (doi:10.1016/j.watres.2017.05.044) (PMID:28554112)

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Abstract

Human biomonitoring, i.e. the determination of chemicals and/or their metabolites in human specimens, is the most common and potent tool for assessing human exposure to pesticides, but it suffers from limitations such as high costs and biases in sampling. Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) is an innovative approach based on the chemical analysis of specific human metabolic excretion products (biomarkers) in wastewater, and provides objective and real-time information on xenobiotics directly or indirectly ingested by a population. This study applied the WBE approach for the first time to evaluate human exposure to pesticides in eight cities across Europe. 24 h-composite wastewater samples were collected from the main wastewater treatment plants and analyzed for urinary metabolites of three classes of pesticides, namely triazines, organophosphates and pyrethroids, by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The mass loads (mg/day/1000 inhabitants) were highest for organophosphates and lowest for triazines. Different patterns were observed among the cities and for the various classes of pesticides. Population weighted loads of specific biomarkers indicated higher exposure in Castellon, Milan, Copenhagen and Bristol for pyrethroids, and in Castellon, Bristol and Zurich for organophosphates. The lowest mass loads (mg/day/1000 inhabitants) were found in Utrecht and Oslo. These results were in agreement with several national statistics related to pesticides exposure such as pesticides sales. The daily intake of pyrethroids was estimated in each city and it was found to exceed the acceptable daily intake (ADI) only in one city (Castellon, Spain). This was the first large-scale application of WBE to monitor population exposure to pesticides. The results indicated that WBE can give new information about the “average exposure” of the population to pesticides, and is a useful complementary biomonitoring tool to study population-wide exposure to pesticides.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Yang, Dr Zhugen
Authors: Rousis, N. I., Gracia-Lor, E., Zuccato, E., Bade, R., Baz-Lomba, J. A., Castrignanò, E., Causanilles, A., Covaci, A., de Voogt, P., Hernàndez, F., Kasprzyk-Hordern, B., Kinyua, J., McCall, A.-K., Plósz, B. G., Ramin, P., Ryu, Y., Thomas, K. V., van Nuijs, A., Yang, Z., and Castiglioni, S.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Biomedical Engineering
Journal Name:Water Research
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0043-1354
ISSN (Online):1879-2448
Published Online:21 May 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd.
First Published:First published in Water Research 121: 270-279
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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