Environmental Pyrethroids May Be Associated With Behavioral Problems in Children

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Professor Jean-Francois Viel
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health
University Hospital
Rennes, France

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The use of pyrethroid insecticides has increased substantially throughout the world over the past several decades, replacing organophosphate and carbamate insecticides, because of their chemical potency against many pests, their relatively low mammalian toxicity and their favorable environmental profiles. However, despite the neurotoxicity of these insecticides at high doses, the potential impact of environmental exposure to pyrethroid insecticides on child neurodevelopment has only just started to receive attention.

Using a longitudinal design (PELAGIE mother-child cohort), we were able to assess pyrethroid exposure (trough urine concentrations) both prenatally and during childhood (at 6 years of age). We showed that increased prenatal concentrations of one pyrethroid metabolite (cis-DCCA, a metabolite of permethrin, cypermethrin and cyfluthrin) were associated with internalising difficulties (children showing behaviours that are inhibited and over-controlled).

Moreover, for childhood 3-PBA (a common metabolite of up to 20 synthetic pyrethroid insecticides) concentrations, a positive association was observed with externalising difficulties (children showing behaviours that are under-controlled and having generally a more challenging temperament).

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The current study suggests that exposure to certain pyrethroids at the low environmental doses encountered by the general public may be associated with behavioural disorders in children.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Assessing pyrethroid exposures in urine samples is challenging because they are cleared from the body in just a few days, with substantial within-person variability.
Further research investigating pesticides and health outcomes in children may need repeated biomarker measurements to derive more accurate estimates of exposure and associations.
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Citation:

Viel J, Rouget F, Warembourg C, et al

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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