Milken Institute School of Public Health Poster Presentations (Marvin Center & Video)

Title

Agricultural Pesticide Exposure and Congenital Abnormalities (CA) in Mexico: A Systematic Review

Poster Number

49

Document Type

Poster

Status

Graduate Student - Masters

Abstract Category

Environmental and Occupational Health

Keywords

pesticides; congenital; abnormalities; Mexico

Publication Date

4-2017

Abstract

Background: Pesticides have been used in Mexico for different purposes including agricultural and malarial control. Exposure to pesticides has been associated with congenital abnormalities (CA). CA are a public health concern in Mexico and can adversely affect the health of infants, be a financial strain on families (especially those of low socio-economic status) and health systems (Gomes-Alcala et al. 2012). Fetuses are highly vulnerable to the effects of environmental toxins and newborns of those engaged in occupations using agricultural pesticides or those living near areas treated with pesticides are susceptible to CA (Bustamante Montes et al. 2008). A growing number of studies have evaluated different factors that could play a role in the etiology of various CA associated with pesticide exposure.

Objective: This systematic review intended to identify literature that addressed the relationship between parental exposure to agricultural pesticides via agricultural work or agricultural areas and CA among infants of Mexican parents. The systematic review sought to communicate the findings of the association and to identify the strengths and limitations of the identified literature to make recommendations for further research.

Methods: Articles were identified using PubMed with secondary searches of Scopus, PubMed Central, ProQuest Environmental Science, Academic Search Complete, Popline and hand search of references of the identified articles.

Results: Seven studies were identified that investigated the association between agricultural pesticide exposure and CA in Mexico. Six of the studies observed a positive association between pesticide exposure of parent(s) and CA; one of the studies found no association. Five of the studies investigated exposure to specific pesticide(s) and two investigated general pesticide exposure. Five of the studies relied solely on self-reporting for ascertainment of exposure and/or outcome. Two of the studies used more objective methods, such as biomarkers and clinical diagnosis for both the exposure and outcome of interest. Five of the studies investigated specific CA while two of the studies investigated CA generally.

Conclusion:

The studies conducted to date were limited in the number that explicitly investigated the association between pesticide exposure among Mexican farmworkers and specific CA among their newborns. The current literature reviewed provided evidence to support the positive association between pesticide exposure and CA while demonstrating a need for improved exposure and outcome ascertainment. The strengths and weaknesses of the prior study designs and recommendations for how associations between pesticides and congenital abnormalities in Mexico can be investigated more rigorously will be presented.

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Open Access

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Comments

Poster to be presented at GW Annual Research Days 2017.

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Agricultural Pesticide Exposure and Congenital Abnormalities (CA) in Mexico: A Systematic Review

Background: Pesticides have been used in Mexico for different purposes including agricultural and malarial control. Exposure to pesticides has been associated with congenital abnormalities (CA). CA are a public health concern in Mexico and can adversely affect the health of infants, be a financial strain on families (especially those of low socio-economic status) and health systems (Gomes-Alcala et al. 2012). Fetuses are highly vulnerable to the effects of environmental toxins and newborns of those engaged in occupations using agricultural pesticides or those living near areas treated with pesticides are susceptible to CA (Bustamante Montes et al. 2008). A growing number of studies have evaluated different factors that could play a role in the etiology of various CA associated with pesticide exposure.

Objective: This systematic review intended to identify literature that addressed the relationship between parental exposure to agricultural pesticides via agricultural work or agricultural areas and CA among infants of Mexican parents. The systematic review sought to communicate the findings of the association and to identify the strengths and limitations of the identified literature to make recommendations for further research.

Methods: Articles were identified using PubMed with secondary searches of Scopus, PubMed Central, ProQuest Environmental Science, Academic Search Complete, Popline and hand search of references of the identified articles.

Results: Seven studies were identified that investigated the association between agricultural pesticide exposure and CA in Mexico. Six of the studies observed a positive association between pesticide exposure of parent(s) and CA; one of the studies found no association. Five of the studies investigated exposure to specific pesticide(s) and two investigated general pesticide exposure. Five of the studies relied solely on self-reporting for ascertainment of exposure and/or outcome. Two of the studies used more objective methods, such as biomarkers and clinical diagnosis for both the exposure and outcome of interest. Five of the studies investigated specific CA while two of the studies investigated CA generally.

Conclusion:

The studies conducted to date were limited in the number that explicitly investigated the association between pesticide exposure among Mexican farmworkers and specific CA among their newborns. The current literature reviewed provided evidence to support the positive association between pesticide exposure and CA while demonstrating a need for improved exposure and outcome ascertainment. The strengths and weaknesses of the prior study designs and recommendations for how associations between pesticides and congenital abnormalities in Mexico can be investigated more rigorously will be presented.