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A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2011)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Jane A. Hoppin

Epidemiology Branch, The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), PO Box 12233, MD A3-05, Research Triangle Park (RTP), NC 27709, USA
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +1 919 541 2511
Interests: health effects of pesticides and phthalates; common environmental contaminants

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Pesticides represent a common environmental exposure due to their widespread use for agricultural, residential, and public health purposes.  Exposure is common in both developed and developing countries, though the exposure patterns may differ due to pesticide use patterns and practices.  Pesticides are screened for acute toxicity, mutagenicity, carcinogenicity, and reproductive toxicity prior to registration, but information on the human health effects of pesticides is limited.  Recent studies in adults have suggested that pesticides may be related to common chronic diseases such as diabetes and asthma, in addition to cancer and neurological diseases.  Studies in children have suggested that pesticides may adversely impact neurodevelopment and other early childhood outcomes.  Characterization of pesticide use and exposure in the general population is difficult, yet it is critical to good epidemiologic evaluation of the potential human health effects of pesticides.

Given the ubiquity of pesticide exposure and the animal and human evidence implicating pesticides as potential contributors to human disease, better understanding of how people get exposed to pesticides and how that exposure can be evaluated is critical to understanding the potential human health risks.  For this special issue on Pesticides and Health, I’m eager to entertain papers that enhance our understanding of pesticide exposure in populations and incorporate those measures into epidemiologic studies.  Papers that fall along the continuum of pesticide exposure characterization to human health evaluation will be considered.

Dr. Jane Hoppin
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • pesticides
  • exposure assessment
  • agricultural exposures
  • residential exposures
  • chronic diseases
  • neurodevelpment

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle An Updated Algorithm for Estimation of Pesticide Exposure Intensity in the Agricultural Health Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(12), 4608-4622; doi:10.3390/ijerph8124608
Received: 11 November 2011 / Revised: 2 December 2011 / Accepted: 5 December 2011 / Published: 12 December 2011
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (354 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An algorithm developed to estimate pesticide exposure intensity for use in epidemiologic analyses was revised based on data from two exposure monitoring studies. In the first study, we estimated relative exposure intensity based on the results of measurements taken during the application of
[...] Read more.
An algorithm developed to estimate pesticide exposure intensity for use in epidemiologic analyses was revised based on data from two exposure monitoring studies. In the first study, we estimated relative exposure intensity based on the results of measurements taken during the application of the herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) (n = 88) and the insecticide chlorpyrifos (n = 17). Modifications to the algorithm weighting factors were based on geometric means (GM) of post-application urine concentrations for applicators grouped by application method and use of chemically-resistant (CR) gloves. Measurement data from a second study were also used to evaluate relative exposure levels associated with airblast as compared to hand spray application methods. Algorithm modifications included an increase in the exposure reduction factor for use of CR gloves from 40% to 60%, an increase in the application method weight for boom spray relative to in-furrow and for air blast relative to hand spray, and a decrease in the weight for mixing relative to the new weights assigned for application methods. The weighting factors for the revised algorithm now incorporate exposure measurements taken on Agricultural Health Study (AHS) participants for the application methods and personal protective equipment (PPE) commonly reported by study participants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticides and Health)
Open AccessArticle Detection of Pesticides in Active and Depopulated Beehives in Uruguay
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(10), 3844-3858; doi:10.3390/ijerph8103844
Received: 4 September 2011 / Accepted: 7 September 2011 / Published: 28 September 2011
Cited by 29 | PDF Full-text (419 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The influence of insecticides commonly used for agricultural purposes on beehive depopulation in Uruguay was investigated. Honeycombs, bees, honey and propolis from depopulated hives were analyzed for pesticide residues, whereas from active beehives only honey and propolis were evaluated. A total of 37
[...] Read more.
The influence of insecticides commonly used for agricultural purposes on beehive depopulation in Uruguay was investigated. Honeycombs, bees, honey and propolis from depopulated hives were analyzed for pesticide residues, whereas from active beehives only honey and propolis were evaluated. A total of 37 samples were analyzed, representing 14,800 beehives. In depopulated beehives only imidacloprid and fipronil were detected and in active beehives endosulfan, coumaphos, cypermethrin, ethion and chlorpyrifos were found. Coumaphos was present in the highest concentrations, around 1,000 µg/kg, in all the propolis samples from active beehives. Regarding depopulated beehives, the mean levels of imidacloprid found in honeycomb (377 µg/kg, Standard Deviation: 118) and propolis (60 µg/kg, Standard Deviation: 57) are higher than those described to produce bee disorientation and fipronil levels detected in bees (150 and 170 µg/kg) are toxic per se. The other insecticides found can affect the global fitness of the bees causing weakness and a decrease in their overall productivity. These preliminary results suggest that bees exposed to pesticides or its residues can lead them in different ways to the beehive. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticides and Health)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Urinary Concentrations of Dialkylphosphate Metabolites of Organophosphorus Pesticides: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999–2004
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(8), 3063-3098; doi:10.3390/ijerph8083063
Received: 25 May 2011 / Revised: 29 June 2011 / Accepted: 8 July 2011 / Published: 25 July 2011
Cited by 33 | PDF Full-text (611 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Organophosphorus (OP) insecticides were among the first pesticides that EPA reevaluated as part of the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996. Our goal was to assess exposure to OP insecticides in the U.S. general population over a six-year period. We analyzed 7,456 urine
[...] Read more.
Organophosphorus (OP) insecticides were among the first pesticides that EPA reevaluated as part of the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996. Our goal was to assess exposure to OP insecticides in the U.S. general population over a six-year period. We analyzed 7,456 urine samples collected as part of three two-year cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 1999–2004. We measured six dialkylphosphate metabolites of OP pesticides to assess OP pesticide exposure. In NHANES 2003–2004, dimethylthiophosphate was detected most frequently with median and 95th percentile concentrations of 2.03 and 35.3 µg/L, respectively. Adolescents were two to three times more likely to have diethylphosphate concentrations above the 95th percentile estimate of 15.5 µg/L than adults and senior adults. Conversely, for dimethyldithiophosphate, senior adults were 3.8 times and 1.8 times more likely to be above the 95th percentile than adults and adolescents, respectively, while adults were 2.1 times more likely to be above the 95th percentile than the adolescents. Our data indicate that the most vulnerable segments of our population—children and older adults—have higher exposures to OP pesticides than other population segments. However, according to DAP urinary metabolite data, exposures to OP pesticides have declined during the last six years at both the median and 95th percentile levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticides and Health)
Open AccessArticle Residential Pesticide Usage in Older Adults Residing in Central California
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(8), 3114-3133; doi:10.3390/ijerph8083114
Received: 1 March 2011 / Revised: 6 July 2011 / Accepted: 20 July 2011 / Published: 25 July 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (311 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Information on residential pesticide usage and behaviors that may influence pesticide exposure was collected in three population-based studies of older adults residing in the three Central California counties of Fresno, Kern, and Tulare. We present data from participants in the Study of Use
[...] Read more.
Information on residential pesticide usage and behaviors that may influence pesticide exposure was collected in three population-based studies of older adults residing in the three Central California counties of Fresno, Kern, and Tulare. We present data from participants in the Study of Use of Products and Exposure Related Behaviors (SUPERB) study (N = 153) and from community controls ascertained in two Parkinson’s disease studies, the Parkinson’s Environment and Gene (PEG) study (N = 359) and The Center for Gene-Environment Studies in Parkinson’s Disease (CGEP; N = 297). All participants were interviewed by telephone to obtain information on recent and lifetime indoor and outdoor residential pesticide use. Interviews ascertained type of product used, frequency of use, and behaviors that may influence exposure to pesticides during and after application. Well over half of all participants reported ever using indoor and outdoor pesticides; yet frequency of pesticide use was relatively low, and appeared to increase slightly with age. Few participants engaged in behaviors to protect themselves or family members and limit exposure to pesticides during and after treatment, such as ventilating and cleaning treated areas, or using protective equipment during application. Our findings on frequency of use over lifetime and exposure related behaviors will inform future efforts to develop population pesticide exposure models and risk assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticides and Health)
Open AccessArticle Exposure to Multiple Pesticides and Risk of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in Men from Six Canadian Provinces
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2320-2330; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062320
Received: 20 May 2011 / Revised: 9 June 2011 / Accepted: 9 June 2011 / Published: 21 June 2011
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (197 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) has been linked to several agricultural exposures, including some commonly used pesticides. Although there is a significant body of literature examining the effects of exposure to individual pesticides on NHL, the impact of exposure to multiple pesticides or specific pesticide
[...] Read more.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) has been linked to several agricultural exposures, including some commonly used pesticides. Although there is a significant body of literature examining the effects of exposure to individual pesticides on NHL, the impact of exposure to multiple pesticides or specific pesticide combinations has not been explored in depth. Data from a six-province Canadian case-control study conducted between 1991 and 1994 were analyzed to investigate the relationship between NHL, the total number of pesticides used and some common pesticide combinations. Cases (n = 513) were identified through hospital records and provincial cancer registries and controls (n = 1,506), frequency matched to cases by age and province of residence, were obtained through provincial health records, telephone listings, or voter lists. In multiple logistic regression analyses, risk of NHL increased with the number of pesticides used. Similar results were obtained in analyses restricted to herbicides, insecticides and several pesticide classes. Odds ratios increased further when only ‘potentially carcinogenic’ pesticides were considered (OR[one pesticide] = 1.30, 95% CI = 0.90–1.88; OR[two to four] = 1.54, CI = 1.11–2.12; OR[five or more] = 1.94, CI = 1.17–3.23). Elevated risks were also found among those reporting use of malathion in combination with several other pesticides. These analyses support and extend previous findings that the risk of NHL increases with the number of pesticides used and some pesticide combinations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticides and Health)
Open AccessArticle The Pesticide Risk Beliefs Inventory: A Quantitative Instrument for the Assessment of Beliefs about Pesticide Risks
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 1923-1935; doi:10.3390/ijerph8061923
Received: 2 March 2011 / Revised: 24 May 2011 / Accepted: 25 May 2011 / Published: 1 June 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (190 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recent media attention has focused on the risks that agricultural pesticides pose to the environment and human health; thus, these topics provide focal areas for scientists and science educators to enhance public understanding of basic toxicology concepts. This study details the development of
[...] Read more.
Recent media attention has focused on the risks that agricultural pesticides pose to the environment and human health; thus, these topics provide focal areas for scientists and science educators to enhance public understanding of basic toxicology concepts. This study details the development of a quantitative inventory to gauge pesticide risk beliefs. The goal of the inventory was to characterize misconceptions and knowledge gaps, as well as expert-like beliefs, concerning pesticide risk. This study describes the development and field testing of the Pesticide Risk Beliefs Inventory with an important target audience: pesticide educators in a southeastern U.S. state. The 19-item, Likert-type inventory was found to be psychometrically sound with a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.780 and to be a valuable tool in capturing pesticide educators’ beliefs about pesticide risk, assessing beliefs in four key categories. The Pesticide Risk Beliefs Inventory could be useful in exploring beliefs about pesticide risks and in guiding efforts to address misconceptions held by a variety of formal and informal science learners, educators, practitioners, the agricultural labor force, and the general public. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticides and Health)
Open AccessCommunication AGRICOH: A Consortium of Agricultural Cohorts
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1341-1357; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051341
Received: 1 March 2011 / Revised: 22 April 2011 / Accepted: 25 April 2011 / Published: 29 April 2011
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (231 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
AGRICOH is a recently formed consortium of agricultural cohort studies involving 22 cohorts from nine countries in five continents: South Africa (1), Canada (3), Costa Rica (2), USA (6), Republic of Korea (1), New Zealand (2), Denmark (1), France (3) and Norway (3).
[...] Read more.
AGRICOH is a recently formed consortium of agricultural cohort studies involving 22 cohorts from nine countries in five continents: South Africa (1), Canada (3), Costa Rica (2), USA (6), Republic of Korea (1), New Zealand (2), Denmark (1), France (3) and Norway (3). The aim of AGRICOH, initiated by the US National Cancer Institute (NCI) and coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), is to promote and sustain collaboration and pooling of data to investigate the association between a wide range of agricultural exposures and a wide range of health outcomes, with a particular focus on associations that cannot easily be addressed in individual studies because of rare exposures (e.g., use of infrequently applied chemicals) or relatively rare outcomes (e.g., certain types of cancer, neurologic and auto-immune diseases). To facilitate future projects the need for data harmonization of selected variables is required and is underway. Altogether, AGRICOH provides excellent opportunities for studying cancer, respiratory, neurologic, and auto-immune diseases as well as reproductive and allergic disorders, injuries and overall mortality in association with a wide array of exposures, prominent among these the application of pesticides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticides and Health)
Open AccessArticle Determinants of Organophosphorus Pesticide Urinary Metabolite Levels in Young Children Living in an Agricultural Community
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(4), 1061-1083; doi:10.3390/ijerph8041061
Received: 10 February 2011 / Revised: 11 March 2011 / Accepted: 29 March 2011 / Published: 8 April 2011
Cited by 33 | PDF Full-text (447 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Organophosphorus (OP) pesticides are used in agriculture and several are registered for home use. As young children age they may experience different pesticide exposures due to varying diet, behavior, and other factors. We measured six OP dialkylphosphate (DAP) metabolites (three dimethyl alkylphosphates (DMAP)
[...] Read more.
Organophosphorus (OP) pesticides are used in agriculture and several are registered for home use. As young children age they may experience different pesticide exposures due to varying diet, behavior, and other factors. We measured six OP dialkylphosphate (DAP) metabolites (three dimethyl alkylphosphates (DMAP) and three diethyl alkylphosphates (DEAP)) in urine samples collected from ~400 children living in an agricultural community when they were 6, 12, and 24 months old. We examined bivariate associations between DAP metabolite levels and determinants such as age, diet, season, and parent occupation. To evaluate independent impacts, we then used generalized linear mixed multivariable models including interaction terms with age. The final models indicated that DMAP metabolite levels increased with age. DMAP levels were also positively associated with daily servings of produce at 6- and 24-months. Among the 6-month olds, DMAP metabolite levels were higher when samples were collected during the summer/spring versus the winter/fall months. Among the 12-month olds, DMAP and DEAP metabolites were higher when children lived ≤60 meters from an agricultural field. Among the 24-month-olds, DEAP metabolite levels were higher during the summer/spring months. Our findings suggest that there are multiple determinants of OP pesticide exposures, notably dietary intake and temporal and spatial proximity to agricultural use. The impact of these determinants varied by age and class of DAP metabolite. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticides and Health)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Effect of Endocrine Disruptor Pesticides: A Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2265-2303; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062265
Received: 20 May 2011 / Revised: 8 June 2011 / Accepted: 9 June 2011 / Published: 17 June 2011
Cited by 111 | PDF Full-text (520 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) are compounds that alter the normal functioning of the endocrine system of both wildlife and humans. A huge number of chemicals have been identified as endocrine disruptors, among them several pesticides. Pesticides are used to kill unwanted organisms in
[...] Read more.
Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) are compounds that alter the normal functioning of the endocrine system of both wildlife and humans. A huge number of chemicals have been identified as endocrine disruptors, among them several pesticides. Pesticides are used to kill unwanted organisms in crops, public areas, homes and gardens, and parasites in medicine. Human are exposed to pesticides due to their occupations or through dietary and environmental exposure (water, soil, air). For several years, there have been enquiries about the impact of environmental factors on the occurrence of human pathologies. This paper reviews the current knowledge of the potential impacts of endocrine disruptor pesticides on human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticides and Health)
Figures

Open AccessReview Assessing Diet as a Modifiable Risk Factor for Pesticide Exposure
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 1792-1804; doi:10.3390/ijerph8061792
Received: 18 April 2011 / Revised: 13 May 2011 / Accepted: 17 May 2011 / Published: 25 May 2011
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (169 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The effects of pesticides on the general population, largely as a result of dietary exposure, are unclear. Adopting an organic diet appears to be an obvious solution for reducing dietary pesticide exposure and this is supported by biomonitoring studies in children. However, results
[...] Read more.
The effects of pesticides on the general population, largely as a result of dietary exposure, are unclear. Adopting an organic diet appears to be an obvious solution for reducing dietary pesticide exposure and this is supported by biomonitoring studies in children. However, results of research into the effects of organic diets on pesticide exposure are difficult to interpret in light of the many complexities. Therefore future studies must be carefully designed. While biomonitoring can account for differences in overall exposure it cannot necessarily attribute the source. Due diligence must be given to appropriate selection of participants, target pesticides and analytical methods to ensure that the data generated will be both scientifically rigorous and clinically useful, while minimising the costs and difficulties associated with biomonitoring studies. Study design must also consider confounders such as the unpredictable nature of chemicals and inter- and intra-individual differences in exposure and other factors that might influence susceptibility to disease. Currently the most useful measures are non-specific urinary metabolites that measure a range of organophosphate and synthetic pyrethroid insecticides. These pesticides are in common use, frequently detected in population studies and may provide a broader overview of the impact of an organic diet on pesticide exposure than pesticide-specific metabolites. More population based studies are needed for comparative purposes and improvements in analytical methods are required before many other compounds can be considered for assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticides and Health)
Open AccessReview Review of Pesticide Urinary Biomarker Measurements from Selected US EPA Children’s Observational Exposure Studies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1727-1754; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051727
Received: 2 March 2011 / Revised: 12 May 2011 / Accepted: 17 May 2011 / Published: 24 May 2011
Cited by 30 | PDF Full-text (281 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Children are exposed to a wide variety of pesticides originating from both outdoor and indoor sources. Several studies were conducted or funded by the EPA over the past decade to investigate children’s exposure to organophosphate and pyrethroid pesticides and the factors that impact
[...] Read more.
Children are exposed to a wide variety of pesticides originating from both outdoor and indoor sources. Several studies were conducted or funded by the EPA over the past decade to investigate children’s exposure to organophosphate and pyrethroid pesticides and the factors that impact their exposures. Urinary metabolite concentration measurements from these studies are consolidated here to identify trends, spatial and temporal patterns, and areas where further research is required. Namely, concentrations of the metabolites of chlorpyrifos (3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol or TCPy), diazinon (2-isopropyl-6-methyl-4-pyrimidinol or IMP), and permethrin (3-phenoxybenzoic acid or 3-PBA) are presented. Information on the kinetic parameters describing absorption and elimination in humans is also presented to aid in interpretation. Metabolite concentrations varied more dramatically across studies for 3-PBA and IMP than for TCPy, with TCPy concentrations about an order of magnitude higher than the 3-PBA concentrations. Temporal variability was high for all metabolites with urinary 3-PBA concentrations slightly more consistent over time than the TCPy concentrations. Urinary biomarker levels provided only limited evidence of applications. The observed relationships between urinary metabolite levels and estimates of pesticide intake may be affected by differences in the contribution of each exposure route to total intake, which may vary with exposure intensity and across individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticides and Health)
Open AccessReview Pesticide Exposure, Safety Issues, and Risk Assessment Indicators
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1402-1419; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051402
Received: 12 January 2011 / Revised: 18 April 2011 / Accepted: 28 April 2011 / Published: 6 May 2011
Cited by 157 | PDF Full-text (199 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pesticides are widely used in agricultural production to prevent or control pests, diseases, weeds, and other plant pathogens in an effort to reduce or eliminate yield losses and maintain high product quality. Although pesticides are developed through very strict regulation processes to function
[...] Read more.
Pesticides are widely used in agricultural production to prevent or control pests, diseases, weeds, and other plant pathogens in an effort to reduce or eliminate yield losses and maintain high product quality. Although pesticides are developed through very strict regulation processes to function with reasonable certainty and minimal impact on human health and the environment, serious concerns have been raised about health risks resulting from occupational exposure and from residues in food and drinking water. Occupational exposure to pesticides often occurs in the case of agricultural workers in open fields and greenhouses, workers in the pesticide industry, and exterminators of house pests. Exposure of the general population to pesticides occurs primarily through eating food and drinking water contaminated with pesticide residues, whereas substantial exposure can also occur in or around the home. Regarding the adverse effects on the environment (water, soil and air contamination from leaching, runoff, and spray drift, as well as the detrimental effects on wildlife, fish, plants, and other non-target organisms), many of these effects depend on the toxicity of the pesticide, the measures taken during its application, the dosage applied, the adsorption on soil colloids, the weather conditions prevailing after application, and how long the pesticide persists in the environment. Therefore, the risk assessment of the impact of pesticides either on human health or on the environment is not an easy and particularly accurate process because of differences in the periods and levels of exposure, the types of pesticides used (regarding toxicity and persistence), and the environmental characteristics of the areas where pesticides are usually applied. Also, the number of the criteria used and the method of their implementation to assess the adverse effects of pesticides on human health could affect risk assessment and would possibly affect the characterization of the already approved pesticides and the approval of the new compounds in the near future. Thus, new tools or techniques with greater reliability than those already existing are needed to predict the potential hazards of pesticides and thus contribute to reduction of the adverse effects on human health and the environment. On the other hand, the implementation of alternative cropping systems that are less dependent on pesticides, the development of new pesticides with novel modes of action and improved safety profiles, and the improvement of the already used pesticide formulations towards safer formulations (e.g., microcapsule suspensions) could reduce the adverse effects of farming and particularly the toxic effects of pesticides. In addition, the use of appropriate and well-maintained spraying equipment along with taking all precautions that are required in all stages of pesticide handling could minimize human exposure to pesticides and their potential adverse effects on the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticides and Health)

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