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A pilot/feasibility study monitoring possibleeffects of organophosphate pesticide residues on young children and infants - PR1146(1)

The main objectives of this research are to:
1)assess current literature on organophosphate (OP)/ carbamate (C) pesticide exposure in infants, OP/C exposure and links to gastrointestinal (GI) effects and suitable methods for determining such exposure;
2) collect and analyse available biological samples as part of pilot study;
3) analyse data obtained and assess the practicality of samples and methods used in pilot study;
4) summarise literature review and pilot study results and produce a final report with suggestions for full study protocol if appropriate.

The project proposed here will elucidate any known links between OP/C pesticide exposure and GI effects from the literature and assess the feasibility of assessing possible links via a pilot study. The outcome will inform MAFF policy on the likelihood and relevance of such links and whether further research is necessary/desirable (if so, a full, larger study protocol will be provided). It will enable guidance to be given regarding OP/C pesticide exposure and its links with GI effects. The proposal directly addresses a point raised by the Committee on Toxicity (COT) on organophosphates, that they may have possible GI effects. Pressure groups (such as Pesticides Action Network UK) have also raised the question of possible effects of OPs on children. This proposal would begin to answer questions from COT and consumers, determine whether further research would be warranted and provide guidance to the public. Results will be presented to MAFF as customer reports and disseminated in the public domain by peer-reviewed scientific literature, scientific meetings and MAFF and HSE websites.

O1. Literature Review
This will include a review of :
1) residue levels and identities of OPs and carbamates on foodstuffs;
2) OP/C pesticide exposure in infants;
3) which OPs and carbamates have been reported to cause GI effects in infants;
4) methods of analysis in suitable biological matrices for relevant OPs and carbamates.
This work will be conducted by HSL with clinical input, where required, from Sheffield Children’s Hospital (SCH). ‘In-house’ expertise will also be used where appropriate.

O2. Collect and analyse available biological samples.
To be achieved by pilot study by analysing samples (urine, blood, vomit, faeces) for appropriate analytes. Could be independent of above objectives however best performed as a conclusion of the above. Measurement in population at SCH would depend on availability of population, practicality of taking samples and availability/success of methods. SCH to recruit approximately 30 children admitted with GI upsets and 30 admitted for routine surgery (controls). SCH will provide all biological samples, administer the study questionnaire and give diagnosis where available. HSL will analyse all biological samples.

O3. Analyse data obtained from O2 and assess practicality of obtaining samples from toddlers and generating useful data from methods used.
Assess suitability of samples collected for analysis and laboratory methods used. Compare OP/C metabolite levels in all biological samples collected between 2 populations (GI effects and controls). Investigate metabolite levels, questionnaire details and possible causes/severity of GI effects.

O4. Summarise literature review and pilot study results and produce final report with conclusions, highlighting future work requirements and suggest full study protocal if appropriate
Identify gaps in knowledge. Determine whether pilot study or literature review give sufficient evidence of possible links that could be elucidated by further study. Suggest refinement of analytes and substrates from pilot study findings, if any are practicable. Design of full study protocol, if appropriate.

Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2000

To: 2001

Cost: £51,878
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Health & Safety Laboratory
Pest and Weed Control              
Pesticide use              
Plants and Animals              
Fields of Study
Pesticide Safety