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Hair analysis for the biomonitoring of pesticide exposure: comparison with blood and urine in a rat model

Archives of Toxicology, 91 (.), pp. 2813-2825.

Appenzeller, B.M.R., Hardy, E.M., Grova, N., Chata, C., Faÿs, F., Briand, O., Schroeder, H., Duca, R.-C.

2017

Urine and plasma have been used to date for
the biomonitoring of exposure to pollutants and are still
the preferred fluids for this purpose; however, these fluids
mainly provide information on the short term and
may present a high level of variability regarding pesticide
concentrations, especially for nonpersistent compounds.
Hair analysis may provide information about chronic
exposure that is averaged over several months; therefore,
this method has been proposed as an alternative to solely
relying on these fluids. Although the possibility of detecting
pesticides in hair has been demonstrated over the past
few years, the unknown linkage between exposure and
pesticides concentration in hair has limited the recognition
of this matrix as a relevant tool for assessing human
exposure. Based on a rat model in which there was controlled
exposure to a mixture of pesticides composed of lindane,
β-hexachlorocyclohexane, β-endosulfan, p,p′-DDT, p,p′-DDE, dieldrin, pentachlorophenol, diazinon, chlorpyrifos,
cyhalothrin, permethrin, cypermethrin, propiconazole,
fipronil, oxadiazon, diflufenican, trifluralin, carbofuran,
and propoxur, the current work demonstrates the
association between exposure intensity and resulting pesticide
concentration in hair. We also compared the results
obtained from a hair analysis to urine and plasma collected
from the same rats. Hair, blood, and urine were collected
from rats submitted to 90-day exposure by gavage to the
aforementioned mixture of common pesticides at different
levels. We observed a linear relationship between exposure
intensity and the concentration of pesticides in the rats’ hair
(RPearson 0.453–0.978, p < 0.01). A comparison with results
from urine and plasma samples demonstrated the relevance
of hair analysis and, for many chemicals, its superiority
over using fluids for differentiating animals from different
groups and for re-attributing animals to their correct
groups of exposure based on pesticide concentrations in the
matrix. Therefore, this study strongly supports hair analysis
as a reliable tool to be used during epidemiological studies
to investigate exposure-associated adverse health effects.

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