Levels of pyrethroid pesticides in pregnant women

The aim of the present study was to measure levels of pyrethroid metabolites in the urine of pregnant women and attempt to identify their associated determinants.

Urine samples were collected from 1077 future mothers on admission to a maternity unit and screened for five pyrethroid metabolites:

  • [3-phenoxy benzoic (3-PBA),
  • 4‑fluoro‑3‑phenoxy benzoic acid (4-F-3-PBA),
  • Cis3‑(2,2dibromovinyl)‑2,2dimethyl cyclopropane-carboxylic acid (Cis-DBCA),
  • Cis3(2,2dichlorovinyl)2,2‑dimethyl cyclopropane-carboxylic acid (Cis-DCCA),
  • and Trans-3‑(2,2dichlorovinyl)‑2,2dimethyl cyclopropane-carboxylic acid (Trans-DCCA)].

With the exception of 4-F-3-PBA, all the metabolites were detected in all the urine samples.

Comparison of these results with data from other countries showed that French women tend to be more exposed to pyrethroids than their American counterparts, but less exposed than Chinese or Caribbean mothers. In the present study, metabolite levels were associated with smoking during pregnancy, eating fish, consuming alcohol, using pesticides in the home, and living near arable fields during pregnancy. 

More information

More information

Dereumeaux C., Saoudi A., Goria S., Wagner V., De Crouy-Chanel P., Pecheux M., Berat B., Zaros C., Guldner L. “Urinary levels of pyrethroid pesticides and determinants in pregnant French women from the Elfe cohort”. Environment international, 2018 Oct, 119:89-99. [Link]