Cholinesterase activity in blood and pesticide presence in sweat as biomarkers of children`s environmental exposure to crop protection chemicals
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Department of Molecular Biology and Translational Research, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
Department of Medical Biology and Translational Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Information Technology and Management, Rzeszow, Poland
Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2015;22(3):478–482
On the contrary to the adult population exposed to pesticides, mostly on occupational basis, rural children are mostly exposed to pesticides deposited in the environment. However, even this constant, distributed in time exposure to low concentrations of pesticides may led to permanent health disorders and limit children’s harmonious development.

The main objective of the study was to evaluate the usefulness of aacetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) activity determination as a marker of children’s environmental exposure to pesticides. An additional aim was to evaluate the usefulness of sweat patches as a novel, non-invasive method of detection of pesticides in sweat as a measure of pesticide exposure.

Material and Methods:
A total of 108 children living in areas of intense pesticide use, and as a control group, 92 children living in an agro-tourist area were enrolled in the study. The AChE and BuChE activity was assayed colorimetricaly in diluted whole blood or plasma, respectively. In addition, selected pesticides were measured by GC/MS analysis in samples of the subject’s sweat absorbed onto a sorbent.

The study demonstrated significantly lower AChE and BuChE activity, respectively, in the diluted whole blood and plasma of children exposed to pesticides, compared to the control group (p<0.001 and p=0.003, respectively). The measured mean level of AChE activity was 241.63 ± 26.76 and 348.0±46.95 mU/µmolHb in the exposed and the control group, respectively, whereas the mean activity of BuChE was 424.1±81.1 and 458.6 ± 86.5 mmol/L/min. In addition, pesticide metabolites were detected in 19 (17.6%) sweat samples collected from exposed children.

Altogether, the study indicated that cholinesterase activity is a sensitive marker of the children’s environmental exposure to pesticides, whereas sweat patches are useful devices for collecting samples to be analysed for the presence of the pesticides.

Lucyna Kapka-Skrzypczak   
Department of Molecular Biology and Translational Research, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
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