Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 751–760 | Cite as

A Pilot Study Evaluating Organochlorine and Organophosphate Pesticide Exposure in Children and Adolescents of Mexican Descent Residing in Hidalgo County, Texas

  • Mike Hernandez
  • María A. Hernández-Valero
  • Celia García-Prieto
  • Donald G. Patterson
  • Richard A. Hajek
  • Iris RecinosEmail author
  • David S. Lopez
  • Yisheng Li
  • Lovell A. Jones
  • Ernest Hawk
Original Paper


Children and adolescents of Mexican descent residing in Hidalgo County (TX) were evaluated for exposure to organochlorine (OC) and organophosphate (OP) pesticides. A convenience sample of 60 participants enrolled in our pilot study. The lipid-adjusted serum concentrations of nine OC metabolites and creatinine-adjusted urinary concentrations of six OP metabolites were measured and compared with data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Fourth Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the concentration levels for each metabolite. Study participants were aged 5–18 years. For most of the OC and OP metabolites, our findings showed that participants had concentration levels within the distributional range of the national data. However, notable outlying levels (greater than the 95th percentile in the Fourth Report) were identified for the following OC metabolites: gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane, p,p′-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethene, and p,p′-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane. Among the children aged 5–11 years, one child had an outlying value for the OP metabolite: dimethylphosphate. Our findings on the levels of OC and OP pesticide exposure enhances the credibility of national estimates, and can serve as baselines for children and adolescents of Mexican descent residing in Lower Rio Grande Valley. Furthermore, our study contributes to the lacunae of knowledge regarding environmental exposures and presses further investigation of outlying OC and OP exposure levels.


Pesticides Organochlorines Organophosphates Children and adolescents of Mexican descent 



This research was supported in part from Grants NIEHS ES007784-13, NIH 5P30ES007784, the Caroline Weiss Law Endowment and the Boone Pickens Distinguished Chair for Early Prevention of Cancer Endowment and supported in part by the Cancer Center Support Grant (NCI Grant P30 CA016672). Also, we would like to thank Jill Delsigne for scientific editing.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards and approved by the Institutional Review Board at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, TX).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mike Hernandez
    • 1
  • María A. Hernández-Valero
    • 2
  • Celia García-Prieto
    • 3
  • Donald G. Patterson
    • 4
  • Richard A. Hajek
    • 5
  • Iris Recinos
    • 6
    Email author
  • David S. Lopez
    • 7
  • Yisheng Li
    • 8
  • Lovell A. Jones
    • 9
  • Ernest Hawk
    • 10
  1. 1.Department of Biostatistics, Unit 1411The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Health Program, Department of Education Psychology, College of EducationUniversity of HoustonHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Translational Molecular Pathology, Unit 2951The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  4. 4.Axys Analytical Services Ltd.SidneyCanada
  5. 5.Gynecologic Oncology & Reproductive Medicine, Unit 1362The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  6. 6.Institute of Cancer Care InnovationThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  7. 7.Department of EpidemiologyThe University of Texas School of Public HealthHoustonUSA
  8. 8.Department of Biostatistics, Unit 1411The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  9. 9.College of NursingPrairie View A&M UniversityPrairie ViewUSA
  10. 10.Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences, Unit 1370The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA

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