Pets as Sentinels of Human Exposure to Pesticides and Co-exposure Concerns with Other Contaminants/Toxicants

  • Basak Aslan
  • Lindsey Viola
  • Shivender Singh Saini
  • Jonathan Stockman
  • Elizabeth P. RyanEmail author


Companion animal exposures to pesticides were investigated to describe instances in which shared exposures may be useful to understand impacts on the health of humans. Several distinct types and classes of pesticides that have wide-ranging sources of exposure across animals, people, and environments are discussed in a “One Health” context. The ubiquity of pesticides in surface waters and drinking water may be an important source of persistent pesticide exposures to animals and people, and we can appreciate that low doses of chemical mixtures are the reality. While exposures may accumulate in any animal or human host over different lengths of time (i.e., days, months, years), not all mechanistic studies utilize relevant concentrations nor, can the levels be used to predict shared health risks. Pet animals already serve as a high sentinel value for humans in cancer research and other shared diseases. This chapter highlights common food and water sources from household and agricultural settings for selected pesticides and the potential impacts on animal and human health. The application of novel methodologies such as high-throughput chemical screening and predictive modeling, may be a future research opportunity to advance our understanding of pets as sentinels of exposure to chemical mixtures. Baseline data is needed if we intend to design interventions that will prevent or mitigate the negative, adverse effects of pesticide exposures throughout the lifespan and across generations of people and companion animals.


Pesticides Pets Water Sentinels 



We would like to thank Hannah Haberecht for her contribution of illustrations/original artwork shown in Fig. 3.1 and the CSU One Health Institute fellowship program for the funding support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Basak Aslan
    • 1
  • Lindsey Viola
    • 1
  • Shivender Singh Saini
    • 2
  • Jonathan Stockman
    • 1
  • Elizabeth P. Ryan
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Environmental and Radiological Health SciencesColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry and Chemical SciencesCentral University of Himachal PradeshDharamshalaIndia

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